April begins this year with the Paschal Triduum (TRI-do-um). That is the fancy Latin liturgical term for the Great Three Days of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Vigil of Easter, which together constitute a single service commemorating the central events of the Christian faith. In the early church, when most new Christians were adult converts, rather than children born to Christian families, the season of Lent was the time of preparation for baptism, and the Vigil of Easter was service at which they were baptized. This year the three days will extend to a fourth, as we will delay the normal Easter celebration at the end of the Vigil until Easter morning. I encourage you to participate in all four portions of this services via our livestreams at 7:00 p.m. each evening on Thursday through Saturday, and 9:30 on Sunday.
Grace will be holding Lenten midweek services at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesdays, February 24 – March 24. We will live-stream a simple service of evening prayer similar to our Advent evening prayer services in December.
We begin a Lenten study of the book Entering the Passion of Jesus by Amy-Jill Levine, led by Pastor Janet Lepp. (The book is available
online from various retailers.) We will be covering Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem as found in Matthew 21:1-11. During our session we will be looking at both the introduction and chapter 1 of the book. Those who have purchased the book may want to read ahead before we meet, but this is not a requirement. Please come even if you don’t have the book. Everyone is welcome!
Lent begins with Ash Wednesday on February 17. We will be having a live-streamed service that evening, but without the imposition of ashes, for obvious reasons. But I want to offer you the opportunity to receive the ashes that day, so from noon until 1 p.m. I will be available in the church parking lot for those who wish to receive them, in the same place where we distribute communion on communion Sundays I will administer the ashes using a Q-tip lightly sprayed with olive oil so as to limit physical contact. It might help your decision about taking advantage of this opportunity to know that Pastor Repp received his first COVID vaccination on January 21, and will receive the second shot on February 11.
We will hold our annual congregational budget meeting on January 24 at 10:45 via Zoom, to approve our 2021 budget. The budget will be sent out via email this coming week, and there will be a budget forum at 10:45 a.m. on Sunday, January 17, to help prepare for this vote. Please use the Coffee
Hour Zoom link for the budget forum. (The congregational meeting link will be provided the week of the meeting.)