As I arrived at St. James yesterday it was still dark outside. It was forty-five minutes before our Sunrise worship. Unlocking the door, I turned on the lights in the narthex. I found myself delighted. The Resurrection Garden, which was made by the Sunday School, was transformed. It had gone from grass, three crosses, and a rock tomb to this wonderful celebration of Easter life, complete with butterfly and flower cut-outs. I knew this was going to happen. Still, I was surprised to see it happen. Easter can be like that - a day filled with surprise and wonder.
I am thankful for the good work that Seminarian Sherri Lawrence and Jeni Wojahn have done with the Faith Nuture/Sunday School team. Their creative efforts with things like Resurrection Gardens have really made a difference in the faith lives of our children (and pastor too!) I know that this is true because I had a group of children explain the Garden to me- they know the Easter gospel and could proclaim it to me.
I am also deeply thankful for the many people who shared their talents in the past week as we walked together through our Holy Week and Easter observances and celebrations.
Thanks to Jan Pofahl for beautiful music on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter; to our combined Festival choir (conducted by Kelvin Miller); to Jubilation Ringers handbell choir (conducted by Kari Owens); to Youth Brass Ensemble (conducted by Tim Pofahl); to welcome/usher teams (coordinated by Krista Gentry); to Assisting Ministers Janet Karsten and Jeff Owens; to Ministry Hosts: Lisa Carlson & Miriam Ring (Maundy Thursday Table worship), Maria & John Edlund (Good Friday Tenebrae), Kari Owens (Good Friday Children's Crosswalk), Vicar Andrew (Good Friday noon), Sylvia Dobrovolny (Holy Saturday sanctuary decoration), and Starlett Drader (Easter Sunrise). Thanks go to Doreen Evans and Bonnie Gauquie for their behind-the-scene staff support with all of these ministries. Last, but certainly not least, I am thankful for Vicar Andrew and his assistance throughout these many worships.
We have been richly blessed as a community with talent, passion, and the willingness of people to step up. Christ is alive in the giving and the sharing of life with each other - truly a joy!
Easter blessings to you and your family as we begin this Easter season, which lasts a week of weeks (7 weeks).