My dear family in Christ,
HAPPY EASTER!!! (Alleluia, alleluia!!!)
We walked together through the penitential time of Lent and the intense, often uncomfortable events of Holy Week, into the glorious joy of that first Sunday of Resurrection … And now here we are, four days into the great fifty days of Easter Season. It’s something I love deeply about our Episcopal tradition: the highest, holiest times of the Church year, Christmas and Easter, are not merely single days, “one-and-done.” We get to enjoy entire seasons—twelve full days of Christmas, and 50 full days of Easter! What a gift. What a blessing!
Speaking of gifts and blessings, as we decompress from the intensity of Holy Week and the Triduum, we need to offer our deep gratitude and sincere thanks to everyone who helped to make our worship together so rich, so powerfully meaningful and beautiful this year:
Matt Kierzek and Carol Jegen in selecting music and leading the choir and playing the organ, Eric Neiswender with the magnificent offering of the Exsultet and Karl Breice with those gorgeous recorder melodies, Ken Bozeman for the wonderful piano music, and the entire All Saints choir … all of y’all straight up outdid yourselves this year. The music you provided not only enhanced our worship but also shaped it. Indeed, your music, and your voices raised in song, were acts of worship. Thank y’all so much for bringing us all more deeply into the worship of Our Lord.
Sarah Gilbert, Catherine Neiswender, Suzanne Fischer, Nancy Krueger, Cathy Twomey, and everyone on the Altar Guild—amazing job through all the changes & liturgical requirements of the past week! Thank you all for making sure everything was where it needed to be, when it needed to be there, and for making sure our worship space was elegant and lovely!
Karrie Moore, Barb Fetterolf, Suzanne Fischer, and Jan Reeves—the flowers at the main altar and at the altar of repose were stunningly beautiful and gorgeously arranged. Thank you all for such a fantastic transformation from the sparseness of Lent into the glory of Easter!
Emily Gilbert, our intrepid parish secretary and de facto stage manager and show-runner: without your prodigious efforts, we would never have had the scripts (i.e., bulletins) or the servers (whom you scheduled and coordinated) or that quintessential sense of coherence and organization that absolutely kept the train from going off the rails any number of times. “Thank you” does not seem adequate; nonetheless, a heartfelt thank you, indeed!
Bill Reeves, for reviving, organizing, and hosting a longstanding tradition of holding a celebratory reception after the liturgy of the Great Vigil, a profound thank you. The food and drink were wonderful, and the atmosphere and fellowship were downright divine. Thank you so much for bringing this tradition back to the parish!
Brad Retzlaff and Ken Bozeman, thanks be to y’all for keeping us “on the air” with the livestreaming of our worship services throughout Holy Week and on Easter Sunday. Our online presence is so important to those folks who are unable to join us in-person at All Saints. And without somebody working that fancy console in the back, we would risk losing connection with folks who’ve been part of All Saints for many years. Many, many thanks!
To everyone who read from the Scriptures as a lector, who carried the Cup of Salvation as a chalice-bearer, who stood up to read your parts in the Passion Narrative, who rolled up your sleeves as you washed the feet of your neighbors, and especially to everyone who showed up for seven consecutive Church services, a hearty thank you and my sincere gratitude!
Y’all, it’s been a weird (and sometimes, let’s be honest, rough) three years. For me, this year’s liturgies were my first opportunity to celebrate Holy Week and Easter with you without the crushing burden of pandemic restrictions holding us back or weighing us down. Since 2020, we have had to invent, from scratch, services that could honor the liturgical celebrations in new ways every single year, in order to conform with whichever restrictions were in place at the time. This year, however, I hope we have finally established a new “normal,” a template for years to come. I am so very grateful that my family and I could worship with y’all in full this year, and we’re off to an incredible start to our Easter season.
May the days ahead continue to bring you, and All Saints Church, many blessings. Thank you all so much for being this amazing community of faith. It is an absolute privilege to get to serve and worship with you.
Yours always in Christ,
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