Sunday, April 8

Reconciler Almost Weekly Update (Happy Easter!)

Alleluia, Christ is risen!

Today is the first day of the Great Fifty Days of Easter. We have finished up a wonderful Holy Week, in which we participated in Triduum services with Immanuel and St. Elias Lutheran Churches in Chicago.

The services of Holy Week -- Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, the Easter Vigil, and Easter Sunday -- are designed to give us a wide range of Christian experience. Some say they are designed to make the unconscious conscious. Journalist and Episcopalian Nora Gallagher writes that Holy Week services strip away our defenses, layer by layer. There is no question that these services, each with its own unique character and fragrance, work together to allow us to enter more fully into the Paschal Mystery: the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. I hope that you have found this to be true in your Holy Week celebration with us this year, and that these services are memorable and meaningful for you as you continue your walk in faith.

I want to leave you today with some of my favorite Easter hymns -- to sing, read, muse over in a quiet moment -- as we celebrate the Resurrection of our Savior, this happiest time of the church year.

Easter joy and blessings,

Laura+

Noel Nouvelet, medieval French carol -- Episcopal Hymnal #204

"Now the Green Blade riseth from the buried grain,

wheat that in dark earth many days has lain;

love lives again, that with the dead has been:

Love is come again like wheat that springeth green.

Forth he came at Easter, like the risen grain,

he that for three days in the grave had lain,

quick from the dead my risen Lord is seen:

Love is come again like wheat that springeth green.

When our hearts are wintry, grieving, or in pain,

thy touch can call us back to life again,

fields of our hearts that dead and bare have been:

Love is come again like wheat that springeth green."


Vruechten, Episcopal Hymnal #192

"This joyful Eastertide, away with sin and sorrow!

My Love, the Crucified, hath sprung to life this morrow.

Had Christ, that once was slain, ne'er burst his three-day prison,

our faith had been in vain; but now is Christ arisen, arisen, arisen, arisen.

Death's flood has lost its chill, since Jesus cross the river:

Lord of all life, from ill my passing life deliver,

Had Christ, that once was slain, ne'er burst his three day prison,

our faith had been in vain; but now is Christ arisen, arisen, arisen."

Gaudeamus pariter, Episcopal Hymnal #200

"Come, ye faithful, raise the strain of triumphant gladness!

God hath brought his Israel into joy from sadness:

loosed from Pharoah's bitter yoke Jacob's sons and daughters,

led them with unmoistened foot through the Red Sea waters.

'Tis the spring of souls today: Christ hath burst his prison,

and from three days' sleep in death as a sun hath risen;

all the winter of our sins, long and dark, is flying

from his light, to whom we give laud and praise undying.

Now the queen of seasons, bright with the day of splendor,

with the royal feast of feasts, comes its joy to render;

comes to glad Jerusalem, who with true affection

welcomes in unwearied strains Jesus' resurrection.

Neither might the gates of death, nor the tomb's dark portal,

nor the watchers, nor the seal hold thee as a mortal:

but today amidst thine own thou didst stand, bestowing

that thy peace which evermore passeth human knowing."

+++

Announcements


Bible Study

We'll begin a new Bible Study on Wednesday, April 18. This will be a four-week series focusing on the travel diaries of Egeria, a fourth-century Spanish nun and pilgrim. Through Egeria's diaries we have compelling information about how early Christians worshipped. Come and see how early Christian worship relates to what we do on Sundays at Reconciler, and bring your questions and thoughts about worship.

Worship Committee

Would like to invite all interested Reconcilers to come to a worship committee meeting -- likely at Kaffein in Evanston on a Wednesday night -- to discuss such hot-button liturgical items as: Which version of the Lord's prayer we want to use? What kind of processional
cross do we want to purchase? And....what about inclusive language?

Suggested dates are Wednesday evening, May 16 or 23. Stay tuned and let us know which date would work better for you.

Community Outreach

It's not too soon to start thinking about -- and planning for -- the summer neighborhood festivals. We'd like to have a booth and be a presence there. Talk with one of the pastors if you are interested in participating.


The Reverend Laura Gottardi-Littell

for The Pastoral Team