The Journey of Holy Week
Having celebrated Palm Sunday in our worship this past Sunday, we are now on the Holy Week journey. Holy Week is the week leading up to Easter in which we remember Jesus' arrival in Jerusalem, his teachings there and the growing conflict with the ways of this world, his last meal and time spent with his disciples, and his suffering and death. The journey from the celebration of Palm Sunday to the even greater celebration of Easter is one that runs through the darkest and saddest of days. This year, we are offering several opportunities to worship and reflect on these events during our Holy Week journey.
On Thursday, we will gather at church at 7 pm to remember Jesus' last meal with his disciples by following his example of foot washing and sharing the bread and cup of communion. On Friday, we are joining with Grottoes UMC at Bradburn Park here in the village to reflect on Jesus' journey to the cross and tomb. Starting at 7 pm, we will walk the trail stopping to consider major parts of the story and reflecting in prayer. As the prayer walk concludes at the picnic shelter at 7:30 pm, we will gather together to hear the whole story and ask for God's blessing. We will gather again on Sunday morning at 6:45 am with Grottoes UMC and Grottoes Church of the Brethren for a Sunrise Service. GUMC will be providing refreshments. Finally we will gather for our regularly scheduled worship at 9:30 am for communion and an Easter celebration followed by Sunday School at 11:00 am!
I am excited about all of these special opportunities for worship and hope you will join us for them and invite your family and friends. If you are unable to join us this week, I hope you will take time read the story of Jesus' gift to us and reflect on its meaning for your life today.
Blessings on the journey, Jim
Sunday's Sermon: Planting a New Crop
John 12:12-26 - As Jesus entered Jerusalem, many people came out to excitedly greet him, waving branches and placing them on the road before him. As the celebration came to a close, some folks from far away came to see Jesus wanting to follow him. Jesus replied to their request with a series of three short teachings about what it meant to follow him. First he spoke about how a seed of wheat has to fall to the ground and die in order to become greater. Then he paradoxically spoke of how one who loves their life loses it while the one who hates it gains it for eternal life. Finally, he told of how the one who serves him must also follow him and be where he is. Through these teachings, Jesus painted a picture of discipleship that is not a pretty one. To be a disciple is to be willing to die to one's self so that God may plant a new crop of righteousness in our lives. We have to let go of the fears, desires, and sin that control us and stand in the way of our relationship to God. We must regard others as better than ourselves so that we do not become self-seeking. Finally, we must follow Jesus into the suffering and sacrifice and pain of this world if we are to serve him. It is not enough to serve from a distance. Where he goes, we also should go. What is it that we need to let go of and let die in order for new life to grow in us?
Living in Community
Thanks to Keith, Brad, Gretchen, and Pam for leading our music in worship this past Sunday!
Thanks to Gary for finding us such a great piano that allows us so many options in worship!
Thanks to Susie for providing our quarterly giving statements!
This Week at Port Church
Tuesday, April 11
9:00 - 11:45 am - Office Hours
Thursday, April 13
9:00 - 11:45 am - Office Hours
7:00 pm - Maundy Thursday Service with Footwashing and Communion
Friday, April 14
7:00 pm - Good Friday Prayer Walk at Bradburn Park
7:30 pm - Good Friday Service at Bradburn Park
Sunday, April 16
6:45 am - Sunrise Service at Bradburn Park
9:30 am - Easter Worship with Communion - "Empty"
11:00 am - Sunday School
April 23 - Youth Sunday
June 26-30 - Vacation Bible School
News and Updates
Find out what is going on at Port Republic UMC this week and in weeks to come!