Holy Week at Grace
Maundy Thursday April 18
12 noon in the St. Peter Chapel – Holy Communion, foot washing and the solemn stripping of the Altar 6:00 p.m. Seder Meal in Fellowship Hall
Good Friday April 19
7 a.m. Stations of the Cross & Breakfast – meet in St. Peter Chapel
Good Friday Prayer Walk – Lancaster County Prison at 12:00 noon (correction—Corner of E. King and N. Franklin St.)
7:00 p.m. Service of Good Friday in the Nave
Easter Vigil April 20
6 p.m. Begins in the Parsonage yard; continues in the Nave
Easter Sunday April 21
7:45 & 10:30 a.m. Holy Communion Services in the Nave
Easter Pot Luck Breakfast 9:00 a.m. Easter day in Fellowship Hall
Please join us for an Easter Pot Luck Breakfast April 21st during the Sunday School hour. Please bring a casserole to serve between 8-10 to share. Fresh fruit and beverages will be provided. Don’t miss the celebration!
Reminder for Shut-In Visitors
Shut-in visitors are reminded to pick up an Easter flower and bulletin following the late service on Easter Sunday, April 21st, to deliver to their shut-ins.
Opportunities to share plants and flowers for the fountain will be available beginning Sunday, April 28th and continuing through June 2nd. Families may buy plants and flowers to decorate the Fountain on the Sunday they choose, delivering them to church on Saturday and following Sunday services, take their plants home. Please call the church office @ 397-2748 with questions or to sign up.
April 21, 2019 (Easter Sunday, Year C)
Luke 24:9, 11 –And returning from the tomb, [Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women] told all this to the eleven and to all the rest. But these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them.The Gospel today can still seem like an “idle tale” for people outside the church. But like the women who found the tomb empty, we can only tell what we know and invite people to see Jesus for themselves.
Return to the Lord Your God
By Angela N. Smith, MDiv, MA
For the past few weeks in our intergenerational Sunday School we have been asking, “Why?” This week I want us to explore why should we come to church. Yes, that’s what we’ve been doing for all along this season, but I want to push us a further, a gentle nudge toward the rest of the church year.
I grew up in a tradition in which salvation was decision made by an individual, God would only act once you had prayed the “sinner’s prayer.” According to that tradition my eternal future was in my hands, which was about the worst place that it could have been. It wasn’t until college that I heard someone passionately speak about justification, it was by far one of the strangest first dates I had ever been on. By the time I got to college I was sure that the tradition that I had grown up in was wrong, but that didn’t stop me from trying to earn my salvation. I was in about four Bible studies, going to church multiple times a week, and going to Ecumenical events on homelessness in our community. On top of that I was involved in various clubs and organizations on campus and was volunteering for a handful of political campaigns. I was a bouncy mess of coffee, grilled cheese sandwiches, and smiley fries. If my activities weren’t going to change the world, they were at least going to save my soul.
Back to that strange first date, I was incredibly confused by justification by grace and if we are being honest I still am. The entire time we were on our date and for months after I kept asking questions about this strange notion that I don’t have to do anything to be saved. The idea that my eternal future was in God’s hands seemed like an excuse that someone came up with to get out of having to volunteer at church event. Why would I go to church if it wasn’t going to do anything for me in the long run? It took me a while to finally grasp that because faith is a gift, we don’t have to do anything, but we have the freedom to do something with it. Last week I talked about the welcome to Graceness of our congregation, but it’s larger than us- the welcome to Lutheranness if you will.
We return to the LORD our God, not out of fear and self-perseveration for our soul, but because there is not alternative. Where else would go to be reminded of who we are in the eyes of God. Our salvation isn’t in our hands, it’s in the hands of the One who created us out of dust, the one who went before us, and who sustains in all things.
Brothers and sisters, this season is coming to an end, but our life together is being made new daily. May our community be a reminder that we get to return to the LORD our God. Amen.
Our Grace Family
A Special Thank You From the Property Team!
A big thank you to those who participated in the Annual Spring Clean Up! Attending were: Dennis Maharg, Dale Dombach, Len Wolf, Glenn Weidman, Bruce Linton, Chris Dupkanick, Pastor & Kathryn Verkouw, Angie Smith, Joe & Cindy Labezius, and Klaus Case. Great job everyone!