Easter offering was $3,305! Hallelujah!

This year, people are hurting. They need help with basics like food more than ever.

So, our Outreach Committee decided to designate our Easter offering to be shared 50/50 between two food pantries: the Family Network of Wyoming where we donate food and paper goods each month, and The Green Apple where we will (someday again) volunteer.

Photo of two girls looking at canned goods in a food pantry

Hallelujah! Together we sent in $3,305 (in addition to our regular pledge donations), and that has now been split and checks mailed to the two pantries. Let us bless the Lord!

Video yourself saying “Let us bless the Lord!”

This year, our Easter message is Alleluia Anyway! And Father Peter put together a great video of so many of us recording that message!

Now, he’s asking us to stop for a second or two during our “daily grind” and video ourselves and our families saying our final proclamation for our Sunday services: Let us bless the Lord! He plans to “drop” the videos into our Facebook Live Sunday services as long as we can’t be worshipping in person.

Here’s how!

  1. Record a very short video (3-5 seconds) of you and/or your family proclaiming, “Let us bless the Lord!
  2. Email it to: preachingpastorpete@gmail.com.

That’s it! Thanks for participating!

Success! Easter offering = plane tickets for Jacob’s family!

The Holy Trinity family has done it again! We dedicated our Easter offering to bringing Jacob Chol’s wife, Kuany, and their three children from Nairobi to Grand Rapids, and we did it!  Read Jacob’s story.

With the grand total raised at more than $6,000, Jacob was able to buy the plane tickets this week. He will be reunited with his family when they arrive at the Grand Rapids airport on Saturday, May 18. Alleluia! God is good!

Look for plans soon about joining the welcoming party at the airport when the family arrives.

Our Easter offering goes to … plane tickets?

This year, our Easter offering will go towards reuniting Jacob Chol, a refugee from Sudan who came here in 2001 and became a citizen in 2008, with his wife Kuany and their three children. Read Jacob’s story in the Outreach section of this website.

Kuany and the kids just received visas last month, and the only thing standing between them in Nairobi and Jacob here in Grand Rapids are … plane tickets.

Father Pete and the Outreach committee already have $1,500 of the $3,000 to $4,000 needed. Our plan is to contribute the Easter day offering in hopes that we can raise enough to bring the family here.

Please be generous

Use the special Easter offering envelope if you have envelopes, or you can mail us a check at the church address: 5333 Clyde Park Ave. SW, Wyoming, MI, 49509. Just write “For Jacob and family” on the memo line of your check.

If all goes well, they will be reunited by June, before the end of the Easter season!

Egg decorating party & Easter Egg Hunt on Sat. April 20

Saturday, April 20 is our annual Easter egg decorating party, followed by the always popular egg hunt!

Bring your kids, baskets, and some hard-boiled eggs.  We’ll supply the egg dyes, stickers, crayons, plus some candy-filled plastic eggs and more. The fun starts at 10:30 a.m.

Once we’re finished decorating the eggs, adults will hide them around our grounds. Then we send the kids off to find the eggs, youngest kids first. It’s a fun time for everyone and we usually finish up right before noon. See you there!

Join us for Holy Week

Let’s bring our whole selves to follow Jesus as he enters Jerusalem in triumph on Palm Sunday, gives his life to a humiliating death for us, and rises again.

Palm Sunday, April 14
10 a.m.: Procession of the Palms and Holy Eucharist

Maundy Thursday, April 18
6 p.m.:  Middle Eastern meal followed by foot washing. Please bring some  finger foods to be shared: Figs and other finger fruit such as grapes; cheese; veggies; pita or naan breads; hummus; olives; smoked fish; nuts.

Good Friday, April 19
12 noon: Devotion of the Cross
7 p.m.: Stations of the Cross outdoors in the pines. Meet behind the Rectory (the house across the parking lot from the church). We’ll hold a Taize service in the church afterwards.

Holy Saturday, April 20
10 a.m.: Egg decorating and Easter egg hunt
10:30: Altar Guild cleaning – all hands needed!

Easter, April 21
8:30: Celebration breakfast. Please sign up in the narthex so we know how many folks to expect.
10 a.m.: Festive Holy Eucharist –  Bring bells to ring for all alleluias!

Easter season lasts for 50 days

During the Palm Sunday service, Deacon Brad Allard blessed Easter baskets collected for children at the women’s crisis shelter.

 

On Holy Saturday, volunteers made preparations for the Easter Sunday breakfast.

 

 

 

 

 

Simultaneously, additional volunteers led children through Easter egg coloring indoors and an Easter egg hunt outside. After the hunt, several children played on the activity set.

 

On Easter Sunday, the entire congregation was treated to omelets made to order. Volunteers visited each table, took orders, and then delivered the omelets to the tables.

 Our Lord has risen! Now let us celebrate through Pentecost. Alleluia!

Easter 2017 Message

It’s taken me some years to realize it, but Jesus didn’t just happen to be in Jerusalem on that first Palm Sunday. He wasn’t on vacation. He wasn’t just hanging out in town. Jesus was in Jerusalem on purpose. He arrived in Jerusalem about the time of the Passover when pilgrims were in the city. When people’s hopes and expectations for the dawn of freedom that Moses had promised in the first Passover might suddenly be realized for them in their time.

Jesus arranged his entrance into Jerusalem to send a message. He entered the city, having come in on one side of the city, the scholars tell us, at just about the same time that Pontius Pilate made his entrance on the exact opposite side of the city. Pilate, coming forth on a warhorse. Pilate, with soldiers around him. Pilate, with the insignias of Rome’s Empire. Pilate, representing the Caesars who claimed to be son of god. Pilate, who had conquered through Rome the people of Jerusalem. Pilate, representing the Empire that had taken away their freedom. Pilate, who represented the Empire that would maintain the colonial status of the Jewish people by brute force and violence.

Jesus entered the city on the other side, not on a warhorse, but on a donkey, recalling the words of Zechariah:

Behold your King comes to you
Triumphant and victorious is He
Humble and riding on a donkey

Jesus entered the city at the same time as Pilate to show them, and to show us, that God has another way. That violence is not the way. That hatred is not the way. That brute force and brutality are not the way.

Jesus came to show us there is another way. The way of unselfish, sacrificial love. That’s why he entered Jerusalem. That’s why he went to the cross. It was the power of that love poured out from the throne of God, that even after the horror of the crucifixion would raise him from death to life.

God came among us in the person of Jesus to start a movement. A movement to change the face of the earth. A movement to change us who dwell upon the earth. A movement to change the creation from the nightmare that is often made of it into the dream that God intends for it.

He didn’t just happen to be in Jerusalem on that Palm Sunday. He went to Jerusalem for a reason. To send a message. That not even the titanic powers of death can stop the love of God. On that Easter morning, he rose from the dead, and proclaimed love wins.

So you have a blessed Easter. Go forth to be people of the Resurrection. Follow in the way of Jesus. Don’t be ashamed to love. Don’t be ashamed to follow Jesus.

Have a blessed Easter. And bless the world. Amen.

The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church