Pastor’s Word

Since Easter, which is April 1, is the time of the year when your friends who don’t have a meaningful walk with God are most open to accepting an invitation to Church, I will use my column to give an overview off our Easter Weekend experiences.
The first is a Maundy Thursday experience, also known as Holy Thursday. The word “maundy” is a Latin term that means “commandment” and refers to the command Jesus gave on the last night of His life to love one another. Our Maundy Thursday experience will begin with a community meal (potluck) eaten in “families” complete with some interacting with the biblical narrative. This will be followed with a group worship and foot-washing experience based on John 13. Overall it will be a low-key, interactive experience.
The second is our Prayer Vigil. We seek to have at least two prayers on site at our campus in Sterling from 9 PM Thursday to 3 PM Friday…the traditional hour Jesus left the Upper Room to the hour He died on the Cross. We have it broken down into 1 hour shifts and will provide a prayer guide that will easily allow you to fill the hour. Many find this to be a rich spiritual part of celebrating Easter. I know I am already signed up for the midnight shift.
The third is our Easter Eve Worship Experience on Saturday, March 31 at 6 PM.We have added this to our normal Easter schedule for two main reasons. First, since time is always tight in our services due to our back to back Sunday morning services, we have not been able to make baptism a part of our Easter celebration. The Saturday evening service will allow us to do that. We have 6 people ready to be baptized and more are welcome. Also, we know that when many of you ask your friends to church they tell you they already have brunch plans or something. Well, now you can invite them to the Saturday night service. It will be a full-blown Easter service with Baptisms, which are always a great witness.
Of course, we will also have our regular Resurrection Celebration experiences at 9 and 10:30 on Easter Sunday. These will be their usual joy-filled, inspirational times complete with a practical message about the implications of Jesus’ Resurrection for 21st Century living. As you know from past experiences, these are great times to connect with God.
We will have invitation cards available soon for you to use to invite your friends. The four worship experiences over the weekend afford us to opportunity from a seating capacity to touch more than 1,000 lives, each personally important to God. I am praying we will need every seat!
See you Sunday as we continue through the Peaks and Valleys of His Journey to the Empty Tomb.
Blessing,

Neal