Dear friends in Christ,
Happy Easter! It was so wonderful to gather together again for Holy Week and Easter. I’ve a attached some of the pictures I had from the week. If any of you have pictures to share please send them my way and to the church office. We have a few things going on in the life of the church to keep on the calendar:
Spring Clean Up: 4/30 from 8am-12pm
Our annual spring clean up the church and parsonage grounds will take place on Saturday, April 30th. Please bring yourself, yard work tools, and we also can use people with pickup trucks and trailers to haul brush and mulch to and from the transfer station. I look forward to seeing many of you on 4/30.
Church Council met last night, and we are continuing to monitor the situation with the pandemic as cases tick up in our town. Masks will continue to be optional at this time. We will have KN95 masks available in the narthex if you would like one. As a reminder, when you wear a mask, the mask primarily works to protect others. We will also open windows in the sanctuary to help with ventilation.
I want to thank all our volunteers and staff for all their time and effort this past week to have beautiful services on Maundy Thursday and Easter. The church looked beautiful, our choirs sounded great, we had enough eggs and helpers for the Easter Egg Hunt, and you can go back and enjoy the service from Easter again on YouTube. Additionally, thank you to everyone who donated to the Easter baskets for families in Middlebury needing a little extra help this holiday to have a special meal together.
Upcoming Memorial Service
The memorial service for Bob Hauserman will be on Saturday 5/7 at 11am at the church.
Vacation Bible School is Back!
Join us June 27-July 1st for a fun-filled week of Vacation Bible School for grades K-5. The theme this year is “Food Truck Party.” Registration will begin in May. If you’re interested in volunteering, please email email@example.com.
Strawberry Festival 2022
We are in the beginning stages of getting things together for Strawberry Festival 2022, but save the date of Friday, June 3rd in the afternoon/evening. More details and info on volunteering to come!
One of the aspects of Christian theology that’s received the most attention since the early days of the church is the atonement. It’s essentially working out what Jesus life, death, and resurrection accomplished and how it works. There are many different understandings of the atonement, and the church universal has, in general, been quite tolerant of a number of different points of view coexisting. This makes sense when you think about it because Jesus’ life, suffering, death, and resurrection is and will always be the central mystery of our faith. We’re never going to know exactly how the atonement works, but what is common to all theologies of the atonement/cross is that somehow in some way, what Jesus did set things right.
One of the oldest understandings of the atonement is currently called Christus Victor. As the name hints, this theology of the atonement emphasizes that through his life, death and resurrection, Jesus has vanquished/has victory over sin, death, and all the evil powers of this world. It’s the theology of the atonement that I find the most meaningful. I wanted to share part of an Easter sermon from 2nd century bishop Melito of Sardis that I think is a beautiful example of that understanding of the atonement/Easter. (Additionally, referenced in here is another classical teaching of the church that on Holy Saturday Jesus descended into hell and rescued all those trapped there. That’s called the harrowing of hell.):
“God has clothed himself in humanity. For me a sufferer he has suffered; for one who was in prison, he was made captive; for one who was condemned, he has been judged; for one who was buried in the grave, he has been buried. But now he is risen from the dead. He cries out:
‘Who will contend with me? Let them confront me.
I have freed those who were condemned;
I have given life to those who were dead;
I have raised up the dead from their graves.
Who will dispute my cause?
I am the Christ.
I have abolished death;
I have triumphed over the enemy;
I have trampled hell underfoot;
I have bound the strong one, and I have raised humanity up to the heights of heaven: Yes, I am the Christ.’”