“He is not here, for he has been raised, as he said” –Matthew 28:6
It’s the Tuesday after Easter, and I am preparing for a funeral. It’s a real contrast, because we are now in the season of celebrating new life and resurrection hope. It seems odd to be preparing to mark the end of a life. Of course, for those of you who knew Ida Nicholas, you would know that she was one who very much lived resurrection. I only got to know her in recent years, but she remained one of the most cheerfully optimistic people I have ever met. She viewed death not as something to be afraid of, but rather another step along the journey that is life. Her optimism is all the more remarkable considering the many difficult challenges she faced in life. New life was that promise that kept her moving forward, and that Easter hope continued for her right up until the end, and beyond.
It is this resurrection hope that I hope to share with you throughout the Easter season. Since the beginning of the year, I have been focusing on prayer, and giving us a chance to engage with it even more. I am hoping that thinking and experiencing prayer differently allows us to participate in the resurrection in a tangible way. Ida lived her life like that, despite many challenges. I hope that we might be able to do the same. Ida’s funeral is tomorrow (April 19th) at 2pm here at the church.
I am in the office this week, although I have this coming Sunday (the 23rd) off. I am grateful to Wendy Knudson who will be taking the pulpit in my stead. Even so, I am in the midst of preparing for the first session of the newest seminar, “The Crusades: A Dark History” which start on Monday, April 24th at 7:15pm in the church sanctuary. This will run for a total of six sessions spread out over eight weeks from April to June.
I am also pleased to report that Wayne Valleau’s exploration of Shakespeare’s Anthony and Cleopatra started with great flourish yesterday, and continues on Mondays at 10am in the church conference room. Easter may be over, but there is a lot going on in the life of St. Matthew’s!
Yours in Christ,
- Shakespeare at St. Matthew’s
- Wayne Valleau is leading our next foray into Shakespeare with an exploration of Anthony and Cleopatra. The seminar started Easter Monday, April 17th at 10:00am in the Conference Room, and continues on Mondays at 10:00am.
- The Crusades: A Dark History
- Starting on Monday April 24th at 7:15pm, John Crowdis will be leading his latest seminar, exploring the historical military campaigns known as the Crusades from the late 11th Century to the mid-13th Centuries in Europe and the Middle East.
- Spirituals Sunday!
- Mark your calendars for Sunday, June 25th for our annual service of African-American Spirituals. More details to come!
- Congregational Membership Classes
- If you or someone you know would like to formalize membership with St. Matthew’s, I am running personalized membership classes as a way of exploring faith. I am making use of a United Church resource called “Jesus 24/7” which explores our faith using the New Creed that we say every week as a jumping off point. If you are interested, please email me, call me at the church, or speak with me directly on Sunday mornings.