2021 April news letter article
This coming Sunday is Easter Sunday, or Resurrection Day that more accurately describes the day. It is the highest point of our Christian calendar, and with good reason. Last week, we celebrated the Lord’s Supper in our worship service for the first time in a year because of the pandemic. This simple celebration, given to us by Jesus Himself, highlights Christ’s redemptive work on the cross for us. The cross, combined with the Resurrection, constitutes God’s redemptive work on our behalf. Dr. Tim Keller writes of these events in his new book Hope in Times of Fear:
“The cross and the resurrection together—and only together—bring the future new creation, the omnipotent power through which God renews and heals the entire world, into our present. When Christ paid the debt of sin on the cross, the veil in the temple was ripped from top to bottom (Matthew 27:51). That veil represented the separation of humanity from the holy presence of God. That presence had once made the earth a paradise and now, because of the death of Christ, that presence can come to us, and because of the resurrection it does come to us. The risen Christ sends us the Holy Spirit, and both Christ and the Spirit are the ‘firstfruits’ (Romans 8:23; 1 Corinthians 15:20-23), a first installment, a down payment on the future triumph over death and of a new remade material world. This renewing power from the future is only partially, but it is actual and substantial—and has entered the present world” (pages 20-21).
Resurrection Day is a great day indeed, and worthy of our best worship to God. Fortunately, with the proliferation of the COVID-19 vaccine, we can worship the resurrection in person this week, though we do require care. As you attend service, we ask that you wear a face mask, and keep proper social distance between families. Our Sanctuary, Balcony, and Fellowship Hall are available for seating. If you have not attended since last year, you will be impressed with the new video and sound capability of the Fellowship Hall (plus there are coffee and doughnuts available for Fellowship Hall worshippers). We look forward to seeing you, but if you are not yet comfortable with in-person worship, the service will be live-streamed for watching during the eleven o’clock hour and recorded for later viewing.
As a reminder our Easter Sunday events are as follows:
-Sunrise service will be live in the church cemetery Easter Sunday at 7:00 AM. This service will be recorded but not live-streamed. We ask that you wear a mask and keep proper social distancing in the cemetery service.
-Easter Sunday service in our sanctuary at 11:00 AM.
Spring is also bringing a return to some normalcy in other aspects of our church schedule. The deacons have approved a normalization of the following adult events in accordance with this schedule:
-Wednesday evening Bible study will restart at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, May 19.
-Sunday School will resume on Sunday morning, June 6 at 10:00 AM.
These restart dates are contingent that the current lack of community spread continues. Luke will discuss the children and student restart schedules. Let one of us pastors know if you need additional information on any of these changes. We will continue mid-week Bible Study videos on YouTube and “Sunday” School classes on Zoom until these services begin in person again.
Debbie and I pray you will have a worship-filled Resurrection Week experience with your family and church friends. This is a great week to invite someone to attend church with you or watch our worship services online. We look forward to seeing you as you are able to return to church.
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Rev. James A. Cohn