Message From Pastor Erin

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Eastertide Blessings!

Eastertide blessings! A new church season is upon us, and with it comes change. During the Lenten season, we explored manifestations of joy even in the midst of challenging circumstances—which culminated with the joy of an empty tomb on Easter Sunday. Death transformed to new life. Alleluia! He is risen. Christ is risen indeed!
We begin the fifty-day Eastertide season with persistent joy in our hearts even as we grieve the loss of DeMar Sather and Vince Mattson, two beloved and exemplary long-time members of the Bethany family. The promise of resurrection reminds us that death is not the end of the story, and although we feel their loss deeply, the joy of the Good News persists. It is the basis of our faith, and so we move forward into a new season holding fast to that promise. 
Throughout Eastertide, our scripture readings focus on Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances and the ways that he continued to share the Good News with his disciples through signs and miracles. As we enter into these ancient stories, we are invited to keep our sense of awe and wonder alive by experiencing them in our hearts, letting down our intellectual “guard.” 
For some, this exercise inspires artistic expression, including (but not limited to) visual art, creative writing, and music. We’ll try some new things in worship inspired by the signs and wonders of Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances—making the ancient stories relevant in our present lives. We keep hope alive by preserving our sense of awe and wonder through creative expression of the Good News. 
Benedictine monk, Brother David Stendhal (b. 1927) once wrote that the heart of joy is gratitude. I remain deeply grateful for the ways that the Bethany family shares the Good News, through Sunday school, the quilting ministry, music, and housing—to name a few. It gives me great joy to see children engaged in Sunday school, young people interested in community and confirmation, dedicated people serving the affordable housing project, faithful people serving on the transition team, talented people sewing beautiful quilts, and the Bethany choir singing the Good News. Signs of life and wonders of new life abound!
Alleluia! He is risen. Christ is risen indeed! 
Yours in faith,
Posted by Erin Grayson with