The Lord is Risen! Three times Margaret said these words to us, and three times we responded, He is Risen Indeed! on Easter Morning. It's not often that we get loud in the Episcopal church, but I think it's fair to say that we raised the roof, saying those familiar words with such joy! Did you know that there were almost 300 people in church that day?! Behind the scenes, Andree Saulnier, Leah Gassett and Susan Keefe provided Easter eggs, which were hidden (mostly in plain sight, just in case) for the little children to find during breakfast. Thank you so much!
Our Maundy Thursday service was a great blessing. I want to say thank you to all who participated - children, parents, and just a few adults who came to check it out, and told me they loved it. It was such a joy to have our small, intimate, sometimes thoughtful and sometimes joyful worship together, with little children on the quilt at the back, and older children following along with their special bulletins. At the end of the service Margaret asked us to sign one another with the sign of the cross in the palm of our hand, and it was beautiful to see an older sister instructing her younger sister on how to do this for her friend. Afterwards we joined adults for a wonderful meal made by Jenny Rosser and her team, supplemented by that nutritional essential, macaroni and cheese!
So, what's next? As the Godly Play story of the church year tells us, Easter is such a great mystery that it spills out over the next six weeks, or 50 days, until Pentecost. (Notice that “pent”in Pentecost, meaning 5, as in the 50 days?). In these weeks, we continue to rejoice that Christ is risen, but as Margaret said in her Easter sermon, the disciples had to know him in a different way now. He knew that it was time for them to do the job of sharing the Good News without his actual presence to help them - even if they were still timid and unsure. Gradually his followers set up communities, and gathered together to wash feet, eat, and break bread. They all shared what they had, and provided for the poor and suffering. And gradually people who hadn't been direct followers of Jesus, or had not even heard about him, people who were not Jews but Greek, Roman, Ethiopian, began to join these communities too. Leaders were also raised up. Peter, both despite and because of his weaknesses, such as denying Jesus the night of his death, was one of those leaders. But another great leader was not a follower of Jesus, had never seen him, and had in fact been a persecutor of Jesus followers until a moment when he was blinded by a great light and heard Jesus’voice speaking to him. This is the person we will be learning about for the Easter Season. Ask your children if they know his name!
Peace and Joy,
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