As Easter Approaches

Grace and peace to you this Holy Week!  We have had a prayerful Lenten journey together these past six weeks, and in just a few short days, after the sadness of Good Friday is past, we step into the joy of Easter season. I hope that the variety of prayers I offered during Lent has enriched your prayer walk with God.  Don’t hesitate to reach out to me to share the prayers you’ve been working on. I would love some partners in mandala and labyrinth praying, if those interest you.  
 
We have been hit hard the past couple weeks with the deaths of beloved saints, most recently John Rawlings and Mary Cook Koontz.  It touches my heart when I have looked out in the congregation and seen so many of you there at the memorial services.  It speaks of both their witness to the Christian faith and the strength of your church-family ties.  Your presence and support are uplifting to the loved ones grieving. Thank you to everyone who has helped to usher, provide child-care and hospitality, and show care.   
 
Speaking of thanks, I also want to thank those who have helped with the Lenten liturgical décor in both the sanctuary and fellowship hall. The purple-draped crosses, the palm branches, and other touches go a long way to help us prepare for worship. I hope such liturgical art will continue throughout all the seasons of the church year.
 
Easter is a season that celebrates new beginnings.  New life arises from death.  We see signs of renewal in the air—the vibrant colors bursting from the ground and the blossoming trees.  It turns hearts to praise God for the beauty of the earth.  We look forward to the fellowship events coming in May on the 1st and 22nd and our Youth leading worship on May 15th.  These are reminders of the vitality of our congregation and we anticipate the many ways this congregation’s life will be renewed as the pandemic recedes (we pray) and we can gather even more freely and faithfully in worship, mission, and fellowship.
 
I hope to see you on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday at the Methodist church next door, and then at FPC on Easter Sunday at 9:00 and/or 11:00!
 
In Christ,
Pastor Nancy
 
Rev. Dr. Nancy Jo Dederer,
Transitional Pastor