As spring arrives and weather warms, flowers bloom and trees bud, all of nature participates in God’s invitation to renewal! With Holy Week and Easter right around the corner on the calendar, there are plans unfolding here at DCC for several special worship experiences with exciting and energizing music; children, youth, and adults all singing us closer to God, celebrating the drama of God’s love for us, reading the salvation-history-stories; and remembering our place in it all. With all of these plans in place for a meaningful Holy Week and Easter celebrations, it’s all about God’s invitation!!!
It’s about God’s invitation to you to experience personal spiritual renewal and the ‘Resurrection wonder’ again this year! It’s also about your invitation to others you know who may be searching, struggling, or longing for new life.
Please see the list of special events and worship experiences on the April calendar! Palm Sunday worship, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunrise Bonfire and Breakfast, and Easter morning at 9:30 and 11:30. The following meditation is from the Wild Goose worship group, and I hope you find meaning and identify with it in some of the ways I do… as you take time to read it, alongside the biblical narratives during Holy Week.
Lord Jesus, here are your disciples.
Your wounded hands and feet in the world today are ours.
At times we have been the frightened ones, staying at a distance,
Worried about our safety and our reputations.
But You come close to us, bringing peace and challenge,
Unlocking our potential and setting us free.
At times we have been the confused ones, feeling far from You
With questions that don’t have answers.
So, in the evening of Your resurrection we listen for Your voice.
The Risen Christ says to us: “Peace be with you,
As the Father sent me, so I am sending You!”
As the body of Christ, we join our hearts and hands together;
through our fears, through our doubts, through our confusion…
May we continue Jesus’ work as we travel many roads,
Liberated and united by the love of the Resurrected One.
Take some time in the coming days to consider friends and loved ones around you who may appreciate God’s invitation to renewal this Holy Week and Easter. You know them: broken hearts in need of healing, those who are mourning in need of support and joy, some folks worried, others deeply frightful of all kinds of things, as well as energetic spirits in need of one more joyous song to sing… offer them God’s invitation to renewal this Holy Week and Easter, inviting them to come along with you to DCC !
May the deep peace of the Crucified and Resurrected One be yours this Holy Week and Easter!
Yours In Christ... Pastor Ed
In two separate sessions, over the span of 13 weeks in the fall and winter, as many as 22 seekers from DCC and the broader community met together at the Sunset Grill on Indian Lake, owned by Mahmoud Abdei, to learn about the similari es and di erences in the faith of Chris ans and Muslims.
We considered passages in the Islamic sacred scriptures, the Quran, alongside ancient Hebrew scriptures (OT) and the Christian scriptures (NT). We also learned about the historical Muhammad, the spread of the Islamic faith in the world, Islamic fundamentalism, the ministries of Muhammad and Jesus, religious violence perpetrated in the names of both Jesus and Muhammad, and some important trends among the sects of Islam. We also enjoyed the perspec ve of a new friend, Jawad Bayat, a theologically trained Muslim scholar, who joined us for 2 sessions.
Among the topics was “Primary Theological Beliefs”... and we considered the basic tenants of the Muslim faith, comparing them to many of the similar theological ideas in Chris anity. In the middle of discussions like this, our own Chris an ideas, theology, and understanding of the scriptures begins to be very important, as many realize how li le they have really sharpened their focus on their own faith tradi on.
This year, during the Chris an observance of Lent, beginning March 1 (with an Ash Wednesday 7 pm worship service), I’d like to invite you to join me in considering some of the primary theological beliefs which are central to Chris anity. The resource we will use is another of the superb Adam Hamilton DVD -study books, entitled:
“Creed: What Christians Believe and Why – Exploring the Apostle’s Creed”.
Here is an introductory video for the study series.
If you’d like to get started on the reading material, I have copies of the book in my office. We will meet on Tuesday evenings at 7 pm in the downstairs “Conference Room” (below the Choir Room), beginning March 7th.
During the Lenten season, I am going to be preaching and shaping worship around the following 6 study topics: God , Jesus Christ, The Holy Spirit, The Church and the Communion of Saints, the Forgiveness of Sins, and the Resurrection of the Body. If you have something in particular you’d like to share about any of these topics, whether your own personal stories or something which has touched your heart and mind, I hope you will email me ( email@example.com ). I always enjoy conversations that will broaden my own perspective and add depth to my own convictions.
I hope you will join in our worship, our study, and our mission activities during the Lenten Season. As we make our way toward Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Easter, you are invited to take a closer look at your own faith, to dive deeper into your commitment to Jesus, and to live more intentionally to serve others in His name!
Deep peace, pure blue of the brightening spring skies to you… Pastor Ed