Easter is a time of love,
A time of death and pain undone,
So we may know the power of
The love that alive for everyone.
Love unstained and free,
Redeeming us- let it be so within you and me.
Rudyard Kipling in The Jungle Book has Mowgli, the man cub, ask the animals what’s the most feared thing in the jungle. He’s told that when two animals meet on a narrow path that one must step aside and let the other pass. The animal that steps aside for no one would then be the most feared.
Mowgli wants to know what kind of animal would that be? One tells him it’s an elephant. Another tells him it’s a lion. Finally the wise old owl exclaims, “The most feared thing in the jungle is death. It steps aside for no one.”
All the bright colors, eggs and bunnies of Easter remind us that Death did stepped aside for Jesus. The power of Love revealed in Christ that could not be overcome. Jesus is our assurance of the power of Love over Death.
Max Lucado in his book, Six Hours One Friday, tells the story of a missionary in Brazil who discovered a tribe of Indians in a remote part of the jungle. They lived near a large river. The tribe was in need of medical attention. A contagious disease was ravaging the population. People were dying daily. A hospital was not too terribly far away—across the river, but the natives would not cross it because they believed the river was inhabited by evil spirits. And to enter its water would mean certain death. The missionary explained how he had crossed the river and was unharmed. But they were not impressed. He then took them to the bank and placed his hand in the water. They still wouldn’t go in. He walked into the water up to his waist and splashed water on his face. It didn’t matter. They were still afraid to enter the river.
Finally, he dove into the river, swam beneath the surface until he emerged on the other side. He raised a triumphant fist into the air. He had entered the water and escaped. It was then that the natives broke into a cheer and followed him across.
Jesus entered the river of death and came out on the other side so that we might no longer fear death but find eternal life in Him.
Holy week is holy because during that week we watch as Jesus enters the water. As we look at his last seven words on Good Friday, we see how Jesus rises out of the darkness around him.
Beginning Easter Sunday, we will explore the joys of life that can be ours if we can embrace the other side of the river. We will hear Thomas’ questions, dine with Jesus, dive into his character as the Way the Truth and the Life, the Good Shepherd and the one who prays for us.
We saw how Paul was able to hang his worries and regrets on the cross. The resurrected Christ call him to leave his burdens with Jesus and embrace life without end. May we find that path to follow.
Lord thank you for crossing the river. May we find new hope as we watch you rise from the waves. May we live as expectant people, bolstered by your grace.
Challenge for Ukraine and Turkey
Connie and I have decided to match whatever the members of the congregation give during the Lenten season to Lutheran World Relief which is an A++ charity working in Turkey and Ukraine. Just indicate your gift on your envelope or on the special envelopes in the pew. As a church and with your being matched over $2,000 will be going to LWR. Thanks for your support.
Thanks also for your continued support of the work of Faith. We do have additional envelopes in the rear of the church if you need them.
Office Assistant hired. Lauren Schafer, who also has a part time position at the United Methodist of Yucaipa. She will be in the office Monday – Thursday from 12:30 p to 3 pm. She and her husband were both earned their MDiv at Moravian Theological Seminary in Bethlehem PA. He serves at the Morongo Moravian Church. They have four grown children and four dogs. She loves to quilt and refinish furniture. Pastor will be in the office Monday and Tuesdays April 10 and 11.
April 9 – Easter – “The Adventure Begins” – Pastor John
Confirmation No confirmation on Easter Sunday April 9. April 16 continues at 11:15 – Noon.
Directory for 2023
Our 2023 church directory is taking shape to include all Friends and Members at Faith. Thank you to Debi Hitter for taking professional pictures. She is available after church on April 16 to take any remaining pictures.
Volunteers We also have signups for volunteers for Coffee Hour hosts, Acolytes, Altar Flowers, Greeters is in the Fireside. We have a complete list of possibilities and explanations in the narthex as well.
Pantry Our next pantry day is April 8 and 22. We are low on supplies as our normal sources of food are not well stocked. If you are a Thrivent member, please use your Action Team to purchase items for the pantry. Thanks, Joe, for using yours.
Quilting – We could use donations of queen sheets. You can join Eleanor, Emily, Paula and Dona on Tuesdays at church or do part of the work at home. Our new visitor, Dana, also has a desire to help. We have all kinds of material available to use. Please talk to Eleanor @ 951-623-3496.
Thread – Geri gave the quilters more spools of thread than they could use. If you would like to purchase large full spools for $1 each just let Eleanor know. It goes to help purchase other quilting material.
MEMBER UPDATES AND PRAYERS AND CELEBRATIONS
- Dave Strack lost his son Tim to a heart attack during a game of ice hockey.
- Norma Burwell is still improving but is still under Hospice care at Golden Oaks.
- Elaine Risso would appreciate prayers for her daughter Virginia.
- We want to remember the Koenig family.
- Jeanne who monitors the ring service for us but who is still having health issues.
- Jessica Calendar, the Koenig’s daughter has been diagnosed with CLL leukemia.
- Lucas Shea, Jeanne and Joe’s grandson was with us on Sunday.
- Eleanor Diaz would appreciate prayers for her sister, Tonya, and her son’s family. Also Gabi with heart problems and Josie with lung cancer.
- The Cady’s would appreciate prayers for their daughter’s friend, Brooke, who suffered a stroke.
- Kim Guevara’s brother, Jim, is much improved and is working with Mayo clinic with a long stem cell procedure.
- Caesar’s sister, Maria, was diagnosed with Lymphoma.
- Becky Malinowski is still going through chemo treatments.
- Continued Godly journey for Brendan Simms, son of Bonnie Strack.
April 9 – Easter @ 10 am Special refreshments will follow. Bring flowers that day from your yard for the floral cross.
April 16 – The season of Easter continues with the visit to Thomas
Thanks to the following people who donated lilies and to the musicians for Easter.
Pastor John and Connie Bunge in memory of his mother Myrene.
Eleanor Diaz in memory of loved ones.
Barbara Kuerzinger in memory of her husband Richard.
Elaine Risso in appreciation of music.
Carol Jensen in honor of the Risen Lord.
George and Patricia Motschall
Pat Teeters in memory of loved ones.