Dear Church Family,
Spring is in the air! Sunny days are becoming more common as the winter’s greyness dissipates. The same sun brings warmth, even if only gradually. The grass is greening. Daffodils are blossoming as are magnolias. I love seeing the landscape change from day to day. It reminds me that as creation unfurls into a new season, so also our Creator is doing something new. Throughout our “Love Life; Live Lent” sermon series, we are allowing the words of scripture to call us back to see the goodness of creation, the goodness of life, and the goodness of God.
In the final weeks of Lent, we are taking our final steps to the foot of Christ’s cross and to Easter’s empty tomb. Holy Week is a sacred journey as we take those steps more intentionally, pausing to worship, opening our hearts once more to the new life we have in Christ. We are beginning our Holy Week journey on Palm Sunday, April 10, with the procession of the palms at our regularly scheduled 10 a.m. worship time. We then will observe the triduum, the three holy days, beginning with Maundy Thursday, April 14, worship at 6:30 p.m.. During this service, we will recount the institution of the Eucharist, or Lord’s Supper, as well as stripping the altar in preparation for Good Friday. On Good Friday, we will be offering two devotional, worship opportunities. The first, Stations of the Cross, will be at 12:15 p.m. The second will be our traditional Tenebrae service at 6:30 p.m., when we will journey to Gologatha and hear Christ’s passion. On April 16, Holy Saturday, we will celebrate the Easter Vigil. This service features the first Resurrection Alleluias. We are reminded of God’s saving acts throughout history. This service traditionally features the sacrament of Holy Baptism and receiving new members into the church. I invite you to reach out to me if you or someone you know would like to be baptized or received into membership at Community of Hope. Finally, on Sunday, April 17, we will celebrate Christ’s Resurrection at our Easter Sunday worship at 10 a.m. If you have not been to Community of Hope in a while, these services are a wonderful way to reconnect with your church family.
In this newsletter, you will also see all the ways new life happening here at Community of Hope this Spring, including information about the Mission Garden, our Easter Egg Hunt on April 8, and so much more! As Spring transitions into summer, there are incredible happenings here that will take place here at church. Most notably, we are thrilled to welcome J.J. Warren as our guest preacher on Sunday, June 26. J.J. has been a highly sought-after preacher and speaker since his impassioned speech at 2019 General Conference went viral on the internet. Shortly thereafter, his book Reclaiming Church was published by Abingdon Press. He will be here all weekend, including a special presentation, Q &A session, and book signing event on Saturday, June 25. I invite and encourage you to mark your calendars for that very special weekend!
God is on the move here at Community of Hope. And I am excited to see where God takes us in these months ahead. I hope and pray that you all will join me on that journey.
Sincerely, in Christ
Pastor Keith Turner