April 13, 2017

Dear FUMC Family,

I’m writing a day earlier this week to invite you to join us for worship tonight at 7 p.m. as we observe Maundy Thursday together.  The word “Maundy” comes from the Latin word mandatum, or commandment.  We come to the Lord’s Table remembering the great commandment Jesus gave on this night, that we should love one another.

Tomorrow is Good Friday and we have two opportunities to mark and remember this most sacred day in the life of our faith.  We’ll join with our brothers and sisters in Belmont at Holy Comforter Lutheran Church for a Community Cross Walk at noon.  We’ll journey through downtown together, pausing to remember Jesus’ journey to the cross.

Tomorrow night we have a very special Service of Tenebrae at 7 p.m.  We’ll hear the Passion Story interspersed with beautiful, stunning music from our choir.  Gradually, the lights will dim to total darkness in remembrance of the darkness Christ experienced on the cross for our salvation.

Sunday morning, join us at 7 a.m. for our Community Sunrise Service in Greenwood Cemetery.  Then, plan to join us for our Easter Sunday Services of Worship at 8:30 and 11:00 a.m. Both services will include tremendous music and the Celebration of Holy Communion.  At 9:30, join us in Carpenter Hall for a delicious and festive Easter Breakfast.  And, we DO have Sunday School this week.  Adult classes will meet for a combined lesson in Carpenter Hall.

This is surely the holiest week of our year together.  For our church staff, it is also one of the busiest.  I hope you’ll join me in expressing thanks to them for all their hard work to make our worship, prayer and journey with Christ so meaningful throughout this week, and all year long.  We are blessed beyond measure by the gifts they offer to us!

Holy Week always takes me back in my mind and memories to churches where I’ve worshipped and people I’ve been blessed to serve in ministry through the years.  I’m grateful for those memories.  Even more, I feel so fortunate to serve as your pastor now.  I hope and pray God’s blessings will be with you this week, leading you to a new experience of the gift Christ has given, and the life and hope he makes possible.  To quote Leslie Weatherhead, may the love manifested in these days “stream into our hearts, challenging and subduing them and winning from us that response which is thy will for us.”

In Christ,