Holy week was a flurry of activity. It started with the Maundy Thursday service at Republican Grove UMC. Joanne did sign language to the song "Messiah". We also had a dramatic reading of "The Old and the New: Passover Lamb"; with Betty Jo Dawson, Patricia Fisher, and Heidi Dawson. Maundy Thursday remembers the Last Supper of Christ with his disciples, we remembered with Communion.
The Maundy Thursday service was followed with a time of refreshments and fellowship. The fact is, it was more like supper than it was like refreshments, but I am not complaining at all. It was a very good evening.
Our Good Friday service was conducted at Providence UMC. Our Tenebrae readings were called "Facing the Shadows". The readings were dialogues of indivduals who were part of the Gospel story.
The Shadow of Betrayal~Judas: Carl Wayne Adams
The Shadow of Inner Agony~Salome (The Mother of James and John): Anita Adams
The Shadow of Desertion~John: David Adams
The Shadow of Denial~Peter: A.J. Nuckols
The Shadow of Accusation~Mary Magdalene: Stacey Wyatt
The Shadow of Mockery~Thomas: Bill Wyatt
The Shadow of Death~ Mary, the Mother of Jesus: Lisa Nuckols
The Carpenter: Brian Daniels
After each reading a candle was extinguished, until after the final reading and the entire room went dark. At that point the service is over and everyone leaves in silence.
The Good Friday service remembers the day that Jesus died upon the cross. It is meant to cause inner contemplation before Easter. The bulletin for the service ended with this: "Even in the midst of this darkness, God is with us. Go with peace and hope. Amen."
The Easter Sunrise service was held at St. Andrews UMC at 7 AM. It was a special morning and the worship was particularly meaningful.
After the Sunrise service we had breakfast at St. Andrews UMC. This is one of the days in the year that the guys get to do the cooking. Personally, I think the ladies just think we men can't mess up scrambled eggs.
We not only had the eggs, but also breakfast casseroles, muffins, fruit, ham biscuits, sausage biscuits, and more. My main concern was that we had coffee and we did! I have a hard enough getting my body going at 7 AM, I needed my coffee - high octane.
After the Easter Sunrise service, we continued to the regularly scheduled Easter services at Republican Grove UMC and Providence UMC.
This was Cortney Dawson's first Easter Sunday and she was ready for the day.
At Providence UMC, we had some folks sick and some out taking care of them. They may not have been with us in body but they were in spirit. Brian Daniels did triple duty; in addition to receiving the offering and reading the scripture, Brian also played the hymns on CD. It was his first time working the machine and he did a fine job.
Something you learn in a small church is that it's not about numbers. It's about what God is doing in the church. He was doing a work this Easter Sunday in all three churches of the Mt. Airy Charge. He continues to draw us closer to each other and to draw us out to the community and world around us.