Friday, March 27, 2015

Pastor's Letter - March 27, 2015

Dear Friends,


It is hard to believe that the season of Lent is almost over and that we are beginning Holy Week. This Sunday we will celebrate Palm/Passion Sunday. As the service begins we will celebrate with "Hosannas!" and the waving of palm branches. As the service continues, we will reflect on the events leading up to the crucifixion.


You may wonder, "Why Palm/Passion Sunday; Why not just Palm Sunday?" If a person only attends Palm Sunday and then Easter Sunday worship, they may never take the time to reflect on the cross of Good Friday. In other words, they go from celebration to celebration. What they forget is that we don't have an Easter Sunday morning where we celebrate resurrection, without journeying through the events of Good Friday.


We have all experienced those "Good Friday" times; times of loneliness or alienation, times of grief and distress, times of despair and guilt. The cross reminds us that whatever we are experiencing, we are not alone. When we find ourselves in a place of alienation, we discover the presence of Jesus who, himself, experienced the greatest alienation through his death on the cross. In our darkest moments, Jesus, God in the flesh, is there. We realize that those "Good Friday" experiences do not have the last word. The last word comes through Easter morning; the resurrection, the promise of hope, the certainty of new life – that is good news!


I hope many of you will join us during for these events of Holy Week:


· Thursday, April 2nd at 7:00pm for a Maundy Thursday Service where we find ourselves at the Last Supper with Jesus, and where we end the service by stripping of the altar.


· Friday, April 3rd as we reflect on the events of Good Friday and the grace received through Jesus' act of sacrificial love on the cross, the sanctuary will be open from 11:00am to 7:00pm for prayer and meditation. A meditation guide will be available and you can light a candle as an expression of prayer.


I look forward to worshiping with you this Sunday. Please pray for the mission of Buckhall UMC: To make disciples of Jesus Christ.


Yours in Christ,


Linda


PS – I hope to see you all at the Easter Egg Hunt tomorrow, 3/28, from 1:00pm to 3:00pm. Please invite your friends for this time of fun and fellowship.


Easter Sunday Services


Sunrise Service – 6:30am


Easter Sunday Worship Services – 8:45am and 11:15am


Fellowship/Refreshments – 10:00am (You are invited to bring finger food to share)

Friday, March 20, 2015

Pastor's Letter - March 20, 2015

Dear Friends, 

Happy first day of spring! It has been a difficult winter, with snow, ice, cancellations, closings, and delays. We rejoice in the signs of spring; the greening of our yards, crocuses and tulips blooming, trees budding, and birds singing. For gardeners it is the time to clean up the yard, remove the dead branches, and look to preparing beds for planting. The melting snow and ice turn into rivulets that water the earth. Signs of new life are everywhere. 
 
As followers of Jesus Christ, we are attuned to the signs of new life within ourselves and witness it in the lives of others. When we realize that our prayers now begin with praise and gratitude, rather than a litany of needs; when we study God’s word and the words move from the page, into moving our hearts; when we look at the outcast with compassion, rather criticism; when abundance is no longer measured by what we have, but rather by a desire to give; when worship is something that’s not about whether my heart was moved, but rather did my worship move the heart of God – then we are seeing how God’s grace is moving, growing, changing us. Our growing and changing comes when we keep connected to Jesus Christ. 

I look forward to worshiping with you this Sunday. Please continue to pray for the mission of Buckhall UMC: to make disciples of Jesus Christ.

Yours in Christ,

Linda