May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
If you need shopping done, prescriptions picked up or essential errands done, please contact the church office. We have volunteers available to assist you.
Our FOOD PANTRY is in need.
Give as you can. Our Food Pantry helps so many in need.
Your gifts are deeply appreciated.
While the church has been closed to services and meetings, our custodian, Paul Ray Jones, has been busy at work scrubbing, scouring and sanitizing. He has disinfected door handles and light switches, cleaned from top to bottom, whiped down doors and windows, chairs and tables, washed the bedding in the nursery and disinfected the toys.
Please be in prayer for those effected by the virus. Not only those who have contracted the virus, but also those at high risk. Please pray for medical and health-care personnel, service workers, farmers, truck drivers, law enforcement, retailers and everyone who continues to work so that we do not have to go without essentials. Please be in prayer for our leaders as they guide us through these troubled times. Please keep our pastor in your prayers as well.
The Family of Kay Ezell
Jane & Roy Lamb
Kathy & Baby Amy
Our US Troops
Ann Swanner Bob Traver Johnny Pynes
Penny Driggers Martha Williams Jack Jackson
Sue Ann McAilely
Patsy Jeffers (Mike Jones' sister)
Cameron Beall Jordan
Please keep us updated on those on our Prayer List. Thank you!
Darin T. Easter, Pastor
Remembering Holy Week, celebrating Easter at home
Holy Week and Easter traditionally provide a wealth of opportunities for remembering, meditating and celebrating at church. Adults may set aside time for more intense prayer, study and service. But what do families, especially those with younger children, do at home for Holy Week and Easter?
"While many families celebrate Advent in the home, it may be harder to observe Holy Week at home," acknowledged Lynn Gilliam. "After all, it's much easier to talk with our children about the baby in the manger than it is to discuss Jesus' death and the events leading up to it. But just as the observance of Advent helps us to prepare for the celebration of Christmas, observing Holy Week helps prepare us for the joyous celebration of Easter."
More ideas for worship at home
Have simpler meals. Fasting, one of the most ancient spiritual disciplines, is not appropriate for everyone, certainly not for young children. But simplifying meals can remind everyone of the solemnity of the week leading up to sunset on Holy Saturday. Simply eliminating desserts is an easy way to do this. Talk to your children about how giving up something we enjoy can remind us of Jesus' giving up his life for us.
Read together about the events of the last weeks of Jesus' life in your Bible. Children who are old enough and enjoy reading can read some of the passages to the family. "Easter Eggs with a Difference"provides one way to read many of the pertinent passages with your family and talk about them.
Add the events of Holy Week to your family prayers. For example, you could pray, "God, we remember today how Jesus served his friends by washing their feet. Help us to serve others, too."
On Easter Sunday, celebrate at home – as well as at church – in a big way. Make "Christ is risen!" banners to hang around the house. Have a special food. If fresh flowers – a colorful symbol of new life – are available, bring some in to decorate the spaces where your family gathers. Teach your children the traditional Easter greeting "Alleluia! Christ is risen!" and the response "The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!"
Other ideas include:
Give up technology (TV, cell phones, Internet) for a period of time and spend that time as a family engaged in community service. (This is another way to teach children about fasting.)
Plant seeds (marigold, petunia or grass seeds) in an eggshell carton filled with dirt; sprouting seeds send a clear message to children of the power of new life.
Check Pinterest and online blogs for Lent- and Easter-related craft ideas.
Host an at-home foot washing ceremony on Maundy Thursday using the account of the Lord's Supper in John 13:1-11. Washing someone else's feet, especially for children to wash their parents' feet and each other's, can be a powerful experience.
Watch the sunrise together on Easter morning (the time of day the Resurrection was discovered) before going to church.
Talking about Holy Week
During Lent, Holy Week and Easter, children may ask pointed and difficult questions about why Jesus had to die or the events leading up to his death and Resurrection. While parents should be mindful about how they talk about the details, children can process them when shared appropriately.
"Children are open to the cycle of life and the reality that everything has birth and dies," said Melanie C. Gordon, director of ministry with children at Discipleship Ministries. "We only need to make it simple for them. Talk to them in terms they will understand.
"One way to engage children in looking at the cycle of life during Lent," Gordon offers, "is through a camera lens by seeking out images that help us turn to God." The Florida Annual Conference invites people to post pictures to social media that relate to daily devotions on their blog. This is an excellent way to use media as a positive tool," Gordon says.
Sharing the painful and sad story of Good Friday with your children can be challenging. "We talk about the day Jesus died, that he died on a cross and that it hurt," said Mark Burrows, director of children's ministries at First United Methodist Church in Fort Worth, Texas. "But we don't focus on what people did to Jesus. Instead, we focus on what Jesus was doing for them — blessing the people, asking God to forgive, even blessing another who is on the cross."
Burrows reminds parents "children can't un-see images or un-hear words." He continues, "I work very hard to be honest without being graphic." During these conversations, it's good to remind children that sometimes feeling sad is OK and that God is with us even in our sadness.