April 13, 2016
On October 18, we launched weekly services at City of Light, but 22 weeks later during our first Holy Week it felt like we experienced another launching. It is on the Cross and in the Resurrection that we truly see who God is. For us, it was also in our celebration of the Cross and Resurrection that we saw more of who we are as a church and who God wants us to be.
Several folks said to Bonnie and me, "I was wondering why you kept talking about Easter and what the big deal is. Now I get it." In a culture that tries so hard to manufacture one experience better than the last, tasting the real joy of Resurrection as we do simple things like ring bells, sing, and dance is an extraordinary thing. People who were new to this tradition and who have celebrated this way for years have all said, "This is true joy and this church is our home." Our first journey through Holy Week brought us closer to the Lord and to one another as a new church family.
Thank you for your constant prayers and generous giving that makes this work of the kingdom possible. You are such an important part of our City of Light ministry team each and every week, but a week like this reminds us afresh of the incredible partnership we have with you. Here are just a few ways we saw the fruit of your prayers:
A Holy Week Craft—We held an event at Hill Elementary that brought 60 children, 16 parents, and 8 City of Light team members together on Maundy Thursday. Three families came back on Easter Sunday to worship with us.
Invitation—We had visitors at every service of Holy Week, several of whom were unchurched or had been away from the church. 49 people joined us for an outdoor Stations of the Cross service and over one hundred people worshipped with us on Easter Sunday.
Teams—46 people served on Holy Week teams, 9 of them serving for the first time. Several new musicians and visual artists joined the team for Holy Week, creating beauty that brought us into the presence of the Lord.
Healing—We had a beautiful time of prayer at the cross at our evening service on Good Friday and a Prayer Team of 6 people praying with others for healing.
Baptism—We had our second baptism as a church on the Second Sunday of Easter and we are preparing for several more at the feast of Pentecost.
McMaken Family—We were able to enter into worship together this Holy Week more than ever before, processing on Palm Sunday, washing each other's feet on Maundy Thursday, praying at the cross together on Friday, and dancing together on Easter. Thank you for continuing to hold us and Nora and Finn up in prayer!