Grace and peace be with you this week.
Join Bruce and me at 7 PM Maundy Thursday for an informal time of worship around our dining room table. I'm not sure yet if this will be a Zoom gathering or a Facebook Live service - watch your inbox for updates on Wednesday!
At 7 PM Good Friday, we will observe a service of Tenebrae (shadows). If you would be willing to read a bit of scripture for that service, I would love for you to do that - many voices bring the story to life. Please e-mail me to let me know of your availability, and I will give you a passage to read.
Easter morning is going to be quite different! I invite you to join with others around the world who will be going outside to sing "Christ the Lord Is Risen Today" from their front porches or driveways at 8 AM! I'll be sending you the words so you can print them out if you need them. Bruce and I will be going live on Facebook at 8 AM Easter morning to do this, and I hope you will join us! Then go have breakfast and come back at 9:30 for an adapted First Service of Easter. We will bring in the Light of Christ, hear the story of salvation from the beginning of creation, reaffirm our baptismal promises, and stamp out the devil with St. John Chrysostom's Easter Homily. Get ready to make some noise!
If you have been observing a Wesleyan fast during the season of Lent, I suggest that you fast from sundown Friday to Saturday afternoon, instead of Thursday-to-Friday as we do most weeks. May your fasting and prayer be especially meaningful to you during this time.
Finally, I do have a bit of personal news to share with you. It is Bishop Ough's intention to appoint me as Interim Pastor to Willmar United Methodist Church, effective July 1, 2020, and I have affirmed that intention. My last Sunday with you will be June 14th, and Rev. Matt Kennedy will be preaching and leading worship on June 21st. Pastor Nick Scutari's first Sunday with you (and my first Sunday in Willmar) will be June 28th.
Bruce and I have been so blessed to be with you in ministry these past seven years. We have grown to love you dearly, and we will miss you. It will be particularly difficult to say goodbye to you all if the 'stay home' order extends beyond mid-June, and my last Sunday with you has to be online instead of in person, but I am content to leave that in God's hands. My heart is filled with gratitude for you, and for all we have shared together. God's peace be with you this week and always.
Pastor Jo Anne