April 10, 2020
"We buried him not knowing that on the third day morn a risen Christ would greet us and hope would be reborn. Though evil had extinguished the life that burned so bright, the love of God would triumph like dawn that ends the night."
Verse 5 of "We Sang Our Glad Hosannas", TFWS, #2111
One of the primary messages of Easter is that in the resurrection of Jesus love has triumphed over evil, hate, and oppression. The powers that be, both Jewish and Roman, had attempted to extinguish, not only Jesus' life, but all that he represented- compassion, kindness, goodness, and justice. For a while it seemed as though they had succeeded, but then, on the morning of the third day the Risen Christ greeted his followers and hope was reborn. This hope has been carried forward by the followers of the Risen Christ for nearly two thousand years now.
There are times though when the challenges of life in this world seem to be overwhelming and we are tempted to throw up our hands in despair. Political infighting; the spread of deadly viruses; violence in our cities and in hotspots across the world; economic woes, including the decline of the stock market, and a myriad of other challenges can lead to a sense of helplessness. Into this reality comes the annual Easter reminder that all is not lost and that because of the resurrection there is always hope for a better day. And thanks to an early spring we likewise have the ever-present reminder of new life as the crocuses make their appearance and the promise of summer looms in the background.
It seems to me that, more than most years, we are in need of Easter this year and its message of the triumph of love and justice in our world. I hope that you will enter fully into its celebration, beginning with the events of Palm Sunday, through Good Friday, and eventually to the acknowledgement of the power of the words, "Christ is risen. Christ is risen indeed. Alleluia!"
Embracing Easter Hope,
4/5 Easter Sunday/ The Fourth Sunday in Exile
Special Music: Kelly Brown and Emily Adams
Scripture: Acts 10:34-43; Matthew 28:1-10
Theme: The Risen Christ Will Meet Us in Galilee. Both the gospel writers, Matthew and Mark, point out that the Risen Christ instructed his disciples to go to Galilee where they would see him for the first time. Why Galilee? Why not Jerusalem (as Luke and John indicate)? There is good reason and that reason seems pertinent to us as we live through these challenging times.
Although we are no longer able to do the live streaming of our worship service from the sanctuary, Pastor Rich is live streaming a service from home which is available on-demand on Facebook shortly after the service. You can use the Facebook app on a smartphone, or a web browser on a computer. "Like" our page and you will be notified when we go live each Sunday.
If you choose to not use a Facebook login, you can still access the live stream during the service time from our web site home page by going to the box to the right (you may need to refresh the page if you arrive early). Previous worship services are available by scrolling down through the postings.
Please note that Pastor Rich is also live steaming a Wednesday morning devotional reflection each week as well. Just follow the directions above to watch it live or any time afterwards.
Giving During This Uncertain Time
Although we are scaling back most of our church activities which will reduce our expenses during this time, we still have staff who will be working- cleaning the church thoroughly; providing office assistance from home; offering music for our "virtual" worship services; providing pastoral care remotely, etc.- so we will still be incurring expenses that will need to be covered as best we can. To the extent that you are able please maintain your financial pledge or give regularly. Contributions can either be mailed in to the church or you can utilize our on-line giving options by going to the following web address:
Thank you for your on-going support, for your prayers, and for your faithfulness to God and one another.