April 13, 2020

Dear Faith Family,

Welcome to Eastertide! What is that you wonder? Eastertide is the seven-week period of the church year that extends from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday (the day Christians remember the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the earliest Christians). For those who practice it, Eastertide is a time (“tide” is an older English word meaning “time” or “season”) to reflect upon and delight in the truths of Easter – the many ways in which the resurrection of Jesus from the dead really did change everything! 
During Eastertide we are invited to experience the many ways that, as Pastor Doug spoke of in his sermon, the ‘living hope’ we have as Christians, becomes a reality in us and through us.

One of those ways is through the practice of prayer. Jesus prayed a lot, and it shaped him and the world around him. (BTW: Ever noticed how Jesus never seemed to struggle with what to say, or how to listen to God during those prayer retreats he’d take all the time? Jesus is amazing… can I get in on what he has… Oh, yes! I can!) Practicing prayer like Jesus did, also shapes us. Not only that, God uses our prayers to shape his world. (e.g. Luke 6:28, 22:32, James 5:16)
This week’s prayer grouping may seem a little late, as what you will find attached are suggested prayers and litanies that came out late last week for Good Friday’s day of Prayer and Fasting for the pandemic. Please don’t let that be an obstacle to you. Contained within are great prompts from our brothers and sisters in the PCA, Anglican and EPC churches that can help us persevere in praying for the many needs in our world right now. Enjoy them. Use them. Listen for God’s response to them. (Click on the underlined sentences below to access the documents.)

Finally, Kristi Hunt shared with me her new favorite song. It’s from Matthew West. It’s a great one for all of us. Play it today, play it this week – and when you do, remember with are with each other even though apart because we are bound by Christ; and nothing can separate those who are in Christ Jesus from his love, and so one another. (Rom. 8:39). Thanks, Kristi!

With hope in Christ,

Pastor Shelley