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pastor paul: my holy week walk, and how you can participate

Dear Bethanians,

On this Holy Week journey, we together take a pilgrimage to the cross, recognizing there a place of suffering, but also of deep love and hope.  In this spirit, many participate in a “Way of the Cross” walk on Good Friday, to be about active remembering, taking up our cross and following Jesus. 

I remember doing so each year in Milwaukee, where Laurie and I would go with members of our congregations to our partner congregation Reformation Lutheran Church.  In that neighborhood, we would walk, singing hymns and praying at various select locations, which would include drug houses, places where people had been murdered, counseling centers and thrift stores sponsored by social service agencies. We stopped at the local police precinct and gave thanks for the Boys and Girls Club, and we lamented the predatory lending of the check-cashing stores and rent-a-centers.

On Wednesday, I am planning on walking a Holy Week walk from Bethany to Martha and Mary, with a stop at Seekers Ministry and Poulsbo First along the way.  Depending on my energy level, I am hoping to visit the grave of Chief Sealth in Suquamish, a place for me of great inspiration, but also a place with an underlying ache. 

Along the way I will be keeping a keen eye out for places of hope and, yes, places of suffering.  The hope will for sure be the bookends of the walk, Bethany and Martha and Mary, but also the flowers and gardens, the parks and community projects, the bridge that connects us.  As I look for places of sorrow, it may be that many homes I pass may be such places, under social isolation.  Perhaps it will take the shape of a cross along the side of the road, marking a place of tragedy. 

On Wednesday, or whenever the spirit moves you, take some time and visually take that journey from Bethany to Poulsbo, and in your mind’s eye reflect on those places you might identify as places of brokenness and places of hope. Then commit these to God’s care through a prayer, as we make our pilgrimage to the cross.

Pastor Paul

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Pastor Paul: Children's messages here daily

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Dear Bethanians,

We are discovering ever new ways to be the church in these coronavirus days. Of course, there is a deep sense of loss and sadness that comes over us, a pall that descends when we remember that we are unable to physically gather. I actually think this can be a healthy thing, to experience this absence for a bit, as we anticipate the day when we again will be able to worship in the same space.

It also is a time of innovation and doing new things. We have filmed our Holy Week worship services, and this morning, with Rachel’s help, we are producing daily “Holy Week at Home” videos/children’s messages. These will be posted on this blog, on the Bethany of Bainbridge website each day, as we walk together the path through Holy Week. The first one, tomorrow, on Palm Sunday, involves having a Palm Sunday parade (processional) with no one around.

Just a reminder that our worship will be posted tomorrow morning at 8:30am and 11:00am. Blessings to each of you in the Holy Week that is to come.

Pastor Paul

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