In A Nutshell | March 27, 2015

Hello, Oak Chapel Friends,
            Holy Week is upon us. Holy Week is the busiest week on the church calendar with many services of remembrance of Jesus’ journey to the cross. Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday, a day marking Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem – that place where he was cheered the one day and jeered the next; that place where he spent his final days with his disciples and came face to face with his death. As a child I never really understood Palm Sunday. At church I joined the other children singing the festive songs and waving the palm branches. We had a Jesus parade and I loved parades! I equated the image of Jesus riding the donkey into Jerusalem with Santa Claus at the end of the Thanksgiving parade – he brought smiles to our faces; the “big man” was now here and all was right with the world. It was quite a festive time! Yet the story doesn’t end there and indeed all was NOT right with the world. Knowing what lies ahead puts a damper on the celebration – and I think it should. Thinking of Palm Sunday only as a parade takes it out of context and negates the events that led up to that day and those things that came after Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem.
            It is also easy for us to make Palm Sunday a pre-Easter celebration. We look ahead and we know the end of the story. It is tempting to just skim over the events in the middle of the week and go from celebration to celebration without experiencing the darkest part of the journey. Yet we cannot really understand Easter and celebrate the joy of the resurrection without experiencing the pain of Good Friday. We cannot fully understand the light unless we have experienced darkness. So I encourage you to participate in our Holy Week services – Maundy Thursday and the Good Friday cantata. Sit in the darkness of Jesus’ death for then, and only then, can we experience the joy of resurrection.
            And when Easter day comes, may you know and feel both the hope and joy that is found in Jesus Christ!
            This Sunday as we celebrate Palm Sunday, my sermon is titled “Giving Up Popularity” based on Matthew 21: 1 – 10. I look forward to worshiping with you.
Below you will find announcements and important information about upcoming events. Please review and mark your calendars accordingly.
Children’s Sunday School Assistants
Terra Aten leads the young children’s Sunday School class that meets during worship each Sunday morning. Her assistant this Sunday, 3/29 is Joanne Jolliff. Her assistant next Sunday, 4/5 is Pam Domer.
Easter Sunday Worship
Join us for our early (Sunrise?) service at 8:00 a.m. This service will be led by our youth groups. Following this service, the Sing-Mar class will host our Easter Breakfast in Fellowship Hall. Come to Sunday School at 9:30 a.m., then stay for our traditional Resurrection Celebration at 10:30 a.m.
Easter Egg Hunt
Oak Chapel’s annual community Easter Egg Hunt is planned for Saturday, April 4 at 10:00 a.m. this year. The event will feature pictures with the Easter Bunny, an Easter Egg Hunt and games and activities. Please share this upcoming event with your friends and neighbors.   
Maundy Thursday worship
The word maundy comes from the Latin word mandatum, meaning commandment, taken from some of Jesus’ final words to his disciples as he washed their feet at the Last Supper, “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another” Join us on Thursday, April 2 at 7:00 p.m. as we remember Jesus’ final meal with his disciples.
Good Friday Cantata
Members of the choirs of the Church of the Cross, Moreland, Oak Chapel and Wooster United Methodist Churches will present the Good Friday Cantata “The Shadow of the Cross” on Friday, April 3 at 7:00 p.m. at Oak Chapel. This Tenebrae service will include music, readings, and the extinguishing of candles. Invite your friends and neighbors for this meditative and moving service.
Pastor Away
Pastor Robin’s father, Bob Dillon, is scheduled for spine surgery on Monday, April 6. Pastor Robin will be traveling to be with her family for the surgery. She will leave Easter Sunday afternoon, April 5 and will return on Saturday, April 11. During her absence, Rev. Tom Fish of Moreland UMC will cover for pastoral emergencies. Rev. Fish can be reached at 330-262-2522 or 330-720-5991.
Holy Humor Sunday
On Sunday, April 12, we will honor Holy Humor Sunday at Oak Chapel UMC.  Come see what we have “up our sleeves” for that day and join in the joy and laughter, celebrating God’s love for us.  Jesus laughed and we should, too!
Opportunities for Ministry Next Week
Sunday, 3/29 – Sunday School at 9:30am
                                    Palm Sunday Worship at 10:30am
Monday, 3/30 – Bible Study at 10:15am
                                    VBS Planning Meeting at 6:00pm
Tuesday, 3/31 – Girl Scouts at 5:45pm
Wednesday, 4/1 – Morning Circle at Betty Franks’ at 9:30am
                                    Choir Rehearsal at 7:00pm
Thursday, 4/2 – Maundy Thursday Worship at 7:00pm
Friday, 4/3 – Good Friday Cantata at 7:00pm
Saturday, 4/4 – Weight Loss Support Group at 9:15am
                                    Easter Egg Hunt at 10:00am
It is a privilege to be your pastor and to serve among such an amazing community. I look forward to seeing you in church on Sunday!
Grace and peace,
Pastor Robin

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