St. Andrew's Episcopal Church
Your invitation ....
to see the face of Jesus among us
during this holiest of weeks.
As this time of Holy Week approaches, my heart so naturally returns to my pilgrimage in the Holy Land. So many images are etched permanently in my heart of places that drew me back unto my true self (one definition of a pilgrimage -- that which returns you to your place of resurrection).

None more than the images which portrayed people's expressions as they saw Jesus. It's hard to imagine what that would have been like -- to see the living manifestation of the glory of God among you -- and yet, I imagine we each know the sense of awe we feel when we come within the presence of the living Christ, when we receive the bread, the broken body of Christ within our hands, when we look upon the birth of a new life or a new part of our life, when we "bend the knee of our heart" (Canticle 14, BCP) in humility for what God is carrying within us, and the deep settling feeling when we are aware of our place within a Christ-centered community.

There is so much I still yearn to share with you about my Holy Land pilgrimage that continues to be revealed to me. I so look forward to our Holy Week together when we can create our own memories, see our own and each other's expressions of the awe at seeing, perhaps not the person of Jesus, but the presence of the living Christ, pass among us, and as we enter into the stillness, holiness, and sacredness of this coming week.

The images in this e-newsletter are ones from my Holy Land pilgrimage that I want to share with you, as they continue to shape my heart, and perhaps will shape your heart too.

With blessings and love, Mother Barbara
544/640 - On The Way

544/640* There's an easiness that's developed with this practice of God-spotting which is a little surprising to me, even after recording 544 incidents of finding God in my midst. In the home stretch, now, I've become accustomed to the feel of...

Read more
St. Andrew's Easter Day Choir
A way to deepen your celebration of the glory of Jesus' resurrection.
Remember what fun the Christmas Eve choir was? And what beautiful music you all made? Well, we invite you to come and be with us and sing your hearts out on Easter Day.

Lisa Turchi will again be gathering and rehearsing this choir, so please come and join the fun and make our Easter celebration grand.

The choir will sing Ave Verum Corpus as the anthem on Easter.
Here's a link to the music.

All are welcome and encouraged.

Remaining rehearsal dates are:
4/14 at 9:00 a.m.
4/21 at 9:00 a.m.
Easter Flower Contributions

Please make your contributions to our Easter flowers this Sunday so that we may express the glory of Jesus' resurrection on this high holy day -- and so the names of your loved ones will be included in the Easter Eve and Day bulletins.
Parish Work Day- tomorrow!
Saturday April 13th
9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Two years ago we had a great time sprucing up the church grounds and the church building in preparation for Holy Week. We cleaned and polished all the wood in our beautiful church building and cleaned up the outside grounds, with raking, weeding, and mulching.

Let's do it again! Come for whatever time you can. Bring something to share for a lunch potluck, and make our church beautiful for this very special Holy Week and Easter Season.
A Youth Mini-Mission Event
Saturday, April 13th
Leaving church at 1:30 p.m.
Reading to the dogs at the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter
We continue our mission this year to care for all of God's creatures. Next Saturday we will go to the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter and read to the dogs, which will be so much fun.

All parents and youth interested in this event, please contact Mother Barbara or Mary Beth Williams so we can plan for your participation.
New Offerings this Holy Week

It is a very powerful experience to be in this sacred space through the darkness of the night.

Typically people sign up to be present for an hour slot.

We would invite people to be present from 8:30 p.m. to 8:30 a.m. when we would celebrate Morning Prayer in the library to conclude the vigil.

Maundy Thursday is April 18th.
Maundy Thursday Vigil
"Could you not keep watch with me an hour?"

Sign up sheet is in the PLC. Please join us for this sacred practice of keeping vigil.
Each Maundy Thursday, we set up the Altar of Repose, where the consecrated elements are placed as the church is emptied of the sacred elements during the stripping of the altar, in order to create the scene of chaos and emptiness that happened at Jesus' arrest.

At the conclusion of our Mandy Thursday service, we are then encouraged to "keep watch" with Jesus, as Jesus had asked his disciples to do while he was in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Would you be willing to sign up for an hour on Maundy Thursday evening?
Ecumenical Good Friday Service

"The 7 Last Words of Christ"

Messiah United Methodist Church
12-3 p.m. April 18th
This year our Ecumenical Clergy Group will be offering this special service and invite you to be with us, for the whole time or for any part you are available. Mother Barbara will be preaching on these last words of Jesus, "Woman, here is your son" and will be on the schedule from 12:55-1:20 p.m.
Bible Foods Dinner on Maundy Thursday
It's time to gather again, join in kinship around food, commemorate the Last Supper Jesus shared with his friends, and eat a meal before our traditional Maundy Thursday service.

