There is new information about the ZOOM book study below.
SPIRIT WEST ONLINE!
Facebook: Spirit West United Church and Friends of Spirit West Outreach
YouTube: Spirt West United Church, Edmonton
To volunteer to be a scripture reader for one of our worship videos, send an email to Norma at firstname.lastname@example.org We will include you in the schedule and we will send you all the information you need about the options you have for recording your segment.
This Sunday the scriptures will be read by Bill C.
You will have noticed in last Sunday’s Worship Video that we now have members of the congregations sharing virtual greetings. It is a way for us to see each other. Bonnie C. is spearheading this program, and has been doing the recording. You may get a call from her asking if you want to be a “Greeter.” If you have not heard from Bonnie and want to be a greeter, you can call the church and your name will be given to Bonnie, or you can record you own greeting. Record a 10-30 second greeting on your phone (record in “landscape,” hold your phone horizontally, this way ‘---,’ not this way ‘I’) and email your video to email@example.com . We will only be using three each week, so your greetings might not appear, the Sunday after you send them.
I appreciate all the positive feedback that we have received about the Worship Videos. We (Margaret, Bonnie, Glenn, Paul W. and I) are trying our best to provide you with something that will assist you in your faith journey during this “crazy” time. We would also like to hear from you if you have suggestions on how we could make the videos better or more helpful (like Scripture readers, Greeters, music with the hymns …). Email your comments to me firstname.lastname@example.org or post them on our Facebook page.
SO REMEMBER, AS YOU CONTINUE TO WORSHIP FROM THE SANTUARY CALLED HOME, YOU HAVE OPTIONS…
- Option 1 - Set aside time on Sunday, or at a regular time. Follow the Spirit West Services on YouTube. A new Sunday Worship Video is uploaded each Saturday.
- Option 2 - Set aside time on Sunday. Light a candle, read the readings for each day, read and discuss my reflections in the Thursday eMessage, and pray.
- Option 3- “Attend’ one of the live-streaming services from another United Church through the link found in SUNDAY SERVICES LIVE-STREAMING… below.
SUNDAY SERVICES LIVE-STREAMING ACROSS CANADA
There are a number of United Churches (and some Presbyterian) across Canada who are able to live-stream their Sunday services. Check out this interactive map for livestreaming services across Canada: https://arcg.is/1TaKqS (and remember to take into account time zones for churches outside of Alberta)
THIS SUNDAY – ASCENSION SUNDAY
The Readings for this Sunday are Acts 1: 6-14 and John 17: 1-11. I am going to be about “Physical Distance” in the Time for All Ages. My sermon is called, “Why do you stand looking up?”
This Sunday is the last Sunday of the Easter Season. This week, Jesus says good-bye to his disciples again. The moment Jesus has been preparing the followers for has arrived. Jesus is leaving them, apparently for good. Of course, Jesus is not just leaving town or moving to another area of Israel. Jesus’ departure as described by Luke in the Book of Acts (scholars are pretty certain that the Book of the Acts of the Apostles is in reality the Gospel of Luke, part 2) involves Jesus rising up into the clouds and disappearing in front of his followers. This is physical distancing at a whole new level. But Jesus has been reminding his followers that even after he has left them physically, he will still be looking out for them, and that and advocate, the Spirit will be with them always. But of course, when the time comes for Jesus to depart, the disciples are really ready. Their response is to stand around looking up. So two angels appear. I wonder if they were the same angels who spoke to Mary at the tomb. In any case their role seems to be to remind Jesus’ followers that they are looking in the wrong place. In this time of quarantine and self-isolation we have begun to learn how to stay connected with those from whom we are separated. It’s not the same as being face to face, but it is a valuable connection. It is a connection that Jesus followers had to learn. They had to realize that physical distance or separation are not barriers to love, or care. As we try new ways (ZOOM, Skype, Facetime, Facebook, email, drive-byes…) to stay connected with one another, let us not forget to stay connected (prayer, meditation, worship, study...) with God.
