Welcome, Jesus Loves You
A reflection in the Armory a few weeks ago by The Rev. Doyt L. Conn, Jr.
I’m at the Armory sitting in the atrium. It is Saturday afternoon, and Desmond is over at the PNB dancing. The sun is out, and people are about. The playground outside the Armory is full of families. As I walked by on the way into the Armory, I heard a wonderful magical sound. I stopped and looked over the fence. There was a small girl dropping pebbles on top of a small jungle gym. It sounded like wood chimes.
As I sit here, I wonder what is stopping me from putting a sign on my table that says: “Welcome, Jesus loves you.” It is so apparent to me. The place is teaming with belovedness, and I can feel it purely and sweetly. And yet I don’t put a sign out. I think it is less about being embarrassed by the sign and more out of fear that someone would actually come and sit down. Then I’d be committed. I would have shed the anonymity of all the barriers I have contrived. The vulnerability is too frightening.
Imagine what Veronica felt when she looked down the Via Dolorosa and saw a man with a cross coming toward her. Imagine the moment. She could have ducked back indoors, but instead she pulled the handkerchief from her sleeve and stepped forward. He stumbled. She stooped, and then wiped his face. Imagine the moment. Imagine the vulnerability at stepping before a condemned man—a dead man walking—and wiping his face. So many barriers were broken. Veronica defied Rome. She rejected her Jewish leaders’ condemnation. She defiled herself by touching blood. And she didn’t care. Love drives out all fear. This is the sixth station of the cross.
She did all that, and I can’t put up a sign that says: “Welcome, Jesus loves you.”
It is Lent, and that compounds my feeling of shame. I know; shame is not a feeling to promote or wallow in, but maybe it’s OK to touch it once in a while. We have a God who is awesome. He walked with us. He healed, and he taught us. He came back from the grave for us. How can fear still abide? Shame indeed—shame at my hesitancy, insecurity, and fear is where I am spending time this Lent. My meditations are around what stands between me and deep trust in Jesus. Vulnerability is my mantra. It is a foreign word, and yet the word that echoes in the melody played on the jungle gym with rocks by that young girl. Messages abound during Lent. I hope you hear yours.
Holy Week Begins on Sunday
The holiest week of the liturgical year begins this Sunday, March 20, with the liturgy of the palms at all four regular services. We encourage all parishioners to participate in as many of the following events as possible to experience the full scope of remembrance and celebration of the Passion of Christ.
Download the Official Holy Week Guide for more detailed descriptions of the liturgy and theology behind the traditions of this season in the life of the Church.
7:30, 8:45^, 11^ am & 5 pm, Holy Eucharist in the Church
At our regular services, begin the journey to the Cross with a Hosanna celebration.
7:30 pm, Stations of the Cross in the Chapel
This service applies the Passion narrative to today’s world.
7:30 pm Holy Eucharist in the Church*
This formal service includes incense, bells, and the ceremonies of an Anglican high church service.
7:30 pm Taizé in the Church
Quiet, meditative music led by Epiphany Choir.
6:30 pm, Agape Meal in the Great Hall
7:30 pm, Holy Eucharist in the Church^
8:30 pm, Watchnight Vigil in the Chapel
11 pm, Psalm Chant in the Chapel
The Eucharist liturgy recalls the Last Supper of Jesus on the night of his betrayal and includes foot-washing. The Watchnight Vigil over the consecrated bread signifies our willingness to stay awake with Jesus in the Garden. Late in the evening during Watchnight, Pieter Drummond will lead a group in chanting the psalms.
Noon–4 pm, Gospel Reading in the Fireside Room
2 pm, Good Friday Liturgy at Park Shore
7:30 pm, Good Friday Liturgy in the Church^
8:30 pm, Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) in the Church & Chapel
The Good Friday liturgy marks Christ’s crucifixion, but it is not a funeral. Parishioners who are interested have the opportunity for confession with one of the priests immediately after the liturgy.
Holy Saturday/Easter Vigil
9:30 am, Brunch & Easter Egg Hunt in the Great Hall & Grounds
12:15 pm, Holy Saturday Liturgy
8 pm, Festival Eucharist in the Church*^
The Easter Vigil service appeals to all the senses as we recount salvation history, celebrate baptisms, and revel in the power of God’s mercy. Reception to follow in the Great Hall.
7:30 am, Holy Eucharist in the Chapel
8:45 am, Festival Eucharist in the Church^
10 am, Easter Brunch in the Great Hall
11 am, Festival Eucharist in the Church^
No 5 pm service on Easter.
* = Incense will be used in this service.
^ = Childcare will be available.
