Easter is coming so fast this year! March 27. You will not get another Highlights before Easter has passed. But by the time Easter comes, we will have changed to Daylight Savings Time (March 13) and officially entered the season of Spring (March 20).
Between now and Easter Sunday, we have much going on around here. I hope you will seriously consider immersing yourself in services and learning and service opportunities that collectively move from the challenge of the cross to the hope of new life in resurrection. Engage your Lenten Journey now, not because you should but because you can, and because doing so can make a meaningfully constructive difference in your faith life. Instead of having to all of a sudden arrive at Easter in one moment, work toward it, anticipate it, wade into it one step at a time. Live and learn along the way.
Of course regular Sunday services are at 8:30am in the Chapel and 10:45am in the Sanctuary. In between the services at 9:30am, there is education for all ages with the adults engaged in an intensive Lenten Bible study. Come any or all of the following Sundays: February 28, and March 6 and 13.
On Palm/Passion Sunday, March 20, we will celebrate Confirmation with the group that has worked hard to reach that milestone in their faith lives.
On Holy Thursday, March 24 at 7:00pm, we will remember the genesis of what we now call Communion, recalling Jesus’ last supper with his disciples, recognizing the extravagant invitation to the table, giving thanks for the sustenance the ritual meal provides us in our own faith lives.
On Good Friday, March 25, we will again join with the ecumenical churches of Westminster in the annual Walk with the Cross. This year the Walk will begin at St. John Roman Catholic Church, make its way in procession accompanied by Wayne Morrison and his bagpipe to the shelter at Dutterer Park, continue on to Grace Lutheran Church, and end here at St. Paul’s with a brief worship moment in the courtyard led by Jerry Fuss. When that concludes, at about noon, we will invite the gathered crowd into our Sanctuary where we will worship in a Taize-style manner, singing, praying, sitting in silence together, lighting candles.
On Easter Sunday, we will have two worship services, the first at sunrise at Bob’s farm, gathered around the pond with the hearty core of folks that have brought that service to life for just about 10 years now. And at 10:45am, we will celebrate Easter with a full service with the choir and other aspects of tradition.
Participating in all of the services provides a balanced experience of the season, remembering the story that ties together life and death and life again. Participating in all of the services encourages slowing down, stepping out of the busy flow of life to mark with solemnity the moments that we claim are central to our faith.
Just today, one of my Seminary colleagues was talking about how her church lives for the cross, for the grim death Jesus faced, for the powerful symbol that represents the struggle Jesus experienced as a living human being whose life came to a tragic, excruciating end. My colleague is perplexed that her congregation does not seem to look with any apparent anticipation to the good news of Easter which has the potential to redeem the pain and transform lives.
At the same time, other people jump to Easter and are quite content to sail obliviously past the harder part of the narrative that comes before; they are focused on the empty tomb without any awareness of the cross, lunging, perhaps prematurely, to post-Easter bliss without a real sense of getting there as part of a transformative journey.
Ultimately, our faith rests on the cross AND the resurrection, on letting go and letting come, on past and future. Living in the balance one day at a time enriches, expands, and enhances lives of faith. Please be part of the whole process – and bring a friend or two to do the same! And together, let’s make our way toward a truly Happy Easter…