We are gathering together through new and creative ways these days: Online classes, online worship, and you should be receiving a weekly phone call from a Vestry member.
And now, I invite you to prepare for “Holy Week at Home.”
Worship at Home
As a start, consider any and all of the suggestions and how-tos now available to you here on our website in the new Worship at Home section:
- How to create a sacred space/home altar and then use it regularly, to remind you that God is always present. Strongly recommend!
- How to follow the practices of Palm Sunday and Holy Week at home through prayers, foot washing, stripping your home of reminders of Jesus, making your own Paschal candle, and celebrating the Easter sunrise (7:07 a.m. this year) with special prayers and breakfast.
Stations of the Cross
We have also updated the “Stations in the Pines” section of this website, so that you can do an online walk with Jesus from his condemnation to death (Station I) to his body being laid in the tomb (Station XIV). The readings for each station are brief, but you can open/save a longer PDF version linked on the main Stations of the Cross page as well.
Also, look for a “Holy Week at Home” packet coming in the mail.
And please, take time for that Vestry phone call, to join us online, and to begin to prepare your home for the most important week of the church year. I promise if you do these things it will be clearer and easier to sense that God is here, waiting with us all, waiting for you.
I have challenging but important news to share. On March 17, our Bishop wrote a letter directing all churches to cease in-person gatherings until May 10. You can find that directive here. This means all church meetings, all renter events, and all worship services until that date are cancelled, including both Easter and Holy Week services.
What do we do now?
Despite the fact that for the next 8 weeks we will not be together in person, we remain committed to being church! We will still care for each other, connect with each other, and worship together.
- Soon, each of us will begin receiving a weekly phone call from a Vestry member to share information and check-in.
- I am working on offering an online Bible study class beginning next week (details to follow).
- And we will continue to have services online using Facebook Live at 10 a.m. on Sundays and at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday through Friday. Go to our Facebook page to participate and to watch videos of past services. You don’t have to have a Facebook account to participate.
Right now, things are happening quickly, changing every few days. I will make sure new notes go out to all of you regularly. Please do not hesitate to call, text, or write. I am holding you all in prayer.
And I ask you to remain attentive to your own prayer life. Having found ourselves forced into the Lenten discipline of less, make room for it. Do the deep, healing work that can only happen when we slow down and listen. Find time every day to get some fresh air, have a good conversation, eat something healthy, and say your prayers. A Sabbath, a break from our lives, is a commandment from God.
Almighty God, who after the creation of the world rested from all your works and sanctified a day of rest for all your creatures: Grant that we, putting away all earthly anxieties, may be duly prepared for the service of your sanctuary, and that our rest here upon earth may be a preparation for the eternal rest promised to your people in heaven; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
- A Collect for the Sabbath from Morning Prayer II, Book of Common Prayer, p. 99
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!
On Maundy Thursday, April 13, we gathered downstairs at 6 pm for an agape meal and foot washing. The meal included Middle Eastern finger foods such as dates, grapes, nuts, olives, pita bread, and cheeses. Adults had an option of wine, and the children had apple juice. As we ate, there were points when we paused to reflect on scripture. The evening included a Holy Eucharist, and after our meal, we washed each other’s feet.