(By the way, there is a lot of new info in this eMessage, so be sure to read to the end)
Today is Ascension Day. This is a very ancient feast/holy day of the Christian church. It isn’t seen much in many of the churches of the Reformed tradition, who wanted to emphasize Sunday as the day of special observance and tried to reduce the number of holy days and saints days in the calendar. In addition, Ascension Day always falls on a Thursday, because it is calculated as the fortieth day after the Feast of the Resurrection (Easter) based on Acts 1:3. However, as Wikipedia (that font of all wisdom) says, “some Christian denominations have moved the observance to the following Sunday.” That is what I am doing for this Sunday. So what is Ascension? In the opening verses of the Book of the Acts of Apostles, the writer describes the last days of Jesus’ earthly appearances after the Resurrection. Jesus promises his followers they will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon them. And then Acts 1:8 says, “When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.” This is the Ascension, the “going up.” This is the last that the disciples or anyone else sees of the earthly Jesus.
The readings for Sunday are Acts 1: 1-11and Luke 24: 44-53. In both the Children’s time and in the Sermon I will look at the question, “Where is Jesus?”
SECOND EARTHQUAKE IN NEPAL
There has been another devastating earthquake with after shocks in Nepal. In response to this tragedy, the United Church of Canada has established a Nepal Earthquake Relief fund. Your donation to Nepal Earthquake Relief will be applied directly to support relief, rehabilitation, and restoration efforts in the country. Here’s how you can donate:
· Online via the United Church of Canada’s secure donation page.
· Phone 416-231-5931 ext. 3050 or toll-free 1-800-268-3781 ext. 3050 and use your Visa or MasterCard.
· Send a cheque, money order, or Visa or MasterCard information with donation amount to:
o The United Church of Canada
Philanthropy Unit—Emergency Response
3250 Bloor Street West, Suite 300
Toronto, ON M8X 2Y4
Please be sure to note “Emergency Response—Nepal Earthquake Relief” on the face of your cheque.
For more information on the United Church’s response go to http://www.united-church.ca/communications/news/response/150427
And please keep the people of Nepal and the relief workers in your prayers.
ANNUAL PLANT SALE
The Annual Spirit West Plant Sale will be happening this weekend May 15-16. Please share this news with all your gardening friends. See the poster on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SpirtWestUnitedChurch or on our Website http://spiritwestuc.weebly.com . There are still opportunities to help out, there are sign-up sheets by the church office.
This Saturday at 8:00 am in the Lower Hall is Men’s Breakfast. Any man associated with Spirit West (and his friends) are welcome. The food is always great, and so is the fellowship.
We have another Messy Church coming up on Saturday, June 20. I would like to have a brief meeting after Church on Sunday in the Lounge with all those interested in organizing, or being a part of, this Messy Church. The basic purpose of the meeting will be to confirm the theme, and to see what resources, human and otherwise that we will need.
I would like to start a membership program for those who wish to join the United Church, and this congregation in particular. If you are interested, or just have questions, please give me a call.
PRAYER SHAWL MINISTRY
For many years, Lou Punko coordinated the supply of Prayer Shawls for a Prayer Shawl Ministry from this Church. For those of you unfamiliar with Prayer Shawl Ministries, it is a program where hand knit shawls are given to people in hospital, with the prayers of the church. The shawl provides a tangible reminder of the church’s and God’s presence with the person in hospital. This program continues with Shannon and I both having given out prayer shawls recently. However, with Lou’s passing, the coordination of the supply of prayer shawls has been lost, and our basket is getting low. If you are a knitter and would like to contribute to this ministry or if you would like to be our “supply coordinator,” please talk to me.
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.
Check out our Website at www.spiritwest.org . Thanks to our Webmaster: Bonnie S.
- 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
Remember to check us our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/SpirtWestUnitedChurch
See you Sunday,
(Rev.) Larry K. Wright, CD, BA, MDiv
Spirit West United Church