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April Life Together newsletter

Prayers, blessings offered during journeys to the cross

Dear Bethanians,

A blessed Holy Week to each of you. “Journey” is an oft-used, perhaps overused, word to describe the adventures of our bodies and spirits in these weeks. It brings to mind the liturgical paths we traverse from Palm Sunday, with footing on leafy branches and cloaks, through Maundy Thursday (well-fed and with clean feet), into Good Friday (to Golgotha, with a
cross), and briskly striding to an empty tomb at Easter. All the way we are accompanied by human emotions, but more importantly by God’s irrepressible grace. A grace-filled Holy Week journey is my prayer for each of you.

“Journey” takes on other significance as so many are in the departure gates, heading to South Africa, to Alaska, to Arizona, to Nebraska, while others are welcomed in the arrival gates, returning from similar destinations. Sometimes I feel like a travel agent, trying to keep track of the journeys. For you my prayer is for safe travels, and joyous homecoming, all the while accompanied by God’s grace and the prayer of the Bethany community.

Still others see the journey ahead as one that anticipates hospital visits and physical therapy appointments, radiation and chemotherapy treatments. To envision these through the lens of Christ the healer and sustainer is to know that we travel not alone, but always into a hope-filled future. We journey as resurrection people. A blessed journey to each of you.

A fellow traveler,

Pastor Paul Stumme-Diers

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