Dear Presbyterian Church Family:
I hope and pray that this has been a blessed holy week for you and that everyone is well. These are trying times we are living in but we know this too shall pass. It is interesting how the stresses of our daily lives parallel those of Jesus during this Holy Week. Just as there are moments of triumph when someone recovers from the virus or a new baby is born, Jesus entered Jerusalem in triumph on Palm Sunday, which we celebrated in a unique way last week with our own car parade proclaiming the joy of the day. Just as we face challenges of social isolation and trying to stay well mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually, Jesus knew as the week progressed he would be facing unimaginable challenges.
We held a Maundy Thursday service to reflect on table hospitality and foot-washing and to remember Jesus’ radical love as both servant and savior. The link to that service is: https://www.facebook.com/113594018661951/videos/2705460512898597/
Today, Good Friday, we remember how God’s love was magnified through the sacrifice Jesus made for us on the cross. We held our service at 12noon today. If you missed it or want to watch it again, you can view it here: https://www.facebook.com/fpchastings/videos/251599029218433/
Today we also recorded our “Friday Feature.” This is our weekly show where a local artists reflects on the scripture of the week and shares a piece of art with us. This week our featured artist was our own Pastor Damen! He shared a song he wrote for Good Friday. You can catch that here, just like listening to a radio show:
If you would prefer to see our smiling faces, you can watch and listen to the show on YouTube by clicking here: https://youtu.be/l82jkkU0ZiY
Starting tonight at 8pm, through Easter morning at sunrise, we will hold a virtual prayer vigil. As Christians, it is important that we pray for each other and our world. The prayer vigil is an ancient tradition in the Christian church. The word vigil, from the Latin vigilia means wakefulness. It is a period of purposeful sleeplessness, an occasion for devotional watching. This prayer vigil is a time for our community of faith to come before God to acknowledge that we are the body of Christ, and to ask for God’s guidance and presence. We need that now more than ever. Even if you are alone at home, this is a community time, for this prayer vigil is an act of our entire congregation.
This year, rather than having people come to our chapel to hold vigil, we are inviting our entire church family to pick 30 minutes to an hour to pray between sunset Friday and sunrise on Easter Morning. If you think, “How could I possibly pray for that long?” have no fear! Parish Associate Kili Wenburg and our member Lanae Hall have come up with prayer resources for you, just click on this link:
We look with hopeful anticipation toward the day when everything returns to normal. In the meantime, we are grateful that we could virtually walk through this Holy Week together.
On Sunday we celebrate Easter! We will have our amazing organist and the Cathedral Brass live as well as prerecorded choir anthems. There will be a moment for children with a fun story and I will preach a sermon entitled, “Goodness is stronger than evil, Hope is stronger than fear” based on the Easter Story. Though we won’t be able to gather in-person as we usually would, we can still be together as brothers and sisters in Christ. Join us at 10:25am either on the radio at KICS 1550 AM or via Facebook live at this link: https://www.facebook.com/fpchastings/posts/3276174552403866
The bulletin for this service can be found on the church website or by clicking on the following link: https://fpchastings.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Bulletin-04.12.20_Easter-1.pdf
Your servant in Christ,