Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday, March 28th as the church celebrates Jesus’ triumphal (and unconventional) entry into Jerusalem riding on the back of a donkey. We join the faithful who wait outside the city gates to cheer him on; we wave palms and throw down our cloaks that Jesus might feel our elation and sense our solidarity.
As Jesus passes through the city gates and into the seat of religious and political power, the brightness of Palm Sunday will quickly fade and shadows will begin to fall. Eventually, they will surround Jesus and then they will swallow him up altogether.
Holy Week is not for the faint of heart. It calls us to go with Jesus where we would prefer not to go and to look at realities we would rather avoid. Still, we go—not alone but together.
Beginning on Monday of Holy Week and continuing on through Holy Saturday, I will be sending by email daily meditations, opportunities to pause, reflect, and pray. So that you might more fully enter into the experience, I encourage you to create for yourself a simple contemplative space in your home; in this way, you can intentionally set aside the busyness and news of the day to rest in the presence of the Holy One while you gently center yourself in each day’s meditation.
While this won’t be the same as gathering together in the same space, we can each participate in this walk through Holy Week certain we have companions on the journey. Just as Jesus needs us by his side in what will be the holiest and hardest of weeks, we need one another, too.
With you on the journey,
PS: These Holy Week emails will not be going to our newsletter community, so if you are not participating in the worship life of Community Spirit but would like to receive these meditations, please reach out to me.
Be the Church, wherever you are
working for the common good of the whole
as faithful followers of Christ
in community with one another and others.
(Community Spirit Church Guidepost)
Worship With Us This Sunday
Community Spirit UCC gathers each Sunday morning for an online worship service via Zoom. Log in between 10:15 and 10:25 AM. Worship begins at 10:30 AM.
All you need is a phone or a computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone AND a weekly email invitation from Pastor Karen with the link to follow. (Reach out to her at email@example.com if you're not receiving these invitations.)
Please check your email inbox on Saturday to make sure you’ve received your worship link for worship the following day. This will give you time to be in touch with Karen if you need help. If you’re running late on Sunday morning and run into trouble, please reach out to a fellow church member who may be able to forward their Zoom link or help you troubleshoot. After 10:15 AM., Karen does not check her email or texts.
You’re invited to bring a candle with you to worship each week between now and March 28th. We will light them each Sunday to mark our journey as we follow where Jesus leads.
Lenten Book Study Folks: Please RSVP
If you’re planning to participate in our study of Lenny Duncan’s book, Dear Church, do be sure Karen knows. She will be sending Zoom links only to those who have reached out to her. We will meet each Wednesday during Lent beginning at 6:00 PM. See below for full details.
For the Methodist Church pantry
Snack size tuna and crackers, peanut butter cracker packets, soup cans with pull-tops, snack puddings, small cans of pull-top fruit.
For the emergency homeless shelter
Socks, toothpaste, toothbrushes, bar soap, combs, washcloths, gum, travel-size deodorant, shampoo, or hand dream, feminine hygiene products.
For Sharing Ministry Food Bank
Cereals, pastas, canned goods, boxed crackers, soups, rice, beans, cooking oil, canned or boxed meals, sugar, flour, or any other nonperishable items.
Another practice that would help these agencies would be to put a monetary bill in an envelope every day while you pray for those it will help.
Beginning on Monday, April 12th at 6:00 PM, LaForet is sponsoring 30 Minute Sanctuaries on every other Monday.Step away from the noise and enjoy a structured time of short reflections and intentional silence.
Featuring Rev. Karen Winkel, Rev. Roger Butts, Rev. Logan Bennett, Rev. Erin Gilmore, Rev. Sue Artt, and Spiritual Director Robin Stretch-Crocker.
The 2021 Annual Celebration and Business Meeting is now just 90 days away. Our theme this year is Church, Anew! Events will commence on Monday, June 7, and continue through Sunday, June 13 with a concluding all-Conference worship service. The Annual Business Meeting will begin on Saturday, June 12, at 8:30 am.
Last year's all-electronic meeting was such a success, that again in 2021, our gatherings will be all electronic. 2021 Annual Celebration will feature live events held on Zoom, and pre-recorded information sessions will be available for you to watch on our YouTube channel. The details of all the activities will be shared in the coming weeks. For now, be sure to mark these dates on your calendar, and be sure you have a computer, tablet, or smartphone device that can access the internet so that you may participate.
This year, we will ask each RMC church to contribute $100 to share the costs of the Annual Celebration; each church will receive information on this in the near future. This $100 contribution will be the full registration fee for your church's delegates, pastor(s), and as many visitors as you'd like! We hope this encourages wide participation across the Conference. Each delegate, clergy member, or visitor will need to register in order to receive Zoom invitations to each event, but it will cost them nothing to register. Registration will be live by the 60-day notice.
While we are not quite ready to announce all the details, we can tell you that we have a dynamic keynote speaker on deck to bring a word of hope and conversations of engagement with all who participate. So save the dates on your calendar now, and watch for more updates in the coming weeks.
Your RMC Staff
Rocky Mountain Conference of the United Church of Christ www.rmcucc.com
During the month of March, CSC will receive its first of four UCC special offerings of the year.
The theme for the 2021 One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) offering is “Let Love Flow.” When you share your gifts to OGHS, you Let Love Flow. Your generosity ensures that, even in the midst of uncertainty, the transforming power of love will continue to change the lives of those who are most vulnerable among us.
The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare structural inequities that contribute to increased poverty and injustice. On full display is the plight of the working poor who have lost jobs, are on the brink of homelessness, and are waiting for hours in long lines at food pantries.
Deadly wildfires, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, and wars have left people homeless, families grieving loss of loved ones and entire communities awaiting assistance for long term disaster recovery.
Refugees and asylum seekers are left in limbo, languishing at borders waiting for welcome. Many have been displaced by economic conditions, war and climate change. Among the millions of refugees are families looking for safe places that they can call home.
In the midst of these despairing moments, the United Church of Christ is able to offer hope as we stand in solidarity and mutuality with communities suffering and in need. Through Wider Church Ministries, the United Church of Christ fulfills its commitment to respond to a variety of global and local concerns by providing advocacy, sustainable development resources, long term disaster recovery support, and assistance for refugee and asylum seekers, working in collaboration with our partners locally and globally.
With your gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing, we are able to be present for the long term in disaster recovery, as we partner with churches and organizations around the world to walk with families as they rebuild their homes and lives. Thank you for your gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing, as together we build a just world for all.
As of today, we have received $325 toward this vital mission. (Last year, we collected $90, so thank you for your generosity this year!) You can donate online at communityspiritucc.org/give or mail a check payable to Community Spirit Church, in care of Kim Floyde, 1516 Barbara Street, Montrose CO 81401. If you want to drop a check off instead, please call ahead (970-765-6615). Be sure to include "OGHS" in the memo area to ensure that your donation gets to the right place.
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