ZOOM BOOK STUDY – Initial Meeting, Wednesday, May 27 at 1:30 “When Bad Things Happen to Good People
We are going to look at the book by Rabbi Harold Kushner, “When Bad Things Happen to Good People.” It is a question that many people nowadays are asking. And according to some studies, they are turning to people and communities of faith for an answer. So what do we say? The old stock answer of “it’s God’s will,” is not going to work, for us, or for anyone. So using Rabbi Kushner’s book as a starting point let us look at how we can speak as people of faith when bad things happen to good people.
The initial ZOOM gathering will be next Wednesday, May 27 at 1:30. You need do not to have read the book for that gathering. But you will need to have a copy for subsequent gatherings. Digital and print versions are available on line (Kindle, Kobo, Amazon etc.) We will confirm the timing of future gathering next Wednesday. Then we will read a chapter or portion of the book each week and then ZOOM together to discuss what we have discovered or what left us with more questions.
On Wednesday, click on this ZOOM Link to join the gathering. If you are not familiar with ZOOM, give me a call at the church and I will walk you through the process. You can also join the study by phone, but you will have to call me before Wednesday so that I can give you the numbers you need.
OUTREACH – Underwear and Face Masks Needed at Bissell Centre
Thank you to those of you who have dropped underwear at the church. (Yup, I just wrote that)
And there is still a need at Bissell for UNDERWEAR. Ladies and Men’s - sizes Medium and Large.
If any of you would like to shop and deliver undies to the church (there are boxes just inside the doors), Lori will pick them up and deliver them to the Bissell Centre. If you would rather have your donation picked up, call the church office to arrange it.
They are also taking donations of FABRIC FACE MASKS. So any of you crafty people out there - We know there are a few quilters out there with a good stash of fabric - if you would like a little project to do in your self-isolation (patterns can be found online) ..... Again - these can be dropped at the church (or call the church office to arrange pick-up) and Lori will deliver them to the Bissell Centre.
YOUR BOTTLES FOR THE CHURCH – (Throw your bottles at the [mortgage] principal)
Now that you are spending more time at home, and perhaps (though I hope not) drinking more, you may have bottles piling up for recycling. You can still 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 on our mortgage.
We would like to offer a big thank you to those of you who have been able to support the work of Spirit West, particularly those of you who have mailed in your donations or dropped them off at the church. You generosity, as well as that of those on PAR, is greatly appreciated, especially as we have lost our rental income.
Please remember that if you are not on PAR(Pre-Authorized Remittance), you can 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 by Norma’s office. We are also working on making e-transfers possible. We will let you know in a future Thursday eMessage when this option is available. You can also donate online, see ANOTHER WAY TO CONTRIBUTE… below.
PASTORAL CARE DURING A PANDEMIC
A team has been put together to begin a phone ministry. We will be reaching out by phone to members of Spirit West to remind ourselves that we are a community of faith, even if at the moment we have to practice social distancing, and in some cases self-isolation. The team will initially target those whom we believe are most likely to be isolated. We may not always get it right. If you get a call, and think you really didn’t need it, thank the caller anyway. If you don’t hear from anyone in the next week or so, and really would like a call, let me know. We are playing this by ear in an “interesting” time.
If you are self-isolating for whatever reason (you are not feeling well, you are in a susceptible population, or you are just not taking chances) and you cannot get out to do shopping, let us know. There are people in the congregation who will do your shopping and deliver it to your home. Mention this to the caller from the phone ministry, or call or send an email to the church to let us know.
If you would like to volunteer as a “shopper” let me know by phone or email.
David S. has started a Casserole Ministry as part of Pastoral Care. Volunteers from Pastoral Care at Spirit West will deliver a casserole to someone in isolation, recovering from illness, or grieving the loss of family members.
We would need a supply of three or four casseroles made by members of Spirit West in tin foil pans and frozen in the church freezer available for delivery. The casseroles should be dated and labelled with all ingredients and the instructions for reheating. The supply of casseroles can be replenished as needed. If you are interested in providing a casserole please call David S. so he can keep an accurate inventory of casseroles (not too many, not too few).
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.
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.
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