|MY THOUGHTS ON HOW TO PRAY BEFORE EASTER COMES|
by Reed Fuller
Before we reach Easter, we must pass through Holy Week just like Jesus did. How do we pray in Holy Week? Is there a difference in our prayer? Jesus came to Jerusalem knowing the Jewish leaders wanted him dead. He came riding triumph into town as crowds cheered. Less than a week later he was crucified and buried. How do you feel about what happened that week? All four gospels tell the story of Holy Week, stories we have heard many times. I suggest we revisit these stories again, but this time live in them. Begin each prayer by asking God for grace and end each prayer by telling Jesus what is happening in you.
Ask God for the grace to walk with Jesus in Mark 11. What was it like for you to enter with Jesus through the gates into Jerusalem? How did he react? What did you see in him?
Ask God for the grace to be served by Jesus as he tells how he will be betrayed and disowned by his friends in John 13. Join him at the table, your last supper together. How does it feel to have your feet washed by him? Were you one of the friends he was speaking about? What was his demeanor?
Ask God for the grace to enter into Jesus’ agony in Mark 13:32-42. Join him in the garden. Be with Jesus as he prays on the night before his death. Are you able to stay awake, to be there for him, or do you fall asleep? What does his prayer teach you?
Ask God for the grace to see how Jesus suffered for you and all humankind in Mark 14:43-15:32. Follow as Jesus is brought before the Jewish leaders and then to Pilate. Hear the crowd. Stand at Golgotha and watch him nailed to the cross. What are you feeling? Can you be there for him? What do you want to say to your friend Jesus?
Ask God for the grace to be there with Jesus as he dies in Mark 15:33-39. What happens to you as you watch Jesus die? What do you notice about Jesus’ trust in God? Jesus forgave those who were torturing him. How does that make you feel?
Ask God for the grace to enter into death with Jesus in Mark 15:40-47. Join the few as Jesus is placed in the tomb and the stone is rolled in front. What must it have felt like for them to experience Jesus’ death? What would it be like for you to be without Jesus? What do you say to them? What does Jesus say to you?
What does he want from you?
Finally, ask God for the grace to be loved by Jesus as you wait hoping for Easter.
I hope that you are remaining sane during this time of isolation. It is difficult to be stuck in our houses right now. Sometimes we complain. Sometimes we worry. We might even think that God isn’t taking care of us. Even in this difficult time, God is still with us. In Joshua 1:9, God tells Joshua, “Remember that I have commanded you to be determined and confident! Do not be afraid or discouraged, for I, the Lord your God, am with you wherever you go.” This is a great thing for your kids to know as they also deal with this new living situation.
If you would like some fun videos to learn more about Joshua’s courage, click here. There is a silly video daring kids to memorize Joshua 1:9…one mistake gets a pie to the face. Maybe this is something that you could play around with at home, although it is a lot less messy to just watch the video. The website also includes some discussion questions for the family. If you would like to try a fun science experiment representing how we deal with fear, click here. You probably have everything that you need at home: a clear container, some sort of tray, vinegar and baking soda. If you like coloring with your children, there are two coloring pages attached suitable for both kids and adults.
I would also like to challenge your kids to try something new while they are at home. Try to write a letter to someone who you think might need it. There are many elderly people in our community who are isolated from the world in protection from this virus. Write them a note. If you can’t write yet, draw them a picture. If you don’t know of anyone, I have attached a list of our “Silver Saints” at TCIA. If you would like for me to stamp it for you, just drop it in the black mailbox outside the glass doors at the church.
God bless you and your children. Stay home and stay healthy.
|When you are cooped up, it is important to get outside and/or get some kind of physical activity in for the day. Justine Kwaczek (TCIA Member) is passionate about healthy living, and she has shared a link to give families and individuals some ideas. Take a look and see what you can do to stay healthy while being locked in. |
|Well, we tried. |
We planned on a fun, socially-distant parking lot event, but this virus had other plans.
Due to the recent “Stay-at-Home” order from Governor DeWine, we have decided to cancel the Palm Sunday Eggstravaganza.
Please be watching for more opportunities and ministries as soon as we can get back into a normal routine.
|During this time, we have the opportunity to be the church – to embody the redeeming presence of God. We have established a fund to help students and adults in need in our community. |
Our staff became aware that there are nearly 200 students in Aurora City Schools who were on free or reduced lunch. These are students who heavily reled on their school lunch as a daily meal. That meal is no longer available to them. We are inviting you to help us step up and fill in the gap for as long as the students are out of school. We plan to provide grocery items, such as breakfast and lunch foods for these affected families.
In addition to assisting students with school lunches, we would like to be able to offer assistance to other community members who find themselves struggling to make ends meet during this Covid 19 coronavirus crisis.
We have great confidence that we are able to make a difference in the lives of people in our community.
|Hopefully you have all received a call from a Care Team member. We are just checking in to provide some human interaction and community during these times of social distancing. If you haven’t been contacted, please let us know so that we can make sure we have an updated phone number for you. |
Additionally, the Care Team has made some temporary changes to the way we practice the care-giving ministries at our church. We know this is not convenient, but we want to ensure the health of our helpers and our care receivers. For us to do that, we believe the following changes are necessary. Restricting pastoral visits to phone calls (no visits to homes, care centers, or hospitals)Suspending Care Team driving ministryWhile we are not providing transportation services, we know that many cities and counties continue to offer transportation services to residents over 65. We have included links to some of these services below.
Aurora Transportation: Guidelines | Application
Twinsburg Transportation: Guidelines | Application
APRIL SPIRE: Printed copies of the April Spire have been mailed to folks in our church family who do not have email addresses. It contains monthly reports from Walter Chapman, as well as some of our committees in addition to some other content not included with this weekly E-News. You will find a link to it here.
CHURCH ACTIVITIES SUSPENDED THROUGH APRIL
All church services and committee/group/club/scout meetings will be suspended at least through April. This includes Holy Week and Easter Sunday services. Because this is ever-evolving, we will keep our communication clear and regular, so that you are always informed.
WOMEN’S GUILD CANCELS APRIL MEETING
Women’s Guild activities suspended through April. For questions, reach out to Betty Marlar.
SPRING RUMMAGE SALE CANCELLED
The Women’s Guild April Rummage Sale has been cancelled. Thank you Deborah Davis, Chairperson, people who donate items to the sale and all the volunteers who make this such a successful event. See you in the Fall.
WORKCAMP FUNDRAISER CANCELLED
Regrettably, we are suspending all fundraising activities associated with Workcamp 2020, including the May 3 Pasta Dinner & Silent Auction. At this time, Group Mission Trips plans to hold the summer trip. We will notify you of any changes. For now, please contact email@example.com with any questions or comments.
We will all begin rolling our eyes every time we hear the new catch phrase, “Out of an abundance of caution,” but it truly is time for us to practice abundant caution.
All key cards have been temporarily deactivated. Staff and church leaders have been issued “hard keys.” Access to the building is limited, in order that we can maintain and ensure proper hygiene until we are on the other side of this situation. Please avoid unnecessary trips to our church for now.
This does not mean that you cannot reach out to us. All of the staff will continue to be available. We encourage you to call us with your prayer requests, needs, or questions. We are here for you, and we will continue to be here for you.