4/22/2022 What a Day!

This past Easter Sunday was one of the finest moments I’ve had with URC.  After a long hiatus from social gatherings, we had a wonderful Easter breakfast together.  Thanks to the preparation of all the volunteers under Bonnie Bahanan’s leadership, everything was delicious and the decorations and favors were splendid.

Then there was the worship service . . . Wow!  

The choir was stellar,  the singing robust, and the pews were filled!  (Someone reported that they counted over 50 worshipers.)  We had visitors with us and more than a few of us had family and friends worshiping with them.  Through it all, the joy and hope of the resurrection of our Lord was palpable.  It was a wonderful day! 

Now our life together continues.  Here are a few bits and pieces about that:

*** We received word from the Onesequathaw Reformed Church that they are having a special event on Thursday, the 28th of April at 7pm.  They are showing a video of the musical “The Witness,” which features our own Chuck Phillips (the late husband of Cindy Phillips and brother of Belinda Phillips).  This musical depicts the life of Christ as told by the Apostle Peter.  There will be an Ice Cream Social following the performance.  

*** I will be away the next couple of Sundays.  We are visiting family in Tennessee and North Carolina.  Rusty Riley will preach on the 24th and our own Belinda Phillips will be preaching on May 1st.  I will be back for Mothers Day which will include communion and a special coffee hour after the service.

*** Very soon we will unveil our new web site.  Al de Paz has done a wonderful job getting it started.

*** Our prayers are with the Slingerlands.  Don had a fall on the ice and broke bones in his foot.  He just completed surgery (it was the same surgeon that operated on Sandy).  That makes two Slingerlands with broken feet on the mend.  As our prayer chain email said, “Isn’t this taking this togetherness thing too far?”  Maybe, but still, we're praying for them both!

Many of you have shared that you’ll be praying for our safe travels.  That’s much appreciated.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Dave

4/8/2022 “Palm/Passion Sunday”

That is exactly how this coming Sunday is labeled in the calendar distributed by our denomination.  Apparently it is up to us to choose which one to emphasize.  Will it be “Palm Sunday,” with its attention on Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem as we joyfully wave our palms and gladly sing our happy hosannas?  Or will it be “Passion Sunday,” when our mood is supposed to be more somber? “Passion” is the word we use  to describe the suffering endured by Jesus during the last few days of his life, especially his crucifixion.  Although we usually associate the English word “passion” with strong emotion, it in fact comes from the Latin, passio, which means “suffering.” 

So which one will it be?

This Sunday our service will go both ways.  We’ll sing hymns filled with joyful “Hosannas” and we’ll have palms to wave.  But we will also sing, “Go to Dark Gethsemane,”  and in keeping with our sermon series, “Listening in as Jesus prays,” we will reflect on one of his prayers he offered on the cross as he was dying for us.  In fact, according to Luke’s Gospel, it is the first thing he said after he was nailed to the cross:  “Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.”  (Luke 23: 34)

This prayer of Jesus hits me powerfully this holy week, considering the profound bitterness and raging anger I am feeling these days in light of world events.  I might just nominate that request Jesus made to his Father on behalf of his failing disciples and his hateful executioners as the most incredible thing he ever said.  Forgive them?  After what they had done to him?  Really?

I look forward to reflecting on those words with you this “Passion Sunday.”

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Dave

4/3/2022 Welcome back!!

Well, it has certainly been a while...
Wearing masks at the worship services is now your personal choice.

We encourage anyone who is practicing caution because of health concerns to tell others if they are getting “too close for your comfort.” We should all be aware that we have older folk with compromised immunity worshiping with us.

We will start enjoying coffee hours again! Our first one will be Mother’s Day, May 8th. There’s a sign-up sheet in church to volunteer to host coffee hours. After the first one on Mother's Day, coffee hours will be on the first Sunday of each month, starting in June.