Today, Thursday, is the Feast of the Ascension. Today is the fortieth day after Easter, and the Feast commemorates the final encounter that Jesus has with his disciples before ascending to heaven. Because this important Feast always falls on a Thursday, many churches have moved the commemoration to the following Sunday. This is what will happen at Spirit West
This Sunday – THE SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER – ASCENSION SUNDAY
As I indicated above, this Sunday will be for us Ascension Sunday. This celebration or commemoration is important because it marks the transition of Jesus’ ministry from that of physical presence with his followers, to a presence with the Church that is beyond time or space. But the event of the Ascension as recorded by Luke in the Book of the Acts of the Apostles, leaves Jesus in a difficult space. Jesus has gone from them, for the second time now. And all indications are that this departure will be permanent. And the instructions the followers are given it to wait. In a book study earlier this year, some of us encountered the concept of “liminal time.” This is a time of waiting between what was, and what is to come. The disciples are in a liminal time after the Ascension. Liminal times can be challenging. The past is behind us, and the future is still uncertain. As we experience the Covid-19 pandemic, we are in a way living in a liminal time. We are waiting for a future that is not yet clear. But the one thing the church can be certain of, is that Christ is present with us even in liminal time. In the Wikipedia article ( a completely reliable source, I know) on the Feast of the Ascension, a prayer from the Methodist church is quoted. The language is old fashioned, but the prayer captures the essence of the Ascension. “Almighty God, whose blessed Son our Saviour Jesus Christ ascended far above all heavens, that he might fill all things: Mercifully give us faith to perceive that according to his promise he abideth with his Church on earth, even unto the end of the world; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
The Scripture readings for Sunday are Acts 1:1-11 and Luke 24:44-53. In the Time for All Ages I will talk about “Waiting.” and my sermon is titled, “Living in liminal time.”
THERE WILL BE A ZOOM COFFEE HOUR (this is the Link for May and June!)
Join Zoom Coffee on Sunday at 11:30
Meeting ID: 828 7795 3866 Passcode: 738328
WORSHIP VIDEO FOR SUNDAY, MAY 23 – PENTECOST
For Pentecost Sunday, a Worship Video is being created on behalf of the Northern Spirit Regional Council. This Worship Video involves the participation of people from all over Northern Spirit Region, including me. So, for Sunday, May 23, the Worship Video link that will be sent to you will be for this Service. We are not recording a separate video for Spirit West for that Sunday.
SPAM EMAIL FROM SPIRIT WEST
It has been reported to Norma, that some of you have gotten email appearing to come Spirit West. They follow a similar pattern to many spam emails, usually with a vague introduction such “I thought you should see this” and then a link. These did not come from us. Any email from Norma or me will clearly indicate the purpose of the email. Any links will be explained clearly, such as in the email for the Sunday Worship Video and ZOOM Coffee hour. The emails will also be ”signed” by Norma or me by name. If there is anything vague or uncertain in an email from Spirit West, it’s not from us, so don’t open it or click on any embedded link.
SPIRIT WEST WORSHIP VIDEOS
You may have gotten (or will get) a call from Diane H. our “Greeter Co-ordinator,” asking you if you would record a greeting for our Sunday Worship videos. If at all possible, please say yes. Recorded greetings should be sent to our “Recording technician” (Paul W.) at email@example.com or you can come into the church and we will record your greeting. Video greetings need to be sent in or recorded by the Friday before “your” Sunday.
Using the list of those who have volunteered to be Scripture readers, Norma has drawn up and sent out a schedule of readers for the next couple of months. If you have read scripture for one of the worship videos, you will be on the schedule and will have received a copy. Please confirm with Norma as soon as possible that you are available to do your reading. Readings can be recorded well in advance of the date required. Your reading can also be recorded at the church between 3:30 and 4:30 on Thursday afternoons.
Sharing our Celebrations
In this time when it is important for us to look for signs of hope and joy, opportunity is being given for you to share your celebrations (birthdays, anniversaries, new grandchildren etc) with the wider community. If you have a celebration you want to share please email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone the church. (must be sent in before noon on Thursday for inclusion on the Sunday) During the opening section or our Worship Video, I will announce celebrations that have been shared with me.
Spirit West Prayer Chain
Prayer is important. We know that people still face challenges and difficulties not related to Covid-19, and we cannot forget them. Our Prayer Chain will continue to be active. If you have a prayer request, please send it to email@example.com. These requests will be shared regularly with the prayer chain and will form part of the Prayers of the People in our Sunday Worship videos.
YOUR BOTTLES FOR THE CHURCH
You may have bottles piling up for recycling. You can bring them to the church (or you can call for pick up). If you want to bring your bottles (and any other recyclable beverage containers) in during our office hours and put them directly in the Bottle Shed (by the garage), give us a call, and we can have the shed open for you. All money raised from the return of bottles goes towards paying down the principal and interest on our mortgage.
We can now accept donations by eTransfer. The contact name for the eTransfer is Spirit West United Church, and the email address is firstname.lastname@example.org . If you include a security question with your eTransfer, please notify Norma at the church office by phone or email. And remember that if you are not on PAR(Pre-Authorized Remittance), you can also mail in cheques to the church office (Spirit West United Church, 7003 – 199 St. Edmonton, AB T5T 3A8, include your envelope number if you have one.) The church office is open and you can drop off your offering/donation in the offering plate just inside the front doors. You can also donate online, see below…
ANOTHER WAY TO CONTRIBUTE FINANCIALLY TO SPIRIT WEST DURING A GLOBAL PANDEMIC
You are stuck home, Spirit West is not holding services, you are not on PAR, but you want to make a financial contribution to the work of Spirit West, because the church has bills to pay even when we are not gathering on Sunday. Check out the online donation option on our website spiritwest.org and click on the Donate tab in the navigation bar.
SPIRIT WEST ONLINE!
Facebook: Spirit West United Church and Friends of Spirit West Outreach
YouTube: Spirt West United Church, Edmonton
The Spirit West Church office remains open.
- Norma => Noon to 5:00 pm, Monday to Thursday
- Larry => 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Tuesday to Friday
(Rev.) Larry K. Wright, CD, BA, MDiv
Spirit West United Church