I am thankful for you.
I am thankful for the folks who came up on Palm Saturday, so to speak, and helped get the church building into tip-top shape for Holy Week. I am thankful for the egg stuffers, the candy buyers, the egg scatterers, the egg collectors, the potluck participants, the worship leaders, the worship attenders, the folks behind the scenes and on the scene, the celebrants, the mourners, the healthy and the sick, the studiers, the soupers, the baptistery fillers and the baptized, the conversationalists and the doers, all of us who shouted with great gusto, “Alleluia!” on Sunday for Christ is risen—he is Risen indeed.
New life is amazing life because death and destruction, though still active far too often, have lost their mighty power. And though I was trudging like a zombie before Maundy Thursday service (which, by the way, Kathy did an amazing job designing, building and taking lead on that service, right?), I was blessed to walk with all of you through another engaging and thoughtful, discipling Lent, and add my voice to yours with that glad and holy Alleluia this past Sunday. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Midway Hills, for calling me to serve as your pastor and giving me the chance to tell everyone, “I love what I do because my passion is in these people” every single day.
The question becomes, of course, “Now what?” This Sunday, we’ll be kicking off an Easter-Ever-After series in worship looking at all the stuff in the gospels that happens after Easter. (Sorry, the Gospel According to Mark!) And then, I will be gone for a couple weeks.
Don’t look at me like that. I’m already breaking the International Rules of Senior Ministry by preaching the Sunday after Easter, he says, tongue in cheek. I’ll be taking a week of vacation beginning April 13, traveling to see my friends Val and Jacob in Denver, and from there, I’ll fly to Tampa for my Bethany Ecumenical Fellows retreat as part of my professional development time. I will see you back in worship on April 26.
I should note a few things about time away. I will not be accessible in any way for thirteen days. (I will break that rule once, to hear the results of Kathy Bouchard’s ordination interview with the Region.) I won’t check e-mail, I won’t check voicemail at the church, I won’t be on facebook, and I will not respond to texts or calls to my cell phone. It’s not because I don’t love you, it’s not because I don’t think the world of all of you, it is a matter of self-care—I will work all the time unless I do not. So, forgive me in advance if I seem non-responsive. I will come back and be chipperier and goofier, in my well-rested prime.
But before then! We’ll be talking about breaking bread on the road to Emmaus this Sunday. I look forward to seeing you there.