Rev. Kathi's Message:
Among the many things we have grown in our garden over the years, spring bulbs have been the best investment of time, energy and hope. Always the first to break through the warming soil with their sassy colours and evocative fragrance. Their flowering schedule is a measure for me of the progress of spring: first the snowdrops, then the crocus looking so fragile; daffodils are followed quickly by hyacinth and tulips. I don't have to buy them every year, no standing in the greenhouse debating choices. They just show up and make me look like I might know what I am doing.
Everything is still frozen in our temperate zone. Most mornings the thermometer sits well below zero. And when I step outside my house, all the plants are a brownish ruin, tangles of the dead and decayed-all but one. In the beds closest to our front door, the snowdrops have been up for weeks, ice-covered ground notwithstanding. There they are-bursting forth, tiny little reminders that winter will end, that life will return.
I can't help drawing a parallel to the bursting forth of Jesus from the tomb (you knew I would), though that's a limited comparison at best. The bulbs have been dormant, but hardy. Christian orthodoxy tells us that Jesus was not sleeping, but that he was truly dead. He harrowed hell, as the old Apostles' Creed reminded us, entering the land of the dead to bring God's people to new life.
But do you remember? In at least one gospel, Mary Magdalene mistakes Jesus for the gardener early Easter morning. A sermon I heard by a seminary classmate years ago suggested that, maybe that's because Jesus was gardening! Maybe the thing he wanted most to do in his resurrection life was to dig in the earth, to plant things and watch them grow.
Novelist Margaret Atwood wrote, "In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt." I agree. Spring is the time for doing as that mysterious gardener may have done, and setting to digging and planting, and making space in our little patch of earth for what is delicious or what is beautiful-or both. This also sounds to me like a call to resurrection life. For those of us who follow a crucified and risen Lord, maybe we should also be ready to dig and plant, making room on our little patch of earth for the seeds of the gospel to burst into bloom.
Holy God, you make life spring forth from darkness and decay. You bring forth green shoots from the ruins of our lives. Give us, we pray, hearts to work alongside you in casting and planting your gospel seeds today, in the name of the One who burst forth from the tomb. Amen.
This Week at EMUC
Sunday March 25th Palm Sunday
Responsive Reading: Psalm 118: 1-2, 19-29
Gospel: Mark 11: 1-11
Message: Parade or Protest
Available after service:
Sales of turkey pies and
Circle of Friends
Thursday March 22nd
Maundy Thursday Service
7:45 pm: Chancel Choir practice
9:00 pm: Vigil begins
Friday March 30th
9:00 am: Good Friday Service
After service: Hot Cross Bun Breakfast
After breakfast: Decorating Sanctuary for Easter
Saturday March 31st
Midnight to 3:00 pm: Vigil continues
Next Sunday April 1st: Easter Worship led by Rev. Kathi
MURDER MYSTERY DINNER THEATRE - "FROWNTON ABBEY"
Tickets Have Arrived!
Our much anticipated fundraising evening is approaching! The cast from Eden United and our own Erin Mills United are rehearsing for this highly entertaining dinner theatre show that will take place at Eden United Church on Saturday, April 28 and Sunday, April 29 at 5:00 p.m.. Come and enjoy a 4-course meal and a cash bar, while watching the mystery unfold. Tickets will go on sale on Sunday March 4 and we are expecting to sell out for both evenings, so get your tickets early. Tickets are priced at $30.00 each. Come with friends and family and you will be assigned a table together as a group. Just be sure to let us know who you'll be sitting with when you buy your tickets. **Please make all cheques out to Eden United Church Women** This is a joint fundraiser for each church and we will be sharing the revenue with Eden United, so we encourage you to come out and support the hard work of the volunteers who are putting it together. Enjoy the show!
SUPPORT DEACON'S CUPBOARD
Deacon's Cupboard is in need of powdered milk. If you can help, leave your donation in the narthex at the church.
The Easter Vigil is a longstanding tradition at Erin Mills United. Please sign up for one or more 'one hour' periods to spend time praying, reflecting, reading, meditating or just being quiet in God's presence. The Vigil will commence on Thursday, March 29 at 9:00 pm and continue to Saturday, March 31 at 3:00 pm.
Last year people were invited to sign up for an "overnight" vigil for either the Thursday or Friday night (starting at 11:00 pm to 7:00 am). Since this was a positive experience last year, you are once again invited to bring your sleeping bag and pillow for comfort.
Please sign up for time slots on the Vigil sheet located on the bulletin board outside the office door. Any questions can be directed to Sylvia Arnold.
The Worship Committee is taking orders for Easter Flowers up to Palm Sunday March 25th. You may purchase flowers to decorate the worship space for Easter by completing the designated envelopes. Flowers may be donated in memory of a loved one and taken home after Easter Sunday. Contributions of $10 toward larger arrangements of hydrangeas and pansies are welcome. Tulips or daffodils are $10/each. Because of allergies, there will be no lily sales.
EUCHRE AND DESSERT EVENING
EMUC's last euchre night of the season is on Saturday, March 24th. Sign-in at 6:30 pm and start play at 7 pm sharp. The cost is $10 per person (paid at the door). All are welcome including those with no playing partners.
Email Mary Anna to reserve a seat and include the number of attendees.
We are continuing with FUNDSCRIP, an innovative fundraising program that asks you to purchase gift cards in order to pay for regular items you buy every month. A percentage of the cards we purchase through FUNDSCRIP is donated back to our church. Order forms for gift cards will be available the last Sunday of every month. The next order date is this Sunday, Mar. 25, 2018. Please see the display board at the back of the church or speak to Joanne Hines if you have any questions about the program.
WHAT TO DO WITH USED GIFT CARDS?
Erin Mills Town Centre has a box beside the Guest Service desk where you can deposit your depleted, used gift cards. You may also place then in a small box on the Visitors table beside the photocopier room for those who would prefer to leave their old cards at church. Mary Anna Williams will ensure they are dropped off at the Town Centre.
The program is run by Terracycle.ca. If you have any questions please speak to Mary Anna.
EMUC GARAGE SALE -
Our major fundraiser!
Mark your calendars for Saturday May 5, 2018, 8:00 am to noon! If you are cleaning closets etc. consider donating items in good condition to the sale. More details to come.