Holy Week has arrived!

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Our staff is in full swing to make this time meaningful for our congregants, our visitors from out of town and the wider community we reach.  

If you haven’t made it to our early morning devotions, we will still have a couple days left if you’re reading this by Wednesday.  Thursday will feature Rev. Dr. Joe Davis and Derek Smithee with a dramatic presentation and Friday will feature Rev. John Corbin.  The devotions begin in Wesley Hall at 6:30 am and end at 7 am and have been well-attended so far!

Maundy Thursday worship on Thursday, March 29 at 7:00 pm in the sanctuary will feature Holy Communion for all as we consider Jesus meeting with the disciples for the institution of the sacrament.  We will also have foot washing in the East wing for those who would like to experience it (if you don’t have your feet washed, you will be in the majority).  I will be preaching on John 13:1-17, 31b-35 and my sermon title is “What Happens When I Get Tired of Serving?”  I’ll be referencing compassion fatigue as we think about this often undiscussed part of helping.  

Good Friday worship on Friday, March 30 at 7:00 pm in the sanctuary will feature the seven last words (phrases actually) of Jesus Christ.  Rev. Trey Witzel will be preaching on how we participate in the crucifixion and this will be an important meditation as we prepare for Easter.

Easter Sunday will feature a sunrise service in Wesley Hall at 7:00 am led by our youth.  My daughter, Kyla Powers, will be preaching and I look forward to simply worshiping to start my morning!  However, you may want to watch out for flying buttons coming off my shirt.

We’ll observe our regular worship times in our sanctuary at 8:30, 9:45 and 11 am.  The choir will be featured at all three services.  Worship on Hurd, our contemporary expression, will be at the normal time of 10:50 am in the sanctuary.  

I’ll be preaching all four services on Mark 16:1-8 and my sermon title will be “Sometimes Death is Easier to Embrace than Life.”  We’ll be looking at God’s triumph over fear and anxiety in our lives today.

One of the best things I hear about our congregation is the friendliness of the people.  I think that we offer our community a sense of grace and hospitality that is truly Christ-like.  However, as we anticipate larger-than-usual crowds, we need a good reminder to be extra-patient.  We especially want to be kind to parents with babies or little children.  It is not easy to get them ready for church and if this is not their routine, the children may have a more difficult time staying still.  Our nursery staff are wonderful but new visitors may not feel comfortable with leaving their child just yet.  When I hear a cry or a voice, I give thanks because I know there are many church sanctuaries that will never hear little voices again.

Lastly, I’m reminded of the story of a man visiting a church who arrived early to get a good seat.  When one of the matriarchs entered the sanctuary, she was frustrated to find the man sitting in her pew!  She promptly told him that he was in her seat (even though there was nothing designating it as such) and he quickly moved to another space.  Later in the service, the woman’s face turned red after the pastor announced how delighted they were to have their bishop visiting in worship that morning!  So you never know who you are entertaining!

I pray God’s blessings on your faith journey this week.  May you experience a blessed resurrection Sunday so that we all remember who we are!

In Christ,

Check out Sam’s Blog here:  http://precedinggrace.blogspot.com.