Easter/April 8, 2020
Just these lines, my friends …
… to say that I really miss you. I so miss being with you on Sundays (face-to-face). It’s strange – when I gather with our pastors and musicians (no more than 10) on Sunday in our expansive Sanctuary to do our livestream worship service, we still do feel the presence of the Holy Spirit, but it doesn’t feel the same without you. I don’t think we ever took being together for granted, and I know for sure that after this season, we never will.
This past Sunday was tinged with sadness for me, because there was nothing about it I recognized from all my previous Palm Sundays. Then I saw my friend, Tom Williamson, in the technical booth in the Sanctuary waving his palm branch as he helped us with all our visuals, and suddenly it became Palm Sunday for me. Thank you, Tom.
My Palm Sunday sermon continued us in our Lenten journey, looking at some of the questions Jesus asked on his way to the Cross. Our Palm Sunday question was “Who Do You Say I Am?” You can watch our Palm Sunday Service here.
This Week in Worship
Many of you are connecting with us for worship each Sunday. Thank you for being with us online, and for the comments and words of encouragement you leave.
- Maundy Thursday (April 9 at 7:00 pm) offers us a time to move this sacred ritual of table fellowship and communion into your home, much like Jesus actually did with his friends. Please light a candle and have juice and crackers/bread as we celebrate Holy Communion.
- Good Friday (April 10 at 7:00 pm) will be a Service of Shadows, which involves the extinguishing of light. Please have seven candles lit in your home worship space which can be extinguished during the service.
- Then you can join us on that “great gettin’ up in the morning day” — Easter Sunday (April 12 at 9:30 or 11:00 am).
- Pastor Brad has prepared six beautiful Holy Week Prayer Services for all of us to use this week. Each Order of Worship will guide all of us in our daily worship through this week.
Click here for all Holy Week information, including links to all online worship services and Holy Week Prayer Service guides.
Please don’t forget to send along your selfie of you/your family as soon as you can. Remember, we want to fill our Sanctuary with pictures of all of you. Send your selfie to Beth Lynn. We’ll keep adding them to the pews each Sunday as long as they come in!
Preparations for Easter
I recognize that very little of this Holy Week is as we hoped it would be. I pray in some mysterious way that this struggle we are all in invites us to experience the holy truth of Resurrection this Easter on a deeper level. When all feels lost, Hope is still at work. When darkness clouds the earth, Light is finding her way forth. When death/loss comes as an unwelcome guest to our door, Love is there to greet it.
Love will not leave us … we are not alone. This week, let’s gather online for worship, make phone calls to show we care, hold Zoom meetings to see each other’s faces, and send cards and text messages of hope knowing this IS how we gather together this Holy Week during this holy time and this is how we are made whole together.
The Body of Christ is still rising to meet the challenges of this present day. We are not alone!
Remember … God does God’s best work in moments like this.
Dr. Charles (Chuck) W. Wilson II
Did you know that our Wellness Ministry has put together a Q&A about the Coronavirus? Click here to read it, and contact Jan Harper with questions at 704-661-6399.
Did you know our new Military Ministry is here to serve our military families? If you would like to be a part of this ministry, please contact Jean Bryan. Here are a couple of updates from some of our service members:
- Amanda Deyton is back home after training in Kentucky and has resumed her nursing duties in the ICU.
- Scott Dudley was promoted to the rank of Sgt 1st Class this past week in a ceremony at Ramstein AFB in Germany.
- Luke Hardy is home from his second year at the Air Force Academy. He is awaiting orders to return around June 1.
Please keep all of our military in your prayers.
Did you know that while the Church has been closed, our Facilities Team has been working very hard behind the scenes cleaning carpets, de-sanitizing the entire facility, adding three beautiful new hanging lanterns to our Narthex, and sprucing up the Sanctuary Reception area — all while practicing social distancing and other means of healthy practices. We commend Del Funderburk, our new Facilities Director, for holding down the fort and keeping our facility running smoothly!