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This Bible story can be found in Acts 9: 1-19. Paul was a man driven by his dislike of Christians. Paul was determined to wipe out the early followers of Jesus. As a Roman citizen from a family with some community standing, Paul had the power to persecute Jesus’ followers. When Paul’s conversion took place, he was on his way to Damascus to find Christians and to bring them to justice.
It is important to understand Paul’s motives. Paul expected the Messiah to appear eventually, but he was looking for a royal Messiah. Paul rejected the idea of a Messiah who lived among society’s downtrodden and died on a cross.
As Paul got near Damascus, he was blinded by a bright light. Paul fell to the ground and heard the voice of Jesus ask him “Why do you persecute me?” When the light faded, Paul had lost his eyesight. Paul was led to Damascus when he waited for three days.
The man who Paul had believed to be a mere man and false teacher was now revealing himself to Paul as the Son of God. He told Paul to continue on his way to Damascus and that he would be told what to do. After meeting with one of the believers there named Ananias, Paul’s sight was restored. But far more importantly, his faith in God was transformed. He was convinced of the truth that Jesus was indeed God’s son.
Yet again, we are reminded that God’s love is unconditional and that God is able to work with anyone God chooses, regardless of that individual’s background or lifestyle.
During April vacation, the CE design committee is looking forward to taking the first steps towards updating the educational wing at the church - painting all the walls! While we have set up 2 hour blocks to sign up to help paint, don't feel limited! There are many hours of work to be done.
For all time blocks, there will be a coordinator from the design committee on site to lead the project.
We invite youth to paint with a supervising parent. Age of painters is at the discretion of parents - if you feel your child can focus, follow directions and be productive, we welcome the help!
If you need childcare in order to participate, please let us know. We'll do our best to provide coverage if requested. We plan to provide the basics for painting, but if you have any painting tools you prefer to use, feel free to bring them along.
Any questions or concerns, please reach out to Sue at email@example.com
This week, third grade students will be handing out palms beginning at 9 am. When taking a palm, also take a moment to note each of their stoles as each is different and is a reflection of that student.
As part of the third grade curriculum, students used class time this past month, to design and create their own stoles. They picked meaningful symbols, copied and cut it from felt and attached it to a long strip of felt which will be worn around their necks.
Grade 7 & 8 will also participate in the day's celebrations by holding palm fronds in the church aisle as third graders, the choir and Rev. Norm process into the sanctuary.
A HUGE thank you to these ladies for pulling off another successful Meet the Easter Bunny event! Without them all helping with the shopping, managing the event and setting up/cleaning up, this event couldn't go on. Sara Cohen deserves an extra big thank you for all her hard work orchestrating the entire event and Amanda Ramsdell gets an enormous shout out for playing to her young audience as the easter bunny. Thank you all!!
RE Committee: Sheila Nelson, Sara Cohen, Desma Kuras, Carolyn Fialkowski
BoM liason: Laura Holmes
We are looking for nursery care help for the 9 & 11 am Easter Service (4/1).
Young families would welcome an opportunity to worship without the distraction of having a young one in the pew with them. A few minutes of rest and reflection on Easter will go a long ways to refilling their soul.
If you are available, consider donating an hour of your time contact Sue Panilaitis– these young families will be thankful!
This story can be found in Luke 19:28-40.
This Sunday is Palm Sunday, the day we celebrate Jesus’ Passover entry into the city of Jerusalem. It marks the beginning of the week that forever changed the course of the world. A week marked with mixed emotions – celebration, anger, frustration, fear, sorrow, sadness and finally awesome joy. Recorded in all four Gospels, the lesson of the week tells the story of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The man who raised Lazarus from the dead, who brought sight to the blind and healing to the sick and injured, was coming to the Holy City. People broke palm branches off of nearby trees and waved them in greeting while shouting an Old Testament psalm, “Hosanna”, which is a word of praise for God. Others placed their cloaks on the road while some placed palm branches.
The story of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem had been described as the fulfilling of the prophecy found in Zechariah 9:9: “Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant . . . and riding on a donkey”. And Jesus did come riding on a young colt that had never been ridden. Moreover, when a king was entering a war zone, he would ride on a horse, but if a king wanted others to know he came in peace, he would ride on a donkey. Jesus wanted everyone to know that he was indeed the Messiah; Prince of Peace. His entry into Jerusalem was one final dramatic means of proclaiming that message.
The religious leaders however, were not celebrating that day; they wanted to silence the shouts of joy. The Pharisees, who were watching this passing parade from the sidelines, were probably feeling a bit out of control of the situation. Here they were trying to find just the right circumstances to arrest Jesus for mockery of their religion and blasphemy; then right in front of them, the world is greeting him like a king. The failure of their mission would have seemed quite inevitable.
Holy Week is the most powerful week in our Christian year. The week begins with Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem and ends with the celebration of Easter. But in between are stories of great passion. We have already told those stories in the previous lessons. Take time to recall the events as they happened as you progress through the week. This week reminds Christians all over the world just why they call themselves “Christian”.
This story can be found in Matthew 26:17-30.
During Passover, the Jewish people remember how Moses led the Hebrew people out of slavery in Egypt. Since Passover is one of the three great pilgrimage festivals, the number of people in the city of Jerusalem grew by three times.
Public guest chambers in the city and nearby villages quickly filled up with travelers coming to celebrate. But Jesus made arrangements in advance for his group of followers. All they had to do was to follow the man carrying the water jar (which was an easy task as men did not normally do this). During this meal however, the disciples would have had no way of knowing that Jesus would use the meal to begin a sacrament that is still with us today.
That night Jesus not only honored the Jewish tradition, but also gave the meal a whole new meaning. Jesus introduced the bread and the cup as symbols by which he would be remembered. The he gave his disciples a new commandment – to love one another just as he had loved them. This commandment gave instruction for the future: to be witnesses to Jesus by being a living example.
During this meal, Jesus announced to his friends that this would be their last meal together and that shockingly, one disciple would betray him to the religious leaders. Jesus even made his famous prediction to Peter “The rooster won’t crow today before you have denied me three times that you know me” (Luke 22:34).
One of the wonderful things about the Lord’s Supper is it’s historical significance – a meal celebrated as part of the Jewish faith – changed and became a meal and a sacrament for Christians. As Christians today, each time we participate in the sacrament, we are called to remember God’s mighty acts in Jesus Christ and to renew our promise to be disciples of Jesus, joined with him in a ministry of the world. Christ dies; Christ has risen; Christ will come again.
Come join us on April 7th from 6-7:30 for a building wide Nerf party! Bring your own labeled nerf gun, eye protection and a friend for a night of fun. Standard nerf bullets will be provided by the CE committee, so please leave personal ones at home. The nerf game will be followed by drinks, pizza and dessert. In order to make sure we have the correct amount for all, please take a moment to sign up. Link can be found here.