Tuesday, April 06, 2010
Easter recovery continues...
Easter Sunday was lovely.
The main church of the parish looked beautiful with all the bright banners, butterflies, and fresh flowers. One of the tulip plants in the Easter memorial garden was given in honor of me and my family by one of the matriarchs of the congregation, which was so sweet. The people needed a little prodding when it came to the call and response "Christ is risen - he is risen indeed!" since it was so early, but they soon caught the enthusiasm. It was a joyful service, and nice to see all the family visiting some of the elderly and infirm members. The sermon even managed to be coherent and different from any Easter sermon I have ever given, so yay!
The little church in the country was not so full. None of the families had big family get-togethers this year. There was a little lingering sadness too, missing the presence of those who have left the church. But SweetBaby certainly livened things up by loudly talking along with me, and accompanying all the hymns, to the delight of all and the embarrassment of her mother. I think everyone felt the lift of Easter, though, the relief of Lent done, the joy of Easter and spring, the readiness to move on to new life and a new stage in the church's life. This church is ready to be done suffering and mourning, and ready to move on to living.
The little church in the town down the road was full to the brim! Our average attendance is ten. This Sunday we filled the place! Having a baptism made a big difference. It was such a joyful event. The baby is 6 months old, two days older than SweetBaby. She was so much fun at the baptism. She was checking everything out, and fully involved in the whole experience. And so cute! There were so many kids, which just delighted our usual members to no end. So many smiles, so much laughter, and communion actually took more than two tables worth! It was great. I almost lost it at one point when I looked back and saw the gentleman of the couple taking care of Sadie, holding her and having quite a conversation back and forth with her. And he had the biggest grin from ear to ear. So much joy was contained in that one little white church (that, truth be known, is usually a kinda grumpy place).
So much to be thankful for...and still exhausted. Today we met with other pastors for text study to get ready for next Sunday, and doubting Thomas. I'm not ready to gear up again! But time marches on, and Sunday comes around again fast. At least Lil' Princess got to color eggs yesterday finally, and she and I helped the quilters for a while. That was so much fun, and the ladies really enjoyed having her there, and encouraged her with different little jobs.
I'm so glad to see the sun today, and to be able to walk outside with just a light jacket. My bulbs are showing up, and I have a real itching to do some weeding and clearing in the flower patches. It will be fun to introduce SweetBaby to the great outdoors, that is until she starts crawling and gets into everything that's unsafe. But that's just how it works!