One year ago at this time we had just changed the message sign from closed until March 26 to closed until April 15. We had to change that date a couple more times after that.
One year ago a small group of us were preparing online worship for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Day. In fact we recorded all three of these videos on the same evening.
It was worship. It raised up the sacred events of Jesus’ death and resurrection. And I know from the viewership statistics these services were seen by many. The one video, for Easter Day, had over 500 views.
It was worship. But it was empty of the personal sights and expressions that only a worshipping community can provide. It will be different this year. We will be together, both in person and online. While the necessary safety precautions of masks and distancing must continue, our sacred time of Holy Week will be different than last year. Many of you are able to be present while some others must still continue to view from their homes. Everyone will give thanks to Jesus for his selfless act of grace, which we worship and celebrate during all of Holy Week. His example of care for the neighbor is an example we must keep in the front of our minds. It is through such care, that the message sign will once again read something like: We’re wide open. Don’t hesitate. You are welcome. Sit anywhere you like (or something like that).
Clifton D. Eshbach,
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I’m writing this article on a Monday afternoon, just a couple hours after receiving my first vaccination dose. It is exciting to hear from so many of you who have started or completed the vaccination regimen. I hope all of you can be scheduled soon. God has blessed us with skillful medical professionals who, along with our ability to use safe practices, begin the process to a healthier day. Thanks be to God!
Running Pump Road Clean-Up
April 24, 7:00 a.m.
After a year away due to the pandemic, we are able to resume our bi-annual clean-up of running Pump Road. If you can help, gather at the church at 7 a.m. on Saturday, April 24. Thank you for providing this ministry to the community.
Outdoor Clean-up/Mulch Day
The same day, April 24 will be our annual outdoor clean-up and mulch day, beginning at 9 a.m. This is a cooperative work day with the members of Scout Troop 30. Come and be part of the fun!
The monthly drive-up food drives on a Saturday have proven effective and they will continue in 2021. The time is from 10 a.m. until noon on April 10.
Just drive up to the front door of the church and place your donation onto the cart that will be located on the sidewalk. Simple!
large grape jelly,
Have Sunday School on-line at the Holy Spirit website. Click on the Sunday School tab at the top to view a lesson prepared for children. But really, everyone will enjoy the lesson!
There are signs that things are improving. As I write this article there is a slow trend toward decreasing numbers of new cases of COVID-19 Lancaster County and an increase in numbers of people becoming fully vaccinated.
While encouraging, it is necessary to note that this is just the beginning. We may have come a long way from one year ago, but we still have quite a ways to go before declaring this wilderness journey completed.
So we keep doing what God has called us to do. Which is to love the neighbor by continuing to adhere to the necessary practices (masks & distancing to name two) that we know help keep people safe. We must keep trying to get an appointment for the vaccine. We must not give in to the temptation of becoming lethargic in remembering and using these safe practices.
What a journey to go through during this season. Throughout the remaining weeks of Lent we follow Jesus on his own, unique journey which leads to the cross and the empty tomb. He continues to explain what is going to happen. And we continue to learn what this great, loved filled act of Jesus means for us.
This learning intensifies during Holy Week, which starts on March 28 with the Sunday of the Passion, and reaches its climax on Easter.
God bless your journey during this season. I hope you can avail yourselves of the times for worship on Wednesday evening and Sunday morning (all services are live on our Facebook page). Of course remaining safe and healthy, as God leads us with those
improving signs of God’s grace for this needy world.
Clifton D. Eshbach,