Join Us for Holy Week and Easter Sunday, April 16

Holy Week is April 9-15, and Easter Sunday is April 16! The season of Lent culminates in Holy Week, and the joy of Easter morning! Please mark your calendars now, and journey with us from Palm Sunday to Easter. Absolutely EVERYONE is welcome! April 9: Palm Sunday Theologian-in-Residence (TIR) and best-selling author, Dr. Elaine Pagels, […]

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Holy Week at First Church: Staying in Love with God

Join us at First Church during Holy Week as we continue to explore our Lenten theme, Staying in Love with God, on our journey to the joy of Easter morning! Absolutely everyone is welcome! SUNDAY, MARCH 29–PALM SUNDAY Palm Sunday begins with the Interdenominational Palm Sunday Parade of Palms along Pine Street between 14th & […]

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Holy Week Schedule

Sunday, April 13th is Palm Sunday. At 10:00 am we will have our annual Pine Street Palm Sunday Processional complete with donkeys, palms and shouts of “Hosanna! Hosanna!” Plan on gathering along Pine Street around 9:45 am. At 10:30 am Pat’s Palm Sunday message will be What Is the Palm Sunday Story You Need This […]

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Easter Sunday – April 20

The Joy of Easter is Within You! Focus Scripture: Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her. John 20:18 Easter by Madeline Wallace From moments of frustration to fulfillment From sleepless nights filled with Thoughts of the days’ […]

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Holy Week – April 19

Focus Scripture: So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away.
Matthew 27:59-60

What do we do with Holy Saturday? The first Holy Saturday was the Sabbath for our Hebrew ancestors in faith, who followed the historic Jewish rituals of their day with reverence and devotion. The Roman soldiers rested and relaxed; there was little trouble on a Sabbath.

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Holy Week – Good Friday, April 18

Focus Scripture: When Jesus had received the wine, he said “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
John 19:30

Jesus says, “It is finished,” and then he dies. For some of us, life is finished long before we draw our last breath. The best explication of this comes from The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in a sermon he delivered November 5, 1967, at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia:

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Holy Week – April 17

Focus Scripture: Jesus said,…“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
John 13:34-35

I love Fred Phelps, founder of independent Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, and head of the church until he was excommunicated last year. Fred Phelps has been an outspoken hater of LGBTQ folks and has demonstrated at military funerals, harassing the families of slain soldiers and presenting God as a vengeful God. Still I love Fred Phelps.

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Holy Week – April 16

Focus Scripture: When he had gone out, Jesus said,
“Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once.”
John 13:31-32

Just before Jesus makes this statement, he has told Judas to leave the Passover table so that Judas can turn him into the authorities. Jesus immediately says that in this action of betrayal, Jesus and God are glorified. In this text, the term “glorified” refers to the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus. So what this passage is really saying is that the act of Jesus sending Judas to betray him is the very act that killed, resurrected and ascended Jesus. Easter is here because of a betrayal blessed by Jesus. This betrayal causes God and Jesus to be glorified within and through each other.

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