Yesterday I went to the store to buy Easter cards for my mom and our daughter Maggie. There must have been 50 different choices of cards - some with bunnies, some with pastel colored eggs, others with spring scenes of brightly colored flowers. The cards were all quite lovely, yet not a single one had any kind of reference to what Easter is really about. There were no "Alleluias", no depictions of an empty tomb, no "He is Risens", no wishes for a new life in Christ, not even a single cross (well, there was one with a cross kind of in the background but it didn't have anything to do with the message of the card.) It made me sad but also thankful for the opportunities for worship we have this most holy of all weeks. I do hope that you will be able to experience Jesus' last meal with his disciples, his commandment to love one another and the deep darkness of the day he was crucified. On Sunday, I hope you will come to one of our services and know the true joy of Easter: the love of God made real for us through the one who once was dead but now is very much alive!
Here are the opportunities for worship this week:
Thursday, 7:00 pm Maundy Thursday worship at St. Mark
Friday, 7:00 pm Good Friday worship at Zion
Sunday, 7:00 am Celebration of the Resurrection at St. Mark, followed by pot-luck breakfast
Sunday, 10:00 am Celebration of the Resurrection at Zion, followed by pot-luck brunch
Pastor Terrie Sternberg of Trinity Lutheran Church in Pulaski shares that the Palliative Care team at Lewis Gale-Pulaski has a great need for prayer shawls for patients and families going through serious long-term illnesses. The shawls can be knitted or crocheted; they can also be fleece with tied fringe, just something to go over the lap or shoulders. This request has no time frame associated with it... the need is immediate but also ongoing. If you would like to make a shawl for this program, you can give it to me and I'll make sure it gets to the right place.
We learned about the ministry of ELCA during our Lenten meal and study Wednesdays. The ELCA has a goal of raising $2 million for World Hunger during this Lenten season. For our part, we decided to ask people to donate $1 for each day of Lent or $40 total. This is just a guideline; please feel free to give whatever you are able. You may contribute by writing a check to St. Mark or Zion and putting ELCA World Hunger on the comment line. We will pool the donations and send one check to the ELCA. Thank you all for your participation each Wednesday and for contributing to a ministry that is so needed in this country and around the world.
Want to walk across Virginia? Virginia Cooperative Extension invites us to "Go Fast. Go Slow. Just Go," by forming teams of six people who will pledge to pool our walking miles over an 8 week period, with a goal of covering the 420 miles of Virginia's length. We will also commit to eating at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. This is an opportunity to shake off the slothful habits of winter and get motivated to improve our diets and overall quality of life. The program costs just $2 person and runs from April 3 to May 28. I'm ready to get started. Won't you join me on this fun venture? You can learn more about the program at www.Fit-EX.org. Let me know if you want to join!
Dick Geissler remains a patient at Lewis Gale Hospital in Blacksburg; he is receiving physical therapy and is showing some signs of improvement. Some have asked for Dick and Diane's home address; it is 205 Midkiff Road, Floyd, VA 24091. Let us pray for healing and hope for the Geisslers and all those who love them.