MIDWEEK MESSAGE #105
Hello! Welcome to Midweek Message #105! Thanks for “tuning in” to the MM this week. I hope your week is going well.
As I begin to write this it is Monday morning, or what is affectionately called the “day after.” As a young pastor I was always warned about the dangers of the “day after Easter.” Not just the day after, but the week after. There were several factors which came into play in that thought.
- First, the “high” from the Resurrection Day service. It is no secret that the two most attended Sundays are Christmas and Easter, with Easter being the biggest since it is always on Sunday. It used to be Easter was the highlight of the “fashion” Sundays. It seemed like every woman or young female broke out an Easter dress and every man and young male broke out a suit and tie. It used to be I always wore a tie so that was nothing new to me. But the biggest “high” comes from the attendance. Churches all across the nation see a major spike in their attendance, more often doubling or tripling the norm. Every pastor knows the next Sunday will bring a significant drop in that area. Me? I realize it is what it is and just relish getting to see so many people at one time. (I just wish I could remember everyone’s name I met yesterday). J
- Second, the “back to the grind” which comes on Monday. After a weekend of remembering the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, reality hits when we turn the alarm clock off.
- Third, exhaustion. So much is put into getting ready for the Resurrection Day service that exhaustion is often the result. That explains why so many pastors take off Monday and sometimes even Tuesday…to recover! In our case, all the logistics of making sure we haven’t forgotten anything to take to Abram Farm, plus the extra work required just finally catches up to us. This just might be the first Sunday in my 47+ years of ministry that I changed my Easter sermon at the last minute. I did a major rewrite on Saturday and so that weighed on me as well.
- Fourth, wanting everything to go well. It is always a challenge to have our service “away from home.” The set up. The venue. The effort people put in. The different presentation. The audience. So many factors.
But here is what I want to say to all of that. Even though I was exhausted Sunday afternoon, I would do it all again in a heartbeat. So many people showed up early to help set up we were actually done in 30-40 minutes. Zach Hogan provided his sound system and some members of the worship team helped him set up so that went much quicker than anticipated. We had people volunteer to help in various capacities, like making sure people had bulletins/music sheets and the pre-filled communion elements. Some were unofficial greeters. I saw so many people just walking around and welcoming others. Pastor Ryan ran the soundboard that Zach gave him a crash course on. Joe Pavich ran the live stream. The worship team sounded good. Tiffany Kropack offered to do family pictures (even though it was freezing cold outside). And so many of you helped in the cleanup and by taking a moment to carry your chair to where they could be put away. The only glitch was the guy who was to speak, who choked on his communion, burned this throat with the juice, and then sounded hoarse the whole time. Oh yeah…that would be me. J Yikes! A HUGE THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HELPED BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER THE SERVICE. It went well thanks to you and God’s blessing.
Let’s switch gears now for another “I NEED YOUR HELP” plea. Mother’s Day (MD) is right around the corner- 3 Sundays to be exact. Occasionally in the past I have asked different women in the church to participate on MD. This one will be even more different. I sent out a text to 10 women who had not participated before with a question: “What woman in the Bible would be your hero?” Every one of them responded, some with two or more different names. I then asked them if they would be willing to present “why they chose that person” to the church on MD. Most of them agreed with 2 saying they would be gone and would be willing to do a video. My plan is to present the morning as an informal panel-type sit-in-a-chair time which will allow the women to relax and to feel as though they are not up there alone. After speaking with the staff and elders, it was agreed upon to have just one service that morning. That service will be at 10:00. Here is where your help is needed. I suspect with it being MD it will be a bit crowded. Please come prepared for that. Keep in mind that families will be coming and will want to sit together so if you can leave seats for families or could possibly move over a chair or two, please take the initiative to do so. We will still have our children’s programs as we normally do. And remember: it will be crowded but it will only be for one week. If you are concerned about it, please keep in mind you can watch the live stream. Thanks ahead of time for your help.
I mentioned in last week’s MM about the opportunity to help some elderly residents who are unable to do some physical work needed around their homes. That date is May 15th. The church will provide a light lunch and then we will plan to go to work from 1:30-3:30. Sign-up sheets will be on the info table for you to indicate your help. If you can’t do physical work, we have a need for those who like to talk. J I’ll give more details in next week’s MM.
I want to close by saying, thanks again for making our Resurrection Day celebration at Abram Farm so special. If you happen to know or see Bill and Suzie Abram around town, would you please tell them, “Thanks.” And if you are so inclined, please drop them a note of thanks. They have been very gracious to us in letting us use the venue.
One more thing (famous preacher line): I failed to mention that the size of the Abram Farm venue is just shy of what we are hoping to see as a reality for us in the near future.
Have a great rest of the week. I love you all and look forward to seeing you as we wrap up the series on Truth Decay by talking about “Eternity is Still Eternity.”