Good News, 04.03.2012

Dear Friends,

Our Palm Sunday Passion Narrative is always a powerful experience.  It was a tremendous beginning of our Holy Week.  Thanks to our narrators Brenda Bos, John Brett and Libby Flynn;  the choir and soloist Elizabeth Hunter; and percussionists John and Jack (this was his debut as a drummer!) Hunter-Ashley.  How gracefully the Spirit moves and shapes us.

Our Passover Seder is this Thursday at 6:30 pm.  Please bring with you the story of how your family arrived in this country. An evening rich in stories, ritual foods & joy awaits you.

Good Friday worship is at 7:00 pmplease bring a cross you can hold with you.  This will be a Contemplative Service of calm, reflection and stillness.

The Easter Vigil is celebrated at 7:30 pm on SaturdayPlease bring and open heart.  It is a service of solemnity, mystery and hilarity.

Easter Day – our worship is at 9:30 am. Please bring a friend with you.  It’s a chance to prepare for the rest of your life!  The Egg Hunt will follow.

A Baha’i friend stopped by recently and said, “Do you know why I like this church?  Because its design expresses the identity of the Peace congregation – it’s open, light filled and life-giving.  Everyone is welcome here and they feel it.” I pray this remains true for us and continues to be the experience for friends and guests of the Resurrecting One.

Sometimes the Spirit is too good:  The Jazz with Mads Tolling on Sunday was transcendent.  I understand if you find it hard to believe that Jean Luc Ponty, Danish folk tunes and Jimi Hendrix were igniting hearts and dancing on a jazz violin…..but it’s true!  Sometimes it is just astounding to find ourselves in the midst of such abundant gifts.

Seven Stanzas at Easter

Make no mistake:  if He rose at all

it was as His body;

if the cells’ dissolution did not reverse, the molecules

re-knit, the amino acids rekindle,

the Church will fall.

It was not as the flowers,

each soft Spring recurrent;

it was not as His Spirit in the mouths and fuddled

eyes of the eleven apostles;

it was as His flesh:  ours.

The same hinged thumbs and toes,

the same valved heart

that – pierced – died, withered, paused, and then

regathered out of enduring Might

new strength to enclose.

Let us not mock God with metaphor,

analogy, sidestepping, transcendence;

making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the

faded credulity of earlier ages:

let us walk through the door.

The stone is rolled back, not paper-mache,

not a stone in a story,

but the vast rock of materiality that in the slow

grinding of time will eclipse for each of us

the wide light of day.

And if we will have an angel at the tomb,

make it a real angel,

weighty with Max Planck’s quanta, vivid with hair,

opaque in the dawn light, robed in real linen

spun on a definite loom.

Let us not seek to make it less monstrous,

for our own convenience, our own sense of beauty,

lest, awakened in one unthinkable hour, we are

embarrassed by the miracle,

and crushed by remonstrance.

John Updike

Blessed Triduum and Easter,  Pr. Steve