Dear Friends,

I woke up on Easter Monday with a heart overflowing with gratitude.  First, for Erika and our legion of Moppers Extraordinaire: thank you.  Without you, our Easter service would not have been possible.  I shared part of the story of the Great Flood during Sunday’s service, but some of the details that I did not share included the fact that Erika was on her third plumber before one agreed to show up—and then actually did; that the plumber was only able to fix the offending broken pipe by fabricating a part in his truck because, of course, the part is not a standard 21st century size; that it was 9:30 p.m. before the water was back on and we got the “all clear” for having running water for Sunday; and that we had “port-o-potties” ready to be delivered Sunday morning as a desperate, last-ditch backup plan to the backup plan, in case the street-side fabricated part didn’t work.  Now wouldn’t that have been a vision—lining up along the sidewalk in our Easter finery to use the “facilities”?  And imagine how the hospitality to our many visitors would have gone: “We’re so glad you’re here!  And we are delighted to offer you the use of our portable johns!”

But we were spared all that because of the perseverance and loving sacrifice made by those members of the Calvary family who dedicated themselves and worked together to ensure that worship on Easter was possible.  And the craziest part of all?  Rather than bemoaning the loss of time or complaining about the strenuous, disgusting labor of shoveling and mopping hundreds of gallons of water, two of our Swabbies described it to me as a “blessing” to be here to help and as a “team building” exercise!  As the saying goes, “you can’t make this stuff up.”  You can’t make up a flooded building the day before Easter, but you also can’t make up hearts made of gold.  I am eternally grateful and humbled by the sacrifice, but also by the spirit in which it was given.  Wow.  God is so, so good to us.  

A special thanks also goes to Margaret and Ilse.  Margaret filled 176 plastic eggs during the week (and I saw “the goods” in one of them and she didn’t skimp!  Those kids got some awesome treasures!)  Ilse had been called in early in the week for “9-1-1 flower duty” to keep the lilies watered and alive.  Then together, they prepared communion and hid the Easter eggs for the children to hunt.  Steve and Steve were, as always, ready to help with any and everything, and their tasks ended up being many and varied.  Thank you, gentlemen.  Erika commented that “it takes a village.”  Indeed, it does, and we have a special one.

Jenny broke her toe late Saturday night, so arrived Sunday morning in “Easter Birkenstocks” but with her ever-present smile and sunny disposition not the least dimmed.  (I told her she could have worn bunny slippers or come barefoot, and I would have been just as glad she was here.)  Outside after church, she described the story time she did with the children in the (mostly dry ☹) nursery and friends, I hate to break it to you, but we all should have been back there with the kids.  They got the best Easter message of the day!

All these blessings and I haven’t even mentioned worship itself which was alive with the Spirit, full of glorious music, and a true celebration of what Easter is really all about.  Thank you again to Judy, Jane and David; Rachel and Jeremy; the handbells, choir, quartet, and Erika; and Gene Kendall.  You are a gift to us all.

And congregation, thank you for your spirit and for your flexibility, for your warm hospitality to those who worshiped with us for the first-time, and for your steadfastness through these long, long months of disruption.  I am overwhelmed with Easter joy and with the privilege of sharing that joy with you as family.  

He is Risen!  He is risen, indeed!


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