Farnham & St. John's
Torrence's Weekly Message
"The Last Week"
“The Last Week: A Day-by-Day Account of Jesus’s Final Week in Jerusalem” is the title of a book by Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan published in 2006 three years after I graduated from Seminary. I have used that little book on several occasions as a Lenten study, both personally and with churches I have served. This day-by-day account tracks the events of Jesus’s last days and nights according to the Gospel of Mark.  

I remember hearing the Gospel of Mark read out loud, in a dramatic reading by a man dressed in a homespun looking robe, read as if he were one of the disciples, one of the eyewitnesses of Jesus’s life from baptism to death on the cross, then entombment. The reader’s voice rose and fell, again and again, as he presented the stories, his body language as dramatic as his voice. I remember being mesmerized, entering the story line and almost visioning myself deep in that long ago time, that long ago place with that long ago man named Jesus. Following along, not just the story, but the way of Jesus brought to life in the story telling. 

The Last Week begins with Palm Sunday, then travels through the Gospel stories of what happens on the next four days of that week. We find ourselves visioning, as if we were there, a last supper in an upper room. The intimacy of that last time Jesus is with his disciples is shattered as he is arrested, tried, and sentenced to death. We are confronted with the intensity of Jesus’ pain, suffering and terrible death on the cross mid-afternoon on Good Friday as he cries out: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Despair takes over as Jesus is laid in the tomb. All, including the tomb, is silent till Easter morning breaks into the story. It is a long week.

 Over the centuries it has become customary in the church on Palm Sunday to combine the story of Jesus entry into Jerusalem to the palm waving celebration of crowds lined up to welcome him as king, along with what is called “The Passion of Christ” with a major focus on the Good Friday story. It’s as if we totally skip the days in between these two stories. A strange juxtaposition of stories that stuns and perhaps shocks us, if we really think about what is happening. In the story of that first day of the last week of Jesus’ life, we find ourselves in a crowd shouting “Hosanna” and waving palms to the sounds of “All Glory Laud and Honor”. A few minutes later we are in a crowd shouting “Crucify him! Crucify him!” And wonder “Were we there when we crucified our Lord?” as we hear Jesus’ last words on the Cross about being forsaken.

This year as the congregations of Farnham and St. John’s gather on Palm Sunday, the morning was dedicated to the celebration of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, the geographic heartscape, the center of the worship, praise and prayer life of the people. A time of joy as we greet our Lord and Savior, welcome him into our hearts. We have passed through a Lenten season when we ask of the Holy to “Create a clean heart in us and renew a right spirit within us.” The season draws to a close within the climax of the week we call Holy Week. Palm Sunday we celebrated. Now we are called to walk with Jesus the remaining days of this last week of his life. As well we need to walk this path towards Good Friday contemplating the part we play in the story line that leads to denial by those even closest to Jesus. As we face the question, where will we, each of us, be on Good Friday? Beneath the cross on that cross shaped day? Or forsaking him, by our absence denying his significance in our lives and relationship with him?

By God’s amazing grace may we find the courage to walk with Christ through this time and into new life!

 Torrence
Announcements
Food Pantry
Bring Extra Food to Farnham on Easter Sunday.

The next food pantry distribution that we help supply is from Farnham Baptist Church, so please bring shelf stable foods for that distribution to church with you on Sunday.

Reminder about Outdoor Services

  • Bring your own outdoor chair
  • Wear a mask and respect social distancing
  • Parking at N. Farnham is easily accessible.
  • Parking at St. John's is available on a limited basis in the church parking lot; alternative parking is permitted in the NNEC parking lot behind the church.

The outdoor service is dependent on favorable weather. If cancelled, we will attempt to notify you by email the day before or early morning before the service.
If the outdoor service is cancelled or you choose not to attend for health or scheduling reasons, remember that there's a Zoom service at 5 p.m.
Please note that there will be no E-pistle sent out next week.
The next E-pistle will be sent on Wednesday, April 14th, 2021
Services & Sermons
The Zoom links for April's services will be e-mailed to the congregations on Friday and has been posted to our web-site, farnhamwithstjohns.org; Zoom links are the third item in the dropdown menu on the left hand side of the home page.
Friday, April 2nd  





Good Friday






a video-taped
service will be sent that can be watched any time.

Sunday, April 4th  

Easter Sunday

Flowering of the Cross

and walk through in the sanctuary

11 a.m. N. Farnham
Combined in-person Outdoor
 Service of Holy Communion


5 p.m. - Zoom Service

Sunday, April 11th  



Morning Prayer
11 a.m. Service Outdoors

N. Farnham


5 p.m. - Zoom Service
Sunday, April 18th  



Holy Communion
11 a.m. Service Outdoors

St. John's


5 p.m. - Zoom Service
The Parish Prayer List
for those in need of God's comfort and healing:
Courtenay Altaffer
Martha Berger
Randall Bone
Sue Bowie
Nancy Allin Bush
Constance Edwards
Bob File
Vinny Fracasse
David Gallagher
Regina Griggs
Barbara Grander
Dorothy Grove
The Rev. Howard Hanchey
Weir Harman
Billy Hooper
Rebecca Hubert
Marcia Jenkins
Stephanie, Nick & Donovan Kaywork
Jim & Sharon Krider
Mary Douglas Lawton
The Rt. Rev. Peter Lee
Susan Lewis
Frank Lynch
Susannah Marais
Pat Merkel
Tommy Neuman
Judi Newman
Kirsten Palubinski
James Rynd
Marsha Rynd
Chris Smith
Debbie Belfield Stacks
Scott Strickler
Waldy Sulik
Billy Tennyson
Roclyn Tennyson
Carter Wellford
John Welch, II
Matthew Yates
Rose Mary Zellner and
all the victims of COVID 19
and for those serving in our armed forces:
Royce Baker
David Berger
Ryan Berger
Allen Crocker
Randy Crocker
Court Garretson
Cameron Heidenreich
Dan Heidenreich
Charles Jones
Daniel Kirk
Mark Lawton
Scott Longar
Luis Loya
Christopher Strickler
Gavin Wade McClung
and Travis Pullen
We also pray for those who have died.
Upcoming Birthdays & Anniversaries
Mar. 31st - Courtenay Altaffer
Mar. 31st - Stan Terhune, III
April 5th – Barbara Grander
April 9th – Kim Calvert
April 21st – Arline Hinkson
April 23rd - Martha Berger
The Episcopal Church Welcomes You!

Our Easter Outdoor Service this Sunday is at 11 a.m. with a at North Farnham Church. We also have a Zoom Evening Prayer service at 5 p.m. The link for the Zoom service is on our website farnhamwithstjohns.org
North Farnham Church
St. John's Church

Background staff photo of hyacinth.