Please join us for this meal between 5:30 and 6:45 on Thursday, April 18th. The main dish of lamb will be served. Please bring a side dish to share. This can be nuts, hummus, pita, any type of grain, bread, figs, nuts, dates, salad, yogurt -- all which is delicious and good for us.
Preparing for
Palm Sunday--

Riding into Jerusalem with Jesus
To read the scriptures in advance, please click here.
To engage with the scriptures with the ancient practice of lectio divina, please click here.

To listen to the sermon from last week (preached by our guest preacher, Dina Carter Ishler, please click on the link below.
Palm Sunday -- what to know, what to expect, what to experience?

We invite you to listen to this amazing video created and narrated by one of our wonderful vergers explaining and inviting you to Palm Sunday.
Praying through Holy Week
Each day through Holy Week is unique and sacred in its meaning and liturgical practice. Each service is powerful and moving. To understand the fullness of our life in Christ, we need to experience the fullness of this coming week.

Here's a resource to help you do that offered by the brothers at SSJE (Society of St. John the Evangelist- an Episcopal Religious Order)


8 a.m.
Greeters: Aly Howard
Verger: Bill Gawors
Crucifer: Dave Gordon
Lector: Steve Smith
The Passion According to Luke, Designated Reading Parts:
1.      Narrator: Nichol Free
2.      Jesus: Dave Gordon
(Other parts to be distributed that morning.)
Eucharistic Minister: Sue Davis
Homilist: Mother Barbara
Celebrant: Mother Barbara
10 a.m.
Greeters: Matt & Crystal Ashberry
Verger: Mike Rhodes
Instrumentalists: Matthew Briggs, Mr. Brian Helman, Dr. Craig Jurgensen, Shannon O’Donnell, Alexander Smeltz, James Williams
Crucifer: Zachary Rhodes
Acolytes: Julia Rhodes, James Williams
Gospel Book Bearer: Thomas Williams
Lectors: Mary Grace Shearer, Roseann Sysko
The Passion According to Luke Reading Parts:
1.      Narrator: Ken Dotson
2.      Jesus: Zachary Rhodes
3.      Peter: Andrew Smeltz
4.      Disciple 1: Donna Harpster
5.      Disciple 2: Melisa Dotson
6.      Criminal 1: Bill Hutchinson
7.      Criminal 2: Matthew Briggs
8.      Pilate: Milan Shepherd
9.      Servant 1: Rodney Becker
10.   Accuser 1: Mary Beth Williams
11.   Accuser 2: James Williams
12.   Soldier 1: Alexander Smeltz
13.   Soldier 2: Jonathan Luo
14.   Centurion: Mary Grace Shearer
Homilist: Mother Barbara
Celebrant: Mother Pat
Eucharistic Ministers: Jeanine Goodwin, Andrew Smeltz
Counters: Dave Hutton, Melisa Dotson
Coffee Hour: Rhodes Family

What else is going on Sunday?

9:00 Palm Cross Making in the PLC
9:00 Easter Choir Rehearsal
9:30 a.m. Godly Play Class
11:15 a.m. Coffee Hour
11:15 a.m. Palm Cross Making
11:45 a.m. Vestry Meeting

Outside Procession for the Palm Sunday service begins from the Parish Life Center. Please gather by 9:45.
What's next? Easter and our conversation about death, resurrection and eternal life ... and our own funeral planning!
I know, this can sound like dreary work, but it's not when we understand our lives set within the resurrection of Jesus.

We will begin our conversation around what our scriptures say (the early writings of Paul and the gospels), our church tradition (how was this topic of death and resurrection understood at the time of Jesus, in the early church, and how it has developed throughout the centuries), and reason (how we are to understand what was written in the 1st century CE now, with the additional knowledge and information available to us).

We will also explore the experiential part of knowledge of life at the time of death and what these glimpses may tell us of life after death. We proclaim in our Burial Office, "life is changed, not ended". What might we mean by that? For that discussion, I would suggest you read in advance the book,  Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs, and Communication of the Dying , written by two hospice nurses. I read this book during my chaplaincy training and it was very formational and foretold what I would soon experience at my own father's death a week later.

And of course, we will look at one of the key concepts in Christianity, kenosis, the self-emptying of ourselves (or our dying to ourselves) so we will bring this conversation within our own being.

Then, we'll gather with everyone interested in planning our own burial services where we can give the gift to others of our wishes of how our life will be celebrated from and in our Christian perspective.

"For so did you ordain when you created me, saying, "You are dust, and to dust you shall return." All of us go down to the dust; yet even at the grave we make our song: Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia." (BCP 499)
SHIPPENSBURG PA 17257, 717-532-8089
MOTHER BARBARA: 717-333-5590