Easter and Anniversary
We began our Easter worship service with the traditional greeting and response:
“Christ is Risen!”
“The Lord is Risen indeed!”
This ancient greeting has been used at the beginning of worship in most Christian traditions throughout the world. Opening our worship with words proclaiming hope, is as needed today as at any age in the life of the church.
Celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ is at the heart of each and every worship service, but, it is especially highlighted during this season. We look to our ancient story of resurrection to help us see and understand how Jesus Christ is present with us today, calling and guiding each generation to life and service.
Speaking of generations, we are coming to a time of celebrating our generations at Trinity. Our Anniversary service will be held on Sunday, April 30th (at the usual time of 10:30). The guest speaker will be The Reverend Dr. John Young. The service will be followed by a luncheon. We will be celebrating our 177th year of Christian worship and witness here at Trinity. Included in this mailing is the traditional invitation for you to offer a special anniversary gift to help with our ongoing life and work at Trinity.
Speaking of life and work, we are in the midst of a very special renewal program called “reVision”. Most of you will have heard of this by now, and for those who have not, please visit our website for more detailed information. This program is a wonderful opportunity to get to know each other in our congregation; to see with a clearer vision what our gifts and callings are; to see our local community with deeper understanding; and to engage the entire congregation in a season of prayer and thoughtful discernment of God’s calling for us today!
Speaking of God’s calling today (by now you should have expected this turn of phrase), we are also celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation this year. The Reformation’s impact upon the world is absolutely amazing. Much of how we understand ourselves in western society has been deeply influenced by the Reformation. It has also deeply influenced our worship with the introduction of hymn singing, the printing of the Bible so everyone has access, the priesthood of all believers, and of course, worshiping in the common language of the congregation.
Speaking of the common language of the congregation, the choosing of our congregational theme for this year was influenced, in part, by this idea of common language. “In their language…” is the theme we are celebrating during this year of 2017. It is guiding our worship, witness and work as we welcome new people, involve new generations, celebrate our history while breathing new life into our traditions, all the while lifting up ‘the old, old story’ of Jesus and his love.
Speaking of worshiping, witnessing, and working together, our vocation as a congregation is threefold: to bear witness to the risen Christ, to engage in deeply joyful worship, to follow the leading of Jesus Christ into the world through acts of loving kindness.
Speaking of vocation, we are in a period of deep discernment as a congregation; we are meeting and praying and studying together through our reVision project as we seek to follow God’s leading today. We are in a period of heartfelt celebration as a church in the midst of the great festival of Easter. We are coming to Anniversary Service, a time of remembering and celebrating our own story at Trinity. We are in a time of celebrating our larger history as part of the Protestant Reformation. And, our year’s theme “in their language…,” invites us to look for ‘the other’ in our midst.
May we continue to celebrate this amazing news “Christ is Risen!” And as we live and share this good news, may we come alive to this most amazing and transforming truth, “the Lord is Risen indeed!”
The Reverend MARK ARNILL