Holy Week///April 7
Dear YVPC community, Holy Week is here – the journey from the joyful cries of ‘Hosanna’ on Palm Sunday to the cries of ‘Crucify him’ on Good Friday to the glorious words ‘He is risen’ on Easter morning. We grieve that we will not be able to experience Jesus’ last hours through stations of the cross around our church building this year and give hugs as we pass the peace of Christ on Easter morning. Even so, God is still inviting us into the journey of this holy week – the sacrificial love of Jesus shown through washing his disciples’ feet on Maundy Thursday, the betrayal and torture of the crucifixion on Friday, the waiting and wondering of Holy Saturday, and the joy of the empty tomb on Easter morning. May the new circumstances that surround us open our eyes and hearts to new understanding of Jesus’ obedience and God’s love. Please join us in reading the Holy Week prayers throughout the Book of Common prayer (p.208), for our Good Friday service at 7pm (via Zoom), and our Easter celebration at 9am (via Zoom).
I’ve included the lyrics my favorite Holy Week song ‘Were you there?’ to guide us as we head to Easter: Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they crucified my Lord? Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble Were you there when they crucified my Lord? Were you there when they nailed him to the cross? Were you there when they nailed him to the cross? Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble Were you there when they nailed him to the cross? Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?
Were you there when they laid him in the tomb? Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble Were you there when they laid him in the tomb? Were you there when the stone was rolled away? Were you there when the stone was rolled away? Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble Were you there when the stone was rolled away? Were you there when God raised him from the tomb? Were you there when God raised him from the tomb? Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble,tremble,tremble
Were you there when God raised him from the tomb?
Community 1. Use the prayer sheet from last Sunday, included in this letter, to pray for and reach out to others in our church community. If you have an urgent prayer request – please call Paula Ash (925) 435 – 2859 to start the prayer chain.
2. Each week call/text two or three different members of our community to check in on each other and ask to pray with each other 3. Write a card or postcard to another person in our church each day, work your way through the whole church directory 4. Join the Zoom call this Sunday for our worship gathering. Zoom is a digital platform that facilitates online group meetings. You will find an invitation to the Zoom call in your email. You can use your smartphone or computer to join. If you haven’t gotten an invitation, please call or email me and I will send you one. Please bring juice and bread to the call so that we can all share Communion together. (If you are having trouble with Zoom – please reach out to Singeh to help (405) 714 – 3641.) 5. Even as we don’t see each other in person, our church will continue to have our ongoing expenses. If you are able, please mail in your offering to YVPC, 2140 Minert Rd., Concord, Ca, 94518. Thanks.
Connecting with God 1. Lament prayers – set out a small bowl of water and a bowl of salt, every time you read or hear about pain and suffering sprinkle salt into the water as a prayer of tears, asking God to come and heal and save. 2. Use the ‘Common Prayer – A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals’ by Shane Claiborne for daily prayer and to guide our weekly worship times. Check out the special Holy Week section beginning on page 208. You can find it online at commonprayer.net or call me and we will get one delivered to you. 3. Continue our Lenten prayers of healing – Kim’s parents (healing), Chrissy (migraines), Lucie (back), Eric (need for surgery), Laura’s friend Laura (recovery from stroke), Juanita (strength).
Loving our neighbors 1. If you are sheltering in place, light a candle in your home. Each time you see the candle pray for essential workers at this time at hospitals, grocery stores, post office, gas stations etc. 2. Washing hands, practicing social distancing, and only leaving our homes for essential needs to help protect the most vulnerable members of our community. 3. Deacon’s Food Closet – We have an abundance of canned food at the church building. Please let me know if you or a neighbor needs food and we can drop it on the doorstep.
Grace and Peace, Pastor Matt (please don’t hesitate to call me with any questions, concerns, or ideas of ways we can stay connected and support each other (510) 856 – 7434)