The first item in today’s Thursday eMessage is the text of a letter that I presented to the Spirit West Board last night at its monthly ZOOM meeting.
Request for Change in Pastoral Relations – effective June 30, 2021
To the Church Board and Congregation of Spirit West United Church;
Next month, on November 12, I will celebrate my 65th birthday. On May 26, 2021, I will mark 40 years of ordained ministry. These both seem like significant anniversaries, and thinking about them has led me to contemplate my future. And therefore I have decided that it is time for me to move on.
So with that brief introduction, and to use the official language of the church, I now request a Change in Pastoral Relations with Spirit West United Church effective June 30, 2021, for the purpose of retirement.
I have enjoyed my time with Spirit West, it has been a time of learning and growing for me with wonderful people. And I hope I have been able to provide some wisdom and pastoral care in the almost ten years that I have been your minister.
Blessings to you all,
Now, on to the work of the church for the coming week…
This Sunday – All Saints’ Sunday
The Scripture Readings are Revelation 7: 9-17 and Matthew 5: 1-12. In the Time for All Ages, I will talking about the, “People the Light shines through” My sermon is titled, “Blessed are you who…”
This Sunday, November 1 is All Saints Sunday as well as the actual All Saints’ Day, or if you want to connect it with the night or evening before, All Hallows Day. In a number of branches of the Christian Church, particular people have been recognized as especially close to God in their life and actions, and remain close to God after their death. And these people have been named “Saints,” either formally or through local custom or tradition. The lives and example of these “Saints” was or is marked by a commemoration, usually on the anniversary of their death. Some of these Saint’s days have passed into our secular world, with days like St. Valentine’s Day or St. Patrick’s Day. Place names reflect this tradition as well. I live in St. Albert, and in Edmonton we have St. Paul’s United Church and St. Andrew’s United Church. But this formal recognition of particularly “holy” people had clouded our understanding of what it means to be a saint. In his letters to the communities of the followers of Jesus in places like Corinth, Rome, and Ephesus, Paul calls all the members of these communities “saints,” even if he is writing to scold them for bad behavior. On Sunday, we will look at what it means to be a saint in Edmonton in 2020,
ZOOM INTO SUNDAY SCHOOL information for November and December
If you have someone registered for our ZOOM into Sunday School, a new ZOOM link was sent to you Tuesday for the ZOOM into Sunday School sessions for November and December. Remember that our clocks go back one hour on Saturday night, you don’t want to ZOOM into Sunday School an hour early this Sunday!
The craft bags for November and December are available today and tomorrow for pick up at the church during normal office hours. Please let the church know if you need you craft bag(s) delivered.
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 (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.
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