"I was thinking..."
I was thinking…Pastor Steve
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 4: 23 – 25 (NIV)
I was thinking about the events over the last few years. Churches across the world have seen their attendance drop due to Covid-19. We were not immune. I'm not sure what our average has been, maybe around 30 or so, with some Sundays at 28 and others around 40. Last year in May, we had 50 for two weeks in a row! The interesting part about that was, the first Sunday was a surprise but the next Sunday was JoAnn Weller and Will Hildebrant's Memorial service, so their families were in attendance that Sunday, about 15 or so. So, my question was, "What happened to the 15 that were there the previous Sunday? If they had been there, we would have had 65!" I know many of you travel, but I pray that the virus is at a low point and many of you will feel comfortable in worshiping in person soon.
That being said, we will have several options for the week leading up to Easter, also known as Resurrection Sunday. On Thursday of that week, we will have Holy Thursday. We will commemorate the Last Supper that Jesus had with His disciples. Communion will be served with our individual cups at the conclusion so that this church is in connection that night.
Then, on Good Friday, we will hold a Tenebrae service. If you haven't attended one of these, it's also called a Service of Darkness, and I think you will find it interesting. We will have candles lit on the altar and two people will alternate reading Scripture. After the verses are read, we will sing a verse and chorus of a song as one of the candles is snuffed out. By the end of the service, all of the candles will be out and we will leave in silence. This is to remember that, on that Friday, the Light of the World was buried in the tomb and the joy would come, but not until the Third Day!
On Saturday, Diana, Rhonda, and Lisa will host an Easter Egg hunt for any and all children. Invite your neighbors' kids and bring the kids and grandchildren,. I was at the last one they did, and it was fun! Plus, Lisa did a wonderful teaching on the story of Jesus using a dozen eggs.
Then we will wrap it all up with a celebration on Sunday morning, remembering that Jesus is a Resurrected Savior who has kept all of His promises. We'll start with a 30 minute, 9 am Sunrise service, followed by a carry-in breakfast (which is handy since that's also our third Sunday). Amen and Hallelujah!! Of course, we will have our regular worship service at 10:45 am, but there will not be any Sunday School that morning.
I would encourage all of you to attend one or all of these services. I think you'll be blessed. And let's try to get back to the level of attendance we had just before the world went nuts. As always, I have been super impressed with the level of giving in this fellowship. Not only have you all continued to support the church and any needs that come up, but you have gone above and beyond for each ministry that has been our focus each month. I have been pleasantly surprised with the totals, especially in contrast with our attendance.
There are some opportunities that are available soon. We each have a gift; one or more of these may be yours! Don’t be stingy; share your gift with your church. You may start your utilizing or learning your gift early if you want. There is a list of opportunities in this newsletter. Check them out.
You are examples of the first part of the verse above. "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds." But may we not get in the habit of worshiping from home. "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching." Stay encouraged and God bless.