Before I get to the information for this Sunday, I have two items that will bring you up to date on couple of things:
the first is from Lori of Spirit West Outreach, the second is from the Spirit West Re-opening Committee.
Please also check out the section about our Spirit West Worship Videos, there have been some changes and additions.
Drive and Drop for the Food Bank that was held on Saturday, October 10
A big thank you to everyone who was able to participate in the Drive & Drop for the Food Bank last Saturday. We had 22 cars come to the church and we were able to fill the back of Bill’s truck! Hope your all had a chance to see the You Tube service last Sunday to see the smiling faces (in some cases under a mask) and the mountain of food.
Thank you again for your generosity. I am always amazed at how willing our church family is to support others in need. - Lori W., Spirit West Outreach
FROM THE RE-OPENING COMMITTEE
The Re-Opening Committee would like to thank all of you who completed and submitted your responses to the recent questionnaire.. Your feedback provided important information which is being considered in the decision making process regarding in-person worship at Spirit West. Your responses were compiled and forwarded to the Committee as well as reported to the Official Board. Results of this questionnaire indicated that the majority of respondents are uncomfortable resuming in-person worship at this time. 85% of respondents indicate they would prefer to watch services on YouTube at this time. Almost conclusively, the availability of a vaccine and the rate of Covid-19 infections in Alberta are both important considerations for the comfort of congregants regarding in-person attendance. Responses indicate that seeing and talking to other members of the congregation, feeling connected to a larger purpose and having guidance for reflection and spiritual life were the features most missed about being in church.
In consideration of the above information and the fact that our population consists of a number of individuals with compromised health, the Board has decided that we will not re-open for in-person Sunday worship at this time. The Re-Opening Committee continues to meet regularly and we ARE working towards being fully prepared for the time when it is safe to resume worshiping together in our beautiful sanctuary. We are also exploring options for worship that is both in-person and online, but that is a ways away at this point. Meanwhile, keep yourselves safe and healthy by wearing a mask, sanitizing and maintaining physical distance!
This Sunday – Pentecost 20
The Scripture Readings are Exodus 33: 12-23 and Matthew 22: 15-22. In the Time for All Ages, I will be asking “Have you ever seen…?” My sermon is titled, “Seeing God”
This is the Sunday we revert back to “Sundays after Pentecost,” or as it is called in some churches, “Ordinary Time.” Our lectionary readings from the Hebrew Scriptures, or what we have called the Old Testament continue with the story of Moses and the Exodus. We pick up the story this week, having missed a bit, because of the insertion of Canadian Thanksgiving in an international lectionary. The bit we missed concerns the Golden Calf. Moses has been up the mountain communing with God for a long time, according to the Bible, almost two months. The children of Israel grow restless. They decide they want a God they can see, like the ones they were surrounded with in Egypt. They decide they will build an idol, shaped like a calf, using the collected gold from the people. Aaron, Moses’ brother, has been left in charge in Moses’ absence. He thinks this is a bad idea and tries to stall construction, but fails. The calf is built and a party (orgy) ensues. God sends Moses back down the mountain to sort things out. God is angry, Moses is so angry he breaks the tablets of the Law that he has just been given by God. The idol is destroyed, and God threatens to leave the scene altogether. Moses intercedes for the people, again. He also asks something else of God. Moses recognizes that the need to “see” God, that prompted the building of the calf is a real concern for the children of Israel. An invisible God is harder to deal with, especially when images or idols are strictly forbidden. Moses asks to see God, and that is where Sunday’s reading starts.
The Gospel also deals with images. In the context of the reading, this is in regard to paying taxes. Jesus is asked if Jews should pay Roman taxes. He asks to see a coin. It is of course a Roman coin, Israel is at that time a vassal state of the Roman Empire. Jesus asks the identity of the image stamped on the coin. The answer is “The Emperor’s.” Jesus’ response is somewhat famous, “Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” We see the face of the emperor stamped in the coin, but where do we see the face of God?
ZOOM INTO SUNDAY SCHOOL continues this Sunday, October, 18 at 10:00am
If you have someone registered for our ZOOM into Sunday School, the ZOOM link from the message sent to you three weeks ago will work. A reminder message will also be sent to all registered households.
To register send an email to the church with your child’s (children’s) name and age, along with an email address to which the ZOOM invitation can be sent.
We still have a couple of Craft Kits to be picked up or delivered.
SPIRIT WEST WORSHIP VIDEOS
Scripture Readers (there’s a change here)
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 requred.
Sharing our Celebrations (change in 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 (new announcement)
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. 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.
FINANCIAL SUPPORT (and this is not a Scam)
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.
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. Since the beginning of the year, Don and Bob have redeemed $530.35 worth of bottles from our shed for the church.
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.
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