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Another Message from Pastor John

Yes, you heard from me yesterday, but here comes another one!  Just a few encouraging words to share.

“Voices of generosity”    Such faithful stewards at Grace Lutheran Church! We are blessed with an abundance of generous stewards, individually and collectively. As of today, income continues to be ahead of expenses. Furthermore,  I have received no less than 7 phone calls or emails, directly from individuals who have offered personal support to the needs of Grace, particularly if there are households or families in need.  Comments such as: “Pastor, I don’t need my stimulus check.  Let me know where I can direct it.”  Or: “In the event that our own members should be personally impacted, I want to help.”    The spirit of generosity is on the rise at Grace.  Faithful stewards.  Thank you.  It is in this spirit that I want to say:  “If there IS need, fall-out or calamity within and among households at Grace, please reach out.  Contact me.  Confidentiality will be kept.”    Thank you.

Blood Drive   Giving blood saves lives.  The “Big Red Bus” will be in the church parking lot Thursday, April 30th 10:00AM – 3PM.  Giving blood is not everyone’s cup of tea, but the need is great.  COVID19 has decreased blood donations, but the need has not decreased.  Rather it has increased.

Sunday online Worship –April 26   Log in on Facebook at 10AM this Sunday for a “Premiere Video” of worship at Grace.  The Gospel for the 3rd Sunday of Easter is Luke 24 – “The Emmaus Disciples”.  Sermon title:  “On the Road.  At the Table”.  Great music!  Easter Hymns. Trumpet.  “Spirits on Fire” offering glory and praise.  Prayers of the People.  Nicene Creed.  Benediction.  Join in  –  you can  ‘talk live’ with other friends and members online.  Doors of the church will not be open this Sunday.  A copy of the readings and music are attached. 

People of Grace,

   Easter is different this year.  Life is different!   We are called to be adaptive, to be resilient, to roll with the punches, to rise to the challenge.   So this Easter (yes, it’s still Easter!) I’ll ask two things of you:

#1.  Rejoice   #2.  Pray

“Rejoice” – Be of good cheer.  Rise up each day with a song to face the world.

“Pray”  – Be thankful – fervent – faithful.  Lift up your hearts to the Lord.

Remember the “12 Days of Christmas?”  Twelve days to celebrate the birthing of God in the world.

The Incarnation – God’s Presence – signed, sealed and delivered.  And the Church celebrates.

But that is 12 days.  Easter is 50 days: 7 weeks of 7 days. Then we are folded into Pentecost on day 50.

For 7 weeks of 7 days the Church celebrates, leaving no stone unturned, for ‘THE STONE WAS ROLLED AWAY”.   Nothing could keep the Lord of Life locked in a location that the world had set aside for death.

“He is not here. He is Risen, as he said.”  Even the stones themselves would cry out (Luke 19:40)

So the church celebrates. Does the church ever celebrate!  Even more than at Christmas.

Hope is on the rise.  New Life is coming.  Resilient witness is what we give:  A word of hope spoken here.  A prayer of thankfulness heard there.  A confident promise of trust sounded in silent voids.

So I’ll say it again.  This Easter, do two things:   Rejoice.   Pray.   These are the twin daughters of the Resurrection:  “Prayer” and “Rejoicing”.    This is the antidote to worry, fear and anxiety.  It is also the most hopeful, helpful thing that you can inject into the world around.  Easter IS different, so that you can be different!    

Alleluia!  Christ is Risen.  He is Risen indeed.  Alleluia!

                                                                                      Pastor John

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