Good Morning Church!

We have made it to the Wednesday of Holy Week. We are slowly getting to the end of the week, we are getting closer to the cross and the resurrection. I hope you have been taking time this week for yourself, but also to reflect on this week.  While it has felt like we have been living in this Lenten season for much longer than 40 days, hope is coming and so is the Risen Lord. We only need to wait a few more days…
There are many chances for worship this week: 
Maundy Thursday: we will be gathering over Zoom at 7pm for our worship service.  Our Sunday Zoom worship link will work for Maundy Thursday as well! We will share in communion and will journey closer to the cross with the stripping of the altar at the end of the service. Here is an explanation from the UMC Discipleship Ministries website on the significance of Stripping the Altar. The ancient practice of stripping the Lord’s table and sanctuary following communion is a vivid and dramatic way of showing the desolation and abandonment of the long night in Gethsemane and what followed. Designated persons pick up the cloths on the Lord’s table and the pulpit and other hangings, banners, candlesticks, and decorations and quietly carry them from the sanctuary. This may be done in silence, or Psalm 22 (UMH 752) may be used. The church then remains bare until the Easter Vigil, when the process is reversed.” Once the last item has been moved from the altar and Shanelle has finished her music our time of worship will be over and our Zoom meeting will end. 
Good Friday: we again will be gathering at 7pm over Zoom for our worship service. The Zoom link that you use for our Sunday worship services, will work for Good Friday as well! Our worship service is called “A Service of Shadows” we will be hearing Matthew’s account of the Passion. Again, once Shanelle has finished with her postlude our time of worship will be over and our Zoom meeting will end. 
Easter Sunday: gathering will begin at 10:20am on Zoom and Shanelle will start her prelude a little before 10:30am. With our worship starting at 10:30am, we will celebrate our Risen Lord and welcome our Alleluia! sign back into the church during our Opening Hymn. We will also celebrate communion together. Our altar will be adorned with all of the Easter flowers that were purchased by the congregation. You may come and pick up your flowers from 9am-1pm on Monday April 5th, Vivian will be here to help you with them. 
As a reminder I will be on vacation from Monday April 5th to Monday April 12th. The pastoral team at Church of the Savior will be taking care of any pastoral care needs that may come up. Please contact Carolyn Cacho Bowman or Phil Holland Sr. if you need anything during this time. Any messages that come in during the week will be addressed when I am back in the office on Tuesday April 13th. If you need something before that, please reach out to Vivian, Carolyn Cacho Bowman, or Phil Holland Sr. This also means that there will not be a weekly Pastor email next week, just means the following weeks will be filled with news! 
Charlie Stehlik will be preaching and leading worship on April 11th while I am away. 
Attachments to look at: Alleluia Butterfly, Maundy Thursday Bulletin, Good Friday Bulletin, picture of our Palm Sunday altar done by Kari Queen
Our scripture for Sunday: Isaiah 25:6-9, Acts 10:34-43, and John 20:1-18. I also suggest reading the Passion this week from each Gospel Matthew 26:-27, Mark 14-15, Luke 22-23, John 18-19
Our prayer for this week comes from The Worship Sourcebook: 
Breath of God,
quiet our hearts, 
hush our lips,
open our eyes,
and fill us with holy wonder
as we look to Jesus,
our host, your servant, our Lord. Amen
May the rest of this week land gently on you all. 
Grace and Peace,
Pastor Megan