Click here to continue reading PT's reflection...Go. The Way You See Everything Has Been Changed.
Poet Christopher Morley rightly captures my thoughts this time of year,
"April prepares her green traffic light and the world thinks 'Go.'"
The iris in my father's front garden are starting to bloom. Glorious blue and purple now greet you as you drive down the long driveway, a welcome mat for both you, and for spring.
While my soul is more of an Autumn soul...I revel in darkening days, cooler temperatures, and times of transition...early spring provides the mirror image that is often just as satisfying, at least for a while.
There is beauty in death and birth. Not always in equal measure, mind you, but it is there.
But here's the thing about both of those hinge-moments in time: they are wrought with pain and anxiety; fissures of the physical, spiritual, and mental self appear and call for attention.
Anyone walking with someone who is waiting to give up life or give into new life is invited to a holy time of anxiety and pain.
Those iris are beautiful, but they didn't appear without some small violence. The bulbs had to break. The ground had to break. Everything had to change for it to come into being.
"Unless a grain of wheat dies," Jesus says...which is lovely poetry until it actually starts to happen.
And then it is, at least for a time, pure pain.
The Sunday texts directly following Easter are always from John 20:19-31. Every year it remains the same because the Lectionary, in its wisdom, knows that while Jesus might be resurrected, the disciples will take a bit longer to rise from their tombs...both the disciples in the upper room and the disciples in the pews.
The church doesn't like to talk about this very often, but sometimes resurrection takes a while. Which is why both Good Friday and the Easter Vigil are so long. Resurrection takes a while: to sink in, to become a reality, to permeate your being, to happen.
And so when Jesus appears to the disciples who are locked up in that room, still in their pre-Easter life, despite the dead and resurrected one having made some choice appearances, notice that the doors of the place are not busted open, but rather the doors that lock the disciples hearts will be burst like the tomb that Easter morning.  
Sunday's Readings
Acts 4:32-35
Psalm 133
1 John 1:1-2:2
 John 20:19-31

Penny Wars start this Sunday!  Bring in your pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, bills and checks to support the orphans of Mnene parish. Remember to put only the pennies in the jar of the team that you are pulling for; all other donations go in the jar of the team you are pulling against.

Pastor Tim and Pastor Marsha will be at conferences Monday, April 9 through Friday, April 13. In case of emergency, please contact the church office at 919-848-1573. 

Volleyball in the Fellowship Hall - Wednesday, April 11 -  Youth and adults are invited to join in pickup games anytime from 6:00-8:00 pm. All skill levels are welcome. Bring a friend. Volleyball is great for your body and for your soul!

Rams Men's Ministry Dinner & Discussion: God and Politics - Tuesday, April 17, 6:30-8:00 pm, Fellowship Hall - If you are wrestling with how to live out your Christian faith in this highly polarized political climate, this discussion with Pastor Tim is for you. RSVP by Friday, April 13 online or to rams@gslchurch.org.

More information about upcoming events is available in this week's bulletin announcements.

Health and Healing  for David Schmutz, Cheryl Kruse's friend; and Larry Colenzo, Lois Walker's brother-in-law.

Thanksgiving for this Sunday's baptism of Brandt Lewis, son of Heath and Elizabeth Rupert.

Christian Sympathy
to Elizabeth Arrowood and family at the death of her mother, Marie Rodden.

For the Orphans of Mnene Parish, including Faith Zhou and Shuvai Gumbo.

Faith, quiet and friendly, will be 19 next month.  She did not pass her "O" level tests last semester which was very upsetting for her.  She dealt with some personal and emotional issues this past year.  The Mnene staff will work with her to discern what her next educational path will be.  She visited with our 2017 mission team at Victoria Falls.  Her Mail For Mnene partner is the Montgomery family.

Shuvai, 23, is an outgoing, articulate, affectionate young lady.  She left school to marry and has a 1 year old son.  (Young girls in Zimbabwe are vulnerable to early marriage.)  Her husband is a farmer and takes care of his family's homestead.  Shuvai would like to return to hairdressing school once her son is a little older and can be cared for by her husband while she attends classes.  She spent time with our 2017 mission team. Her Mail For Mnene partner is the Cash family.

 
Visit the Wittenberg Information Center in the Narthex for photos of this week's orphans and  more information on the Mnene Ministry.

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