Monday, April 3, 2017

Holy Week Schedule

April 9th   10:30 am
Palm Sunday worship followed by a processional through the downtown.

April 13th   7 pm
Maundy Thursday Worship: A Service of Tennebrae. A service of reflection with Holy Communion.

April 14th   12-3:00 pm
Sanctuary open for personal worship/reflection, a printed meditation guide will be available.

April 16th   10:30 am
Easter. A service of celebration.
Everyone is asked to wear some symbol of joy (an Easter bonnet, a butterfly pin, a new spring outfit, etc.) No Sunday School.

April 2017 Church Calendar

Calendar Highlights: 
April 1:  Family Game Night •  5-7:00 p.m.
April 6:  Church Council Meeting •  7:00 p.m.
April 7:  Women’s Fellowship  •  12:00 p.m.
April 13:  Maundy Thursday Worship  •  7:00 p.m.
April 14:  Good Friday - Sanctuary Open  •  12-3:00 p.m.
April 16:  Easter Worship  •  10:30 a.m.
April 24:  Christian Education Meeting •  4:30 p.m.
April 30:  Blessing of the Bikes & Fellowship Potluck

April Celebrations

April Birthdays
6 Karen Diesel,  Billy Osborne
12 Pastor Kathy Lawes
13 Stevie Bateman
14 Joyce Ackerman
18 Karen Baston, Bridget Johnson
19 Kris Conley
23 Zachary Eckstrom
25 Bob Baker
27 Anna Koos
30 Alex Siebert,  Hannah Whitney

April Anniversaries
7 Jeff & Kathy Thompson    38 years
12 Jim & Bev Gillett    58 years
15 Roger & Theresa Biddle    28 years
16 Dr. Walt & Carol Thyng    28 years

From the Pastor - April 2017

Dear Friends in Christ,
Wow, what a time for us!  The first quarter of the year has ended and with it the good news (lower case letters) that the new parking lot is essentially paid off (there are a few hundred dollars outstanding, but we can absorb them in the operating budget — unless, of course, you are moved to make one final contribution!).  That parentheses is good news as well because it says that you are committed to your Faith/Promise.  The income flow is a bit more uneven than Sharon would like, but year-to-date income has been about equal to expenses.  Bravo and thank you for your faithfulness!

Now we turn toward the Good News.  Easter is barely two weeks away.  The Resurrection of Jesus is both the blessing and bane of Christianity.  My Lenten Sermon Series has been exploring some of the basic tenets of our belief as Christians.  You may have noted that even in the Early Church there were differences of understanding surrounding the entire Christ Event from birth to Resurrection.  And so it should be, given that we cannot know the mind of God fully.  The bottom line however is that God was at work restoring the broken relationship between people and the Divine Self.

In my sermon about the Transfiguration I said: “defining the details often derails the Spirit.”  It is the details that are the bane of the Resurrection.  That is true whether Easter and all that it stands for is about the actions of the God you believe in or the God you don’t, nevertheless it is about God.

Some of you have seen the movie “The Shack.”  One scene shows the difficulty with which McKenzie (the lead character) has when Jesus invites him to walk on the water; he hesitates, then dips a toe in and pulls back, then dips his toe again and then finally, with his hand in Jesus’ hand, steps out of the boat.  That scene is a beautiful synopsis of everyone’s faith journey.  It demonstrates what Kierkegaard calls the “leap of faith: that moment at which the search for understanding ends and you chose either to not believe or to believe — to remain in the familiar comfort of the boat or to step out into a whole new world.

Toward the end of the movie there is another powerful scene; McKenzie has come close to fully believing and attempts to walk on the water alone — he sinks and Jesus says “It works better when we do it together.”  For me the point is that we may never understand the details of how it works, but as long as Jesus is at our side, they don’t really matter.

Let me conclude with a terrible joke.  There was a congregation which was split over whether to stand during the Gospel reading or to sit.  Every time they changed pastors or held a congregational meeting they argued over which was the true tradition. Finally a new pastor and the head of the congregation went to the Pastor Emeritus.  They explained the problem and asked, “So what is the tradition?  Is it to sit?  “No”, said the wise old pastor.  “ Then it is to stand?”  “NO.”  The new pastor said, “But if we don’t know which is the tradition, we will continue to argue over it.”  The Pastor Emeritus responded: “THAT is the tradition.”  And the congregation lived.

For us the point of the story is that everybody in the congregation knew there was a tradition.  They just couldn’t decide what the details were.  The Resurrection is our tradition.  We may not grasp all the details, but we can still affirm: “Christ is Risen!  He is Risen indeed!”.

Yours in Christ’s service,
Dr. Walt

Upcoming Events

Sunday, April 30
People are encouraged to either ride or bring their bicycles, motorcycles, or scooters to church that day, and we will bless bikes as the riding season begins.

Save the Date: Elburn Crop Walk
Sunday, June 4 at 3 pm

Moderator Musings - April 2017

A few Decembers ago, I was in the car, listening to the radio. The announcer informed us all that the next item on the program would be a live performance by Chicago TubaChristmas, fifty-some people, and they would play “Silent Night”. I was laughing so hard I almost drove off the road. Silent night? Fifty tubas?

I was wrong. It was tenderly and lovingly played, and it was beautiful beyond words. 

This starts us wondering just how many times we scorn or reject someone’s offered contribution to a cause or project, because we think it has no value? Given the cacophony that surrounds our holidays, I would have said that fifty tubas would be about the last thing we could possibly need. Yet, these people had given us their time and skills to make their contribution to Christmas. And, it was valuable for that reason, even above and beyond the fact that it was a very simple and straight-to-the-heart piece of music.

There is a bumper sticker: “Start Seeing Motorcycles”. Okay, do that. But let’s also “Start Seeing Value” in people and what they can contribute. It all counts!

Some places you can contribute:

  1. Dr. Walt’s Lenten Bible Study: Come join us!
  2. Reverse Lent: We donate useful items for people who can use them.
  3. Kim’s Game Night on April 1: Come, bring neighbors and friends.
  4. Potluck: April 30: Hope to see you there!
  5. ___________________  Your idea goes here!
 Chris Pangborn