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From our Pastor:  Woodside Road

Dear Friends,

       If you have been able to join us in worship this Lenten season, you know that we are journeying day by day through Mark’s gospel and his description of the events of Holy Week. As April approaches we will be remembering Maundy Thursday on April 2nd and Good Friday on April 9th. Both of these worship services will involve extended readings from Mark’s gospel: on April 2nd we will read most of Mark 14 and on the ninth we will read most of Mark 15. If you would like to participate in either of these worship services as a reader, please let me know. If you’d like to participate in the worship service by coloring, the Stations of the Cross coloring sheets that the kids have been working on will continue to be available as well!

       Along with these extended readings the order of worship and to some extent the content of these services will be different from what we typically do on Sunday mornings. We will not have a hymn sing on either of these Sundays (we also won’t have one on Easter, but rest assured the hymn sing will return on April 23rd). I’m also asking you to submit announcements to either me (katiemgoetz@gmail.com) or the church office (wrumc@prodigy.net) ahead of time so we can print them in the bulletin instead of sharing them verbally in the service. Thursday and Friday of Holy Week are two of the most sacred days in our Christian year, and my hope and prayer is that by centering in on Mark’s gospel we will experience the final days of Jesus’ life more deeply.

       Following Jesus this closely through the last days of his life is a new experience for me. I’ve never focused in on one week of Jesus’ life over the course of six weeks. My hope and my prayer is that as we move toward the fifth and sixth Sundays of Lent, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, we are able to discover more completely what it means to be followers of Jesus. My hope and my prayer is that by walking this closely with Jesus through the Last Supper, praying in the garden, the trial before Pilate, and the crucifixion we discover what it means to give our lives completely over to God – traveling the path God would have us travel rather than the path we’d choose for ourselves, and recognizing that God goes with us every step of the way.

       All of this, of course, leads us to Easter Sunday. On Easter we celebrate God’s “No!” to sin and death and God’s “Yes!” to grace, new life, and the freedom that following Jesus brings. We will celebrate God’s “Yes!” through scripture and song, through prayer and preaching. I hope you will join us as we celebrate how sin, death, and the powers of this world don’t have the final word – God does!

See you in church,

Tidings Newsletter,  April 2017

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