A Message from April
Next week, we begin Holy Week, the days when we recount Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection. In these few short days, we remember the stories that have shaped a worldwide community of believers over thousands of years. On Maundy Thursday, we reenact the story of the last meal that Jesus shared with his disciples before his death, the meal that has become for us Holy Communion, a sign of our shared life in Christ. We remember the loving and intimate moments of that meal as those who wish to do so will bend to wash one another’s feet, and have our own feet be washed, as we take our places as servants of God, and as recipients of Christ’s gift.
Our Holy Week pilgrimage begins on Palm Sunday, March 25h, when we raise shouts of “Hosanna,” and wave our palms, remembering Jesus’ triumphal entrance into Jerusalem. As the worship service continues, we hear a dramatic reading of the Gospel, punctuated by percussion, which tells of Jesus’ trial and execution. We, the congregation, add our own voices as the story unfolds, acknowledging that we, too, are witnesses of these events.
On Good Friday, we hear the story of Jesus’ arrest, trial and crucifixion. We remember how his disciples denied him, the crowds turned against him, and the injustice of it all. We will look upon the wood of the cross, with one beam reaching down to earth and stretching up to heaven, and the other one reaching out, and ponder how this cross tells us something about the nature of God. We hear the chilling words of the Gospel as Jesus, hanging on the cross, bows his head and says, “It is finished,” a reminder of the cost of love.
On the evening of Holy Saturday, we begin a wonder-filled journey through the Great Vigil of Easter. We hear the ancient stories of God’s redeeming work, from creation through the exodus and return from exile. We renew the covenant that God made with us at our baptism, and we rise with Christ from the waters, redeemed and restored.
On Easter morning, we hear of how the early apostles, both women and men, came to the tomb and found it empty. Thus began the search for Jesus Christ risen among us. When confronted by the great emptiness of the tomb gaping in front of us, we turn to the brightness of the day, which now lies wide open, full of possibility and hope.
We come together year after year, to make this journey together, to tell these stories again, to pray together for the church and for the world, to respond to Christ’s love with love of our own, to renew our commitments. We gather to remind ourselves that God’s love took the shape of the cross, and that life in Christ continues even after the grave.
We are an Easter people, people made and held by a love so great that it transcends death. We share the life of the resurrection. These stories transform us. They tell of the love that shapes and reshapes our lives, touching us again and again so that, like Jesus, we might reach our arms out to the world.
Grace and peace,
Palm Sunday | March 25
8:00 and 10:45 am
The 10:45 service begins outside in the courtyard
Maundy Thursday | March 29
Service commemorating Jesus' institution of Holy Communion and washing the disciples' feet
Saturday Children's Egg Hunt | March 31
The Annual Easter Egg Hunt for preschool through elementary aged children
Saturday Easter Vigil | March 31
This ancient service begins with the lighting of the new Easter Fire in the courtyard. Then, we move inside to recall God's mighty acts of salvation throughout the Old and New Testaments. The service includes a renewal of baptismal vows and the first announcement that "Christ is Risen!" Grace's traditional champaign toast reception will follow in the undercroft.
Easter Day | April 1
8:00 AM - Early Service
A simple service celebrating Jesus' resurrection, including communion and congregational hymns
10:00 AM - The Flowering of the Cross
All children are invited to come help decorate the Easter cross with flowers in the courtyard. You are welcome to bring flowers from your garden at home to contribute.
10:45 AM - Festival Worship
A lively, family-friendly service with full choir, hymns, and communion
Nursery Available Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday