“Yet you are he who took me from the womb; you made me trust you at my mother’s breasts. On you was I cast from my birth, and from my mother’s womb you have been my God. Be not far from me, for trouble is near, and there is none to help.” Psalm 22:9-11
Here we are, at the midpoint between ashes and cross. We said these words in morning prayer today and we will hear them again in just a few weeks.
How is Lent going? As you have said no to certain comforts and said yes to spiritual practices, what have you heard God saying? What has been hard? How has He surprised you with grace? (If this note is reminding you that it is Lent, fear not! It’s a long season. There is no shame in starting or restarting your Lenten choices now. The point is to make space for God and you can do that… even now.)
One of the joys of our liturgical calendar is the excitement that comes from being able to anticipate what is on the horizon: Easter! I invite you to take a few moments to gaze forward and to imagine with me what could happen in April.
We intend to offer in-person and YouTube Livestreamed services on Palm Sunday (March 28), Maundy Thursday (April 1), Good Friday (April 2), and The Great Vigil of Easter (April 3).
For Easter Sunday, the staff and vestry are working on a plan that will offer multiple and varied worship opportunities- in our sanctuary, outside, and on our YouTube Live channel.
The sign-up genius for all Holy Week and Easter services will open on March 24. We look forward to worshiping with you!
Stations of the Cross- in our sanctuary and outside on our property
Our RestoArts team has created an outdoor Stations of the Cross experience. It will be installed on our property at Restoration this week. Our hope is that these outdoor, visual guides (which match the art that is hanging inside our sanctuary) will provide an opportunity for more folks to journey with the Lord during Holy Week and before. We have created a self-guided liturgy that can be accessed through a QR code at the first station. I hope you will incorporate this walk of grief and of hope into your Lenten practice.
After Easter. April 11 and beyond.
Our staff and vestry are working on a plan that will increase our in-person, in-sanctuary worship opportunities. We hope to be able to offer on Sunday mornings both an in-person early service which will be live-streamed and an in-person later service. The exact times are still being determined.
We continue to be grateful for our incredible Kids’ Small Groups staff and volunteers. At this stage in the pandemic, there are many conversations about schools, learning, and being ‘together’. Please pray for our staff and leaders as we consider the coming 6 months of Kids’ Small Groups and all of the transition that is happening in our community. I love all of the teaching and activities we are offering now and I trust that the Lord will lead us as we navigate this coming season.
It has been our joy to offer the Eucharist, outside, on Wednesdays at noon in 2021. We have enjoyed seeing you and worshiping with you. You can come today! We will continue this practice through Holy Week and then we will stop as we move into spring. March 31 will be our last mid-week Eucharist.
Finally, many of you have been praying for housing for our new Director of Worship Arts, Chris Stephens. Thank you! It brings me great joy to announce that your prayers have been answered. The Stephens family has temporary housing for April-June through a family in our church. They will move here during Holy Week. Chris will lead worship for us on Easter. The kids will stay connected to their NY schools through the end of the academic year and the family will be able to look for permanent housing starting this summer, from Arlington. Thank you for praying. Thank you God for providing. Let’s keep praying for a permanent home!
Psalm 22 ends, ‘…they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn, that he has done it.’ Amen! Yes, He has. What a great God we serve. I am praying that you have many opportunities to draw near to Him as we continue in Lent.