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The Clergy Corner
This Sunday we will gather in an out-of-the-ordinary way. We'll begin worship not in our sanctuary, but in the Parish Hall. We'll hold palm branches in our hands. We'll sing "Hosanna" and walk into the sanctuary together for worship. As Sunday morning unfolds, we'll take part in a retelling of the story of the Passion of Christ.
Christians do this every year, and yet somehow every year it is surprising. Maybe it's because, no matter how many times we tell the story, it's hard to go from "Hosanna!" to "Crucify him!" in under sixty minutes.
It's not an easy Sunday. And yet it's essential. Jesus rides into Jerusalem triumphant, then dies at the hands of religious and state leaders, despite being an innocent man. This Sunday tests our loyalty to him. Will we be there for and with him when times are hard?
The story we walk through in these coming weeks teaches us that no matter what hard times we face now, Christ has already won the victory. He didn't win that victory by escaping or avoiding sin and death. He submitted to both for our sakes, then demonstrated his power by his resurrection.
And because we have been baptized into his body, we receive power from him to do the same.
What inner battle are you waging? What word of victory do you need to hear? The story begins Palm Sunday and is fulfilled on Easter Day. Come for the hard part, that you might truly rejoice in the happy ending.
Thoughts to Ponder
I come to you, King Jesus
not to be served by you
but to serve you
and to give my life to you.
So take my cloak
use it to clothe the naked
or use it for your donkey to step on.
I don’t care
so long as you’re the one taking it.
Because you’re the only one who
will give me a new garment in return,
a white robe made of saints' righteous deeds,
a garment that fits so well it’ll be
a new self, your self.
from Michael Gehrling's Palm Sunday poem.
The full text is here.
We're Founding Holy Spirit Episcopal Church - and you're invited.
Although Holy Spirit has worshipped together for 15 years, we have remained a mission. This means we have not officially had local authority to make decisions about our life together. In the conversations about our mortgage we were invited by the diocese to seek parish status and gain that authority. Part of that process is incorporating with the State of Michigan.
The members of this mission are encouraged to be founders of the parish. Founding Member forms will be available starting Easter Sunday and continuing through Pentecost (May 20) for a special ingathering of founding members and celebration on Pentecost Sunday. All baptized persons are welcome to become founding members. If you are not yet baptized, you are invited to be baptized and become a founding member. Please see Mother Nurya.
Our founding members are requested to reflect on the spiritual gifts that God has given you so that we might better understand how God is at work in this community. Opportunities for learning about spiritual giftedness and completing a spiritual gifts inventory will be offered in the Easter season.
For 2018, Holy Eucharist will be available on the 1st, 3rd & 4th Sundays of each month. All other Sundays will be Morning Prayer service.
Our Easter Week schedule:
Sunday, March 25: Palm Sunday: worship at 10 am
Thursday, March 29: Maundy Thursday: worship at 7 pm
Friday, March 30, Good Friday: Stations of the Cross at noon
Sunday, April 1, Easter Sunday: Breakfast at 8:30 am, worship at 10 am, Easter Basket hunt after worship
Sign up for Easter Breakfast: food donations are needed. Please see sign up sheet on the kiosk.
Sign up for Easter Lillies: Please see sign up sheet on the kiosk. Requested donation is $15-$20; please give money to Ruth.
Lenten Out-to-Lunch Bunch (last one!) meets Friday, March 23 at 11:30 am at Mr. Burger, 5181 Northland Dr NE, Grand Rapids (corner of Plainfield and Northland). All welcome.
Palm prep: everyone is invited to help prep the palms for Palm Sunday. We'll meet this Saturday, March 24, at 9:30 am in the parish hall.
Apple Butter: the Easter Bunny says Holy Spirit's apple butter makes a
great addition to an Easter basket (or your Easter dinner)! Just $5 a jar, available in the parish hall.
Internal Audit Committee: We need volunteers to form an Internal Audit Committee for Holy Spirit. Committee members need to be independent of the decision-making and recordkeeping functions of the church (therefore, the treasurers and current advisory council members are ineligible). It is helpful for members to have some financial experience, but not necessary. We have the guidelines and check sheets for performing the audit. Please contact either Don Sr. or Michael with questions. The audit must be completed before we apply for parish status.
Road Clean-up: spring clean-up of "our" section of Pine Island Drive will be Saturday, April 21. More info to come.
Save the date! The Bishop will be visiting us on Sunday, September 16, so we hope to have our 15th Anniversary celebration on Saturday, September 15. Block that weekend out on your calendar! More info to follow.
Jazz Concert: the Rockford High School Jazz Band, the Northview High School Jazz Band, and MSU Bebop Spartans Band present a night of jazz music featuring saxophonist Steve Wilson TONIGHT, Wednesday, March 21 at 7 pm at Rockford High School, 4100 Kroes St NE, Rockford. Tickets are available at the door: $5 for students/seniors, $10 for adults. All proceeds go to the two high school bands. Support the students and enjoy a great show!
Luke the Liberator, a Free Lenten Curricululm for Groups is an online class developed by ChurchNext, and features our own Mother Nurya. Click
HERE for more information.
Lenten Fish Frys at St. Philip's Episcopal Church, 558 Henry SE, Grand Rapids. A group from our church will attend this Friday evening, March 23; sign-up sheet and more information available near the kiosk.
Coming This Summer: Family Weekend Camp: The diocese of Western Michigan hosts a Weekend Camp for all ages every year. It's held at a very fun place with lots of options for kids, and it's fairly affordable. This year we're hoping to gather a group to enjoy it together. Registration before Easter Monday is at a discount! More information is here:
The West Michigan Savoyards, the area's Gilbert & Sullivan performing company, this year will be producing
The Gondoliers. A group from our church will attend the 1 pm matinee on Friday, April 20 at the Wealthy Street Theatre. Tickets are just $10! Sign up sheet is on the kiosk; deadline to sign up is Sunday, April 8.