This Sunday is the last in the Christian Year. We begin a New Year with the First Sunday of Advent on November 29. See the announcements below about things that are happening in Advent.
This Sunday – Reign of Christ
The Scripture Readings are Ezekiel 34: 11-16, 20-24 and Matthew 25: 31-46. In the Time for All Ages, I will talking asking “Can we do it?” My sermon is titled, “It’s Judgement Time!”
This Sunday, the last of the Christian Year, is a very special Sunday at Spirit West. As part of this Sunday’s worship video, you will be part of the first virtual Confirmation and Welcoming of New members to the Congregation. In this unique time we are constantly discovering new ways to continue to be the church and to grow individually and collectively.
So, Sunday, with its theme of Reign of Christ, or as it was once called Christ the King, is the culmination of the church year. What have we learned and experienced through the past year about God, about Jesus, about our faith, and about our world? And, what difference does it make? The scripture readings for this Sunday speak of judgement, a final judgement, and depending on who you are, can be good news or not. In the Gospel reading of Matthew, we see the “Son of Man” in glory pronouncing judgement on some confused people of all the nations. One group, called the sheep, are told to “inherit the kingdom prepared for you.” “for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me” The other group, the goats, are told to depart “into the eternal fire.” “for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.” Both groups are confused, no one can remember doing or not doing these things to the “Son of Man,” to Jesus the Christ. The explanation is straightforward, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it (or did not do it) to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it (or did not do it) to me.” As we come to the end of one year, we reflect on whether our knowledge and love of God has made a difference not only to us but to the world.
ADVENT AT SPIRIT WEST (it starts next Sunday)
ZOOM Coffee Hour – Sundays in Advent
One thing that people have said about church online, is that they miss the opportunity to chat with people over coffee after the service. Well, for the Sundays in Advent we are going to try a virtual coffee hour on ZOOM. At 11:30 am on each Sunday in Advent, you can ZOOM in with others from the congregation for a visit over a cup of coffee (or tea, or whatever…). This is a trial, and if it is successful, we will continue it. You do not need to register in advance, just click on the link.So, starting on Sunday, November 29 at 11:30 am ZOOM to https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85252850387?pwd=NmhhV0VvbjhEVERQajFDNm90cXpqdz09 for our coffee hour.
Advent Small Group Study – Now is the time
We will be having a virtual small group study on ZOOM on the four Wednesdays in December from 1:30 to 3:00 pm. The Study is called “Now is the Time.” The series begins by re-imagining the Advent and Christmas stories in the time of COVID-19 :
- When Mary Couldn’t Hug Elizabeth.
- When all Joseph Could Do was Dream.
- When Angels Couldn’t Sing.
- When Shepherds Were Sheltering in Place
- When Borders Where Closed.
SPIRIT WEST WORSHIP VIDEOS
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.
Sharing our Celebrations (note the submission deadline)
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.
Prayer Requests If you have a prayer request that you would like included in the Prayers of the People that are part of our worship videos, your request needs to be into the church by Thursday at noon for inclusion on Sunday. The best way to send in your request is to email email@example.com. During the Prayers of the People, only the first name of individuals will be mentioned, and the specifics of request The prayer request are also forwarded to the Prayer Chain.
We are continuing to invite members of the congregations to share virtual greetings as part of our Sunday Worship Video. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org .
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 email@example.com or post them on our Facebook page.
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 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 ANOTHER WAY TO CONTRIBUTE… below.
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.
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