From the Office of the General Assembly 


Extended until  April 30

Easter. Mountain with crosses and the empty grave with rolled stone. Yellow colors. Words   Jesus is Risen.

Greetings in the name of the Risen Christ,
We have just observed Palm Sunday.  Matthew's version of that day tells us when the people threw down their cloaks and waved palms shouting "Hosanna" (God help us), they were looking for a king to ride into town, free them from Roman oppression and fix their broken world.   In the last week the COVID-19 task force has advised us that this next week or so may bring us the worst yet in terms of a rise in the number of new cases as well as deaths.  Our lives are disrupted as we shelter in place, financial challenges are mounting and isolation from one another continues to breed fear.  How many of us as we worshipped on Palm Sunday when we shouted Hosanna were crying out for God to help us, to save us?
This week as we journey through Holy Week towards the cross and find ourselves on Easter morning celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ, let us remember that no matter where we are or what we are doing, the resurrected and living Christ will find us.  He found Mary Magdalene at the tomb.  He found a couple of disciples on the road to Emmaus. In the closing chapters of John's gospel, we find the disciples after the crucifixion sheltering in place in the upper room.  The door is locked as they are afraid of the Jewish leaders.  All that they had hoped for seems to have ended in tragedy and sorrow.  And yet, the resurrected Jesus found them.  Several times he said to them, "Peace be with you."       
Take comfort in these words from Scripture:
"Where two or three gather in my name (whether in person, by Zoom/Skype/Google hangouts/Facebook, in a church parking lot for drive in worship, etc.), there am I with them.  (Matthew 18:20)
"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39).
May the living and resurrected Christ find each of us in this broken and uncertain world we live in and give us peace.
Easter blessings and peace be with each of you,
Shelia O'Mara                                               

Mike Sharpe
Stated Clerk