When evening came, Jesus arrived with the Twelve. While they were reclining at the table eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me—one who is eating with me.”
They were saddened, and one by one they said to him, “Surely you don’t mean me?”
Mark 14:17-19 (NIV)
By the end of the school year, in elementary school offices and lobbies across the country, an uncountable multitude of mittens, hats, water bottles, jackets, and more will overfill bins and boxes, requiring more bins and boxes to be contained. Sometimes these items even have the names of their owners written on them, but it’s no use: they will be forever unclaimed.
It’s not just kids. Ask at your doctor’s office, the grocery store, or anywhere else you go today. There will be forgotten stuff stashed somewhere. We even have a small box in the church with glasses, gloves, scarves, and other personal effects you’d think were important enough to someone to be remembered. Sometimes things, even useful things, are simply forgotten.
I think this is why the Communion table quotes Jesus: “In Remembrance of Me.” Maybe this is why Jesus reminded his closest followers who he was, again and again, even while he was still with them. People forget things, even important things.
This Sunday we celebrate Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem with palm branches and singing. We also remember Jesus’s passion ordeal, death, and burial. We do this because Jesus commanded us to remember him, and also because we need to be reminded to live the faithful lives he calls us to live.
Oh, and speaking of kids: we are happy to welcome back the church’s youngest disciples this Sunday for their first session of Sunday School in a year. For parents and others who have questions on what this will look like, know that your child will be invited to participate in parading through the sanctuary with a palm branch during our first hymn if you (and they) would like. After that, Judy, Kim, and others will lead them to the Fellowship Hall for two crafts and time together. It will be familiar and different. We all will likely need to time to adjust and settle into this next phase of the road back to normal.
After a lot of thought and prayer, we will be observing the Great Three Days/Triduum apart again. The services of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday are both very sensory and hands-on, and it’s very difficult to do them well with current restrictions in place. I will provide good prayers, videos, and other content to help you center your heart and prepare for Easter. We will have a Sunrise Service Easter morning in the Memorial Garden outside the sanctuary.
So – let’s remember, but don’t forget that, no matter what, God is love and you are invited today and every day to grow in God’s grace. See you Sunday.
Grace and Peace,
Return to Sunday School For Our Youngest Disciples
This Sunday we are blessed to welcome back your little ones! We ask that all who are old enough to wear a face-covering please do. Please prepare them also that things may be a little different. For example, we will be upstairs, not downstairs; there won’t be cookies and cake just yet, etc. What there will be are teachers and helpers who are ready to share crafts and the love of God with your children.
Easter Flower Sales
For those coming to worship in person this week, you’ll find a bulletin insert with information on how to purchase Easter flowers this year. If you’re not comfortable returning to the building just yet, you can place an order with Gretchen in the office over phone and mail or drop off payment. Call (908)782-1070 with any questions.
Continuing Coffee Hour Over Zoom
Laura Newton will host a weekly time of conversation and connection at 11:30 am after our worship service each week. Login available at 11:15am or conclusion of worship, whichever is later.
Here is a link to that time –
If you have questions or need help, you can ask Pastor Ben or Laura. Don’t be shy, you are missed and a part of this church family, too!
New Upper Rooms are Available in the Church Office
The new Upper Room Daily Devotionals are also available now. If you’d like to pick yours up, Gretchen is in the church office from 9am-noon Tuesday – Friday each week. Please call ahead so she can set whatever you are picking up out for you.
You will find every newsletter, worship service, devotional, and additional material posted to our Facebook page:
Even if you don’t use Facebook, you can access everything we have there. If you do have a Facebook account, “like” to follow our page and be notified when new things are posted or when videos are about to go live so you don’t miss anything.
Coffee Hour is a time of sharing after Sunday morning worship hosted by Laura Newton at approximately 11:30am. All are welcome!
If you have any difficulties accessing any of those links, please reply to this message or call the church office at (908)782-1070 and we will get you connected right away.