There are some brand new announcements in this eMessage, please ensure you see them.
WORLD COMMUNION SUNDAY
This Sunday is in World Communion Sunday. For churches like the United Church which do not celebrate Communion every Sunday, this first Sunday of October is the date that has been chosen to celebrate this remembrance of the Last Supper together. So while churches such as the Roman, Orthodox, Anglican and Lutheran celebrate the Eucharist this Sunday as they do every Sunday, they will be joined around the world by the churches such as ours, the Presbyterian, United Reform and others of the Reform tradition as we too gather at the Lord’s Table. There is an image I have, based on some of my reading on the communion of saints, of the celebration at the Communion Table being a focal point that connects us not only with God in a special way, but with the whole Christian community, not just worldwide, but encompassing all the faithful, past, present and future.
The readings for this Sunday are taken from the Lectionary for Creation Time, and include Psalm 104: 24-35 and Matthew 24: 31-45. We see a contrast between the divine generosity of creation, and what God expects from “the nations” in response to this generosity. With the children I will be talking about, “Sharing, sharing, sharing.” The sermon is titled, “The Nations will be Gathered.”
ANNOUNCEMENTS, ANNOUNCEMENTS, ANNOUNCEMENTS (in church)
The Worship Committee is asking that in order to facilitate an effective and efficient process, please have your announcements in to the church office by Wednesday at noon so that they can be included in the Sunday announcements sheet and in the Thursday eMessage.
We have resumed Sunday School. Come join the fun as we learn together the stories of our faith through the Seasons of the Spirit.
We could still use a few people who are willing to give some time as teachers or helpers. If you are interested call the office or sign your name on the Sunday School sign-up sheet by the church office.
Journeys in Faith (Church Membership Program) continues This Sunday
This Sunday is the last Sunday for the Journeys in Faith Membership Program. For those involved please remember your homework is to read the United Church’s Song of Faith and be able share ways in which this Song touches your personal Song of Faith. The link is http://www.united-church.ca/beliefs/statements/songfaith.
CLEANING AND REFINISHING THE LOWER HALL FLOOR (help wanted)
As some of you will have noticed, the floor in the Lower Hall is not in very good shape in places. Brian T. in discussion with the Operations Committee would like to work on the floor during the Thanksgiving Long Weekend, when we can limit the use of the hall. Brian cannot do this alone. We are asking for your help. If you can spare some time during the long weekend to help Brian, please call the church office as soon as possible. The alternative to in-house labour is to hire a company to do the job, and pay them with money we don’t have!
FALL SUPPER AND SILENT AUCTION on October 18th
Mark Sunday, October 18th on your calendars as the date for the Spirit West Fall Supper and Silent Auction. At the Welcome Table by the church door you will find letters of introduction that you may take to businesses you think might wish to donate an item or items to the silent auction. There are two versions of the letter, one to give to businesses in the West End and the other for business in other parts of Edmonton or the surrounding area. More details about the event will follow. Watch this space!
WHAT IS INTERCULTUAL MINISTRY IN THE UNITED CHURCH?
The Intercultural Ministry Committee under the Ministry and Congregational Support Team of Edmonton Presbytery invites you to an exciting opportunity to learn and understand about Intercultural Ministry within the United Church of Canada.
The United Church of Canada endorsed becoming an Intercultural Church in 2006. Almost a decade later there are exciting initiatives happening. There is an incredible opportunity to learn from our General Council Staff member for Intercultural Engagement, Adele Halliday, how our churches can become truly transformed through Intercultural Ministry.
The Intercultural Ministry Committee is looking for four people from each congregation to attend this exciting event. An attempt has been made to accommodate as many schedules as possible, and therefore the new Intercultural Ministry Facilitator, Yoon Ok Shin, has planned for both an afternoon and evening session of identical material.
Wednesday, October 28th, 2015 at Avonmore United Church at either 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. or 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Contact the Church office if you are interested, so that we can register you with the Presbytery.
UNITED CHURCH RESPONSE TO THE REFUGEE CRISIS IN SYRIA
As you know, the conflict in Syria has led hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes in search of a better and safer life. This massive migration of people has created huge challenges in Europe and around the world. As Canadians and as people of the United Church we have a wonderful history of welcoming the stranger and refugee to our country even when the government was not as eager in its welcome. Some weeks ago the Globe and Mail did a editorial piece that looked at Canada’s official response to refugee crises. At the government level, and the party in power seems to make little difference, the Canadian response has been mixed at best. A Brief History of Canada’s Response to Refugees can be found at http://ccrweb.ca/en/brief-history-canadas-responses-refugees . It appears that the welcoming of the dispossessed to Canada has been, in large measure, the result of public pressure and action.
There is opportunity for us to act in the current situation. Both our Moderator, the Rt. Rev. Jordan Cantwell, and the Alberta and Northwest Conference, the Rev. Paul Walfall, has written open letters to churches calling on us to act in the current crisis.
From the Moderator: http://www.united-church.ca/communications/news/moderator/150911
From the ANW Conference President: http://albertanorthwestconference.ca/13921-welcoming-our-neighbours/
The Conference President has asked that each Presbytery in the Conference sponsor two Syrian families. He recognized that there are Congregations which, while willing, would not have the resources to raise the $30,000 - $35,000 required for the sponsorship of one family. Edmonton Presbytery at their most recent meeting, agreed in principle to this request. However, the details of how this will be done is still being worked on.
At the meeting last night, your church board agreed in principle to participate in the Presbytery’s plan once finalized, and that members and adherents of Spirit West would be given the opportunity to support this project through a onetime special offering a some point in the near future.
If you are moved to a more immediate response, please check out the this page at the United Church of Canada website: http://www.united-church.ca/communications/news/response/150911 This page offers a link so that you may donate directly to the United Church’s Emergency Response Fund and designate your gift for “Syrian refugees” And as noted on the page “As part of the United Church’s Emergency Response Fund, 85 percent of your donation will go directly to Syria relief, while 15 percent will be used to support emergencies that do not receive intense media coverage and response. No administration fees will be deducted from your donation. Regular donations to the Mission and Service Fund enable the United Church to absorb staffing and administration costs of emergency response work.”
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 email@example.com . 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.
SPIRIT WEST ONLINE!
Our Website is at www.spiritwest.org .
Our Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/SpirtWestUnitedChurch
- Monday to Friday 9:30 – 2:30
- Norma => 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, Monday to Friday (October)
- Larry => 9:30 am to 2:30 pm, Tuesday to Friday
See you Sunday,
(Rev.) Larry K. Wright, CD, BA, MDiv
Spirit West United Church