Bagel Brunch and Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, March 26
We’re trying something a little different this year; instead of having the egg hunt on Easter, we’re having it on Holy Saturday! Feel free to invite your neighbors and friends to enjoy bagels, to scour the grounds for plastic eggs, and to take a tour of the new buildings with our rector Doyt.
Gather at 9:30 am in the Great Hall for bagels and activities, followed by the hunt. Separate parts of the campus will be assigned to different age groups in the spirit of fun and fairness.
Help Us Prepare for Holy Week
Thanks to everyone who responded already to the call for Holy Week food earlier this week! We are still taking sign-ups for dishes to share, especially on Easter morning. Just email me (Diane) at email@example.com or call the Parish Office (206-324-2573) to let me know what you’d like to bring.
Agape Meal (March 24 at 6:30 pm, Great Hall)
The Agape Meal dates to apostolic times and celebrates our Christian love for each other. For the meal, we still need:
- Meatless Soup (1 more pot)
- Olives (2 plates)
- Fruit (3 plates)
- NO SWEETS OR ALCOHOL, please (saving that for the vigil!)
Easter Vigil Reception (March 26 after 8 pm service, Great Hall)
After all the Alleluias and bell-ringing at the end of the Easter Vigil service, come to the Great Hall for a grand reception. Please sign up to bring:
- Wine (10 bottles)
- Sparkling Cider, Juice, or Water (19 bottles)
- Dessert of the finger-food variety (7 dishes)
- Fruit (10 plates)
Easter Brunch (March 27 at 10 am, Great Hall)
We didn’t have an Easter Brunch last year because of construction, but this year, it’s back on! We are still looking for:
- Quiche or Strata (20 dishes)
- Fruit Salad (9 dishes)
- Breakfast Bread (9 loaves)
If there is a special dish you associate with Easter, feel free to bring that too!
Just shoot me an email if you want to help out!
—Diane Carlisle (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Donate to the Easter Flower Fund
This Easter Sunday, the highest celebration of our Christian year, you can remember a special person or event by donating towards our Altar Flower Fund. Perhaps you would like to acknowledge the birth of a baby, or a marriage, or a loved one now departed. You may donate towards one or more lilies, but you are not limited to Easter. Any date during the year we can decorate the altar with a floral arrangement on the Sunday closest to that date.
Complete the form and send your check to the church office or add it to the collection plate. Remember that during Advent and Lent only greens are used on the altar.
Thank you for your consideration of the Altar Flower Fund.
Fireside Chats and Tours on Hiatus Until April
The tours and chats with Doyt have been fantastic so far! If you haven’t had a chance to attend a tour so far, check out the April dates here. More dates can be added into May depending on interest. Email Emily Linderman if you would like to sign up for a tour.
Sunday is the last day to bring Easter baskets for YWCA!
Parish Prayer List
Sunday Lectionary Corner
March 20, 2016
Sunday of the Passion / Palm Sunday
Upcoming Events in the Life of Epiphany
This Week at Epiphany
March 20: Adult Forum – Pilgrim Report
On Palm Sunday at 10–10:45 am in the Great Hall, several of the recent Epiphany pilgrims to the Holy Land will share about the most impactful experiences they had in Israel/Palestine in February. As part of the pilgrimage, they walked where Jesus walked, an experience simulated by the Stations of the Cross service on March 21 in the Chapel, and through the retelling of the Passion on Good Friday.
March 20: Choristers Are Singing at 11 am Service
Don’t miss the Choristers singing at the 11 am service ONLY! They will sing again on April 3, also at the 11 am service.
March 23: Regular Guided Meditation Resumes
Guided meditation with Pieter Drummond returns to the regular schedule during Holy Week and beyond, which is Wednesdays & Fridays at 7:45–8:15 am and/or 8:30–9 am in the Church Chancel.
March 20-27: Holy Week 2016
Holy Week is the time the Church sets aside to remember and celebrate the Passion of Christ. Between Palm Sunday and Easter, there is a service every evening, along with other special events. Click here for the basic schedule to start planning, download a Holy Week Guide, or look for one in the back of the church and the Great Hall.
March 18: Online Course by N.T. Wright Available Today
N.T. Wright, longtime Anglican bishop of Durham and now New Testament professor at St. Andrew’s University in Edinburgh, is offering an online course entitled “Simply Jesus” based on his book of the same title. The goal of the course is to look at the story of Jesus from the perspective of a historian. The Rev. Kate Wesch is organizing a discussion group for those who enroll. Let her know if you sign up by emailing her. Find more information here.
March 25: Seven Sisters Sharing the Last Seven Words of Christ
Plymouth United Church of Christ is hosting an ecumenical observance of Good Friday at noon on March 25. Structured around the seven last words that Jesus spoke before his death, seven ministers, including our own Emily Linderman, will reflect on Jesus suffering and death through the lens of today’s issues of justice. Download the flyer here.