Kαι επλησθησαν παντες πνευματος αγιου και ηρξαντο λαλειν ετεραις γλωσσαις καθως το πνευμα εδιδου αποφθεγγεσθαι αυτοις. I suspect that for most (all) of you, your response to the first line of this paragraph might be, “It’s Greek to me,” which of course it is, Koine or New Testament Greek. It is a verse from Acts, and I started that way because this Sunday is Pentecost, the fiftieth day after Easter and the commemoration of a very important event in the life of the Christian community. The Book of the Acts of the Apostles, which scholars believe was written by the Gospel writer Luke, records that on the day of Pentecost amazing things happened. The disciples were gathered at the festival of Shavuot, a Jewish festival celebrating the giving of the Ten Commandments to Moses. In Greek Shavuot is called Pentecost. It occurs forty-nine days after the first day of Passover, so if you add that day you get fifty. While the disciples were gathered in one place “there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind,” and “divided tongues, as if of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them.” Now for many in our province lately, images of violent wind and fire are not positive images at all! But the writer of Acts continues with the verse in Greek that I quoted earlier. “And all of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.” This is important because it means that the Gospel is to be shared in ways that overcome barriers of language and culture. We don’t have to middle-eastern Greek speakers to hear and share the stories of Jesus and the early church, and be moved to respond. God meets us where we are.
During the Service we will be welcoming some people to our congregation who have been members of other congregations of the United Church of Canada, and are now transferring their membership to Spirit West.
The readings for Sunday are John 14: 8-17, 25-27 and Acts 2: 1-21. I have called the Sermon, “In Our Own Languages”
Farewell Luncheon for Anne Dingwell
This Sunday, May 15, we will be having a farewell pot-luck lunch after church for Anne Dingwell who is moving to Bonneville in May. The card will be out for those who had not had an opportunity to sign it. Please come to show your appreciation for all the Anne has contributed to Spirit West.
SPIRIT WEST PLANT SALE
The Spirit West Plant Sale is just around the corner. Come out on Friday, May 20, 11:00 am to 7:30 pm or Saturday, May 21, 9:00 am to 5:30 pm to get your spring plants. There will be a BBQ Lunch available on Saturday
We are still in need of some volunteers to help with set up, sales and clean up.
FIRES IN FORT MCMURRAY AND ELSEWHERE IN ALBERTA
I expect that all of you are following the news from Fort McMurray and elsewhere in Alberta about the devastating fires that have swept through, destroying homes, business and the natural environment. Many lives have been radically altered by the events of the past week. A question that may have come into your mind: “How can I help?” There are many ways. Donating to the Red Cross is one, and your donation will be doubled by the federal government. The United Church of Canada is also involved in relief efforts through Alberta and North West Conference (ANWC). Check out the Conference response at this link:
On behalf of Spirit West, a donation of $750 is being made to the ANWC Fire Appeal from the money raised for Outreach at the “Hope Springs Forth” Concert.
As part of the support being offered to evacuees from the fires who are staying at Evacuation Centre at Northlands, volunteer chaplains from various faith communities are present on site in five hour shifts throughout the day from 8 am to 11 pm. I was part of a five chaplain team (2 United, 2 Muslim, 1 Anglican) on the 6-11 pm shift last night.
The Men of Spirit West will be gathering for Breakfast on Saturday, May 21 at 8:00 am in the Lower Hall. Breakfast is open to any man who wants to come out for a great breakfast. As a note, each man usually put in $10 dollars, this covers the breakfast supplies and the surplus is put into a fund that offsets the cost of minor repairs around the church.
RIDE TO CHURCH? From time to time we encounter people who would like to come to church at Spirit West, but are unable to because they do not have means of transportation. Can you give a ride? If you would be willing to make yourself available to provide a ride to church please call the church office. Do you need a ride? Would you like to come to church at Spirit West, but are unable to because you have no ride, please call the church office.
Spirit West Prayer Chain
The Spirit West Prayer Chain is a group of people who have committed to continue our prayers of concern from Sunday through the week. To be part of this ministry, email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org . You may also email a request for prayer to the same email address. If you would prefer to talk to someone, you can call Shannon F. at 780-481-5262, Marian T. at 780-487-2851 or Bonnie C. at 780-444-2230.
SPIRIT WEST ONLINE!
Our Website is at www.spiritwest.org .
Our Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/SpirtWestUnitedChurch
- Monday to Friday 9:30 – 2:30
- Norma => 9:30 am to 2:30 pm, Monday to Thursday
- Larry => 9:30 am to 2:30 pm, Tuesday to Friday
(Rev.) Larry K. Wright, CD, BA, MDiv
Spirit West United Church