….A newsletter from the desk of Pastor Steve-Orono United Methodist Church….
I have a fill-in the blank challenge for you. Ready? Here goes. Fill-in this blank: April is ___________. I am imagining the various words offered to fill-in the blank, including: muddy, too cold, a birthday month (as is the case with my family), a good month to go on a cruise, kick-off for the Red Sox season, a time of shrinking snowbanks, when crocuses begin appearing, and of course, pot-hole season.
However you may fill-in the blank, I invite you to consider filling-in the blank with these words: April is the season of Easter. Yep, that’s right, while we celebrate Easter Sunday, Easter is not confined to merely one day, instead Easter is a season. This season is also known as Eastertide, and stretches 50 days from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday, which falls on May 20th this year.
So what are we to do during these 50 days of Eastertide, paint more Easter eggs? Throw another Easter ham in the oven? Well, sure-if that’s your thing. However, Easter is really about a season of celebration and ministry. Easter is a time we celebrate resurrection, new life, and renewal, as evidenced by crocuses beginning to peek out of the winter-weary soil. Eastertide is also a time when we live in a way that demonstrates thanksgiving for these gifts of new life and renewal, by caring, supporting and loving each other, often through participating in the ministries of our church. I wonder what that might look like for you?
During this season of Eastertide, I invite you to journey along with us in any number of ways. For example, join us for a study group on Sunday mornings at 9:45, Tuesday afternoons at 1pm, or Wednesday evenings at 6:30. We are about to begin a new study called, believe it or not, “Mayberry RFD and the Parables.” In this interesting and humorous study, we will look at clips of the Andy Griffith show, complete with Andy, Barney, Opie, Aunt Bea and the other cast of characters, and look at how these clips serve as examples of parables Jesus offered. After this 5 week study, we will jump into a study called “The Wesleyan Way,” which addresses the topic of discipleship.
How else might you join-in during Eastertide season? How about helping-out with our “After School at 36 Oak” program for local children, assisting with the youth group, helping prepare and serve meals for the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter, or singing in the choir? You could also join us for the “Hike for the Homeless,” support our wonderful United Methodist Women, or embrace some of the numerous activities listed on our “Spring Into Missions” flyer available at church.
I sure do hope your Easter Sunday was grand. Let us now walk together through the next 50 days that is Eastertide, supporting and participating in the ministries of the church as we journey forward. Amen?