FROM RACHEL YATES, PRESBYTERY EXECUTIVE
 TRUDGING
This week we trudge toward the crucifixion.  We walk toward Good Friday with Jesus, who stumbled under the weight of the physical cross he carried.  Carrying a metaphorical cross as well, he also bore the weight of the systems of oppression and injustice that our sins had built.  Jesus ministered on the margins.  He met with, dined with, cured, and forgave people on the fringes of society.  When religious practices and doctrine excluded all but a privileged few, he challenged the system.  When cultural norms systemically suppressed women, poor and sick people, and foreigners, Jesus showed both a love of neighbor and unrelenting advocacy for change.  The cross he carried to Golgotha was heavier than just the lumber from which it was built. 

This week, as we trudge toward the crucifixion, we, too, should reflect on the cultural and religious systems that continue to oppress and marginalize people.  Our government leaders are now confronting the statistic that ... ( READ MORE )
PRESBYTERY PULSE
A GOOD FRIDAY SERVICE OF WORSHIP
because Easter cannot come without the cross
This service was adapted from a Good Friday service produced by Jim Rand and Brett Swanson of Wauwatosa Presbyterian Church and Kate Fields of Underwood Memorial Baptist Church. It is a meditative and introspective service based on the Stations of the Cross. Usually this service takes place in a walk through the Wauwatosa Cemetery with stops at various graves which brings the reality of death, the pain of the world, and suffering of Jesus even closer. While we may feel we are constantly surrounded by such reminders now, what I hope you'll experience in this "walk" with Christ in the last moments of his life is a deepening of your own call to discipleship and relationship with the God who never lets us walk alone.
VIRTUAL CHOIR FOR EASTER
If you will miss the Easter music of your choir, Rev. Michelle Henrichs (Heritage Presbyterian Church) has graciously offered to help you create a virtual choir.  She is able to take multiple audio tracks (up to 5) and put them together into one piece that can then be played during your online Easter service.  What she would need from you:
  • Separate audio tracks - or if two people are in the same place playing / singing that they be equidistant from what they are using to record.
  • Instrumental track without vocals - everyone will use the same basic (probably piano) track - otherwise the timing won't match up
  • Vocals without instrument - each singer would listen to the instrumental track using headphones but record only their voices 

If these are submitted to her Good Friday, she can compile the tracks into your virtual choir for Easter.  She can be reached at mahenrichs@gmail.com.

RING OUT FOR JOY ON EASTER SUNDAY
At the suggestion of Archbishop Jerome Listecki,  we invite you to join with our ecumenical sisters and brothers
 to ring bells in a joyful cacophony at noon on Easter Sunday!  The bells rung do not have to be church bells - individuals are encouraged to participate from home by ringing what ever type of bell you have available.
PRESBYTERY OFFICE CLOSURES 
The Presbytery staffs' remote office locations will be closed on Friday, April 10, and Monday, April 13, in observance of the Easter holiday.  The staff will resume working on Tuesday, April 14.
FREE DIGITAL & PRINT WORSHIP PACKAGE FOR APRIL 19-MAY 24
Much has changed since Rev. Beth Patton, Rev. Nicole Farley, and Ruling Elder Rachel Yates began designing a creative worship package for the Easter season (April 19 through May 24). We recognize how challenging these recent weeks have been in providing worship (and care) for communities.

In hopes you might find it helpful as your church leadership tries to catch their collective breath after Easter, we are offering, at no cost, to anyone who wishes to use some or all of the included resources, the following worship package:
  •  six digital worship services, including embedded links to hymns
  •  six weekly bulletins for congregations (editable in Word) six full liturgy scripts, except sermon,
  • for worship leaders (editable in Word)
  • a brief guide on the resources
The series moves through confronting our fears, the things that cause us to trip in our walk with Jesus, and our longing to stay safely away from the world, to a recognition that God is not contained inside walls, but instead God's house is much larger than just us. We are called to be the church in the world and to be living stones built into a spiritual house. We hope you will find the Spirit's moving in these themes that spoke to us long before our worship moved out of our sanctuaries.

LORD, HERE WE ARE - COVID-19 HYMN
Michelle Henrichs and Heidi Surprenant have written a new hymn (with vocal line) for this difficult time.  They are offering it to you to use.  Thank you for this musical gift! 
THIS EASTER CELEBRATION - NEW HYMN FOR CURRENT TIMES
Carolyn Winfrey Gillette has written a new hymn that is a prayer that can be used in Easter 2020 worship services, while most churches are closed and people are remaining in their homes because of the pandemic.  This Easter Celebration can be used for online worship or in online written communications from a church to its members.  Permission is given for free use from the author.