A Weekly Newsletter
Thought for the Week
To Thee, Redeemer, King!
It is hard to believe that we are already approaching Holy Week, the most solemn - and yet possibly the most anticipated - week in the Church calendar. Palm Sunday is a moment of joy before the darkness of Holy Week and we embrace that joy wholeheartedly. Traditionally, the music of Palm Sunday is triumphant and processional. It has a full organ and brass sound that creates a stately but joyous feeling that mimics the excitement of Jerusalem as it welcomed Jesus inside.
In addition to being "the Sunday before Easter" and the "Sunday right before Spring Break", Palm Sunday really is an important Sunday and a unique worship. The service begins with the triumphal sounds of the processional and we join the people in rejoicing that Jesus has arrived. We shout "hosanna" and wave palm branches and savor the respite from the Lenten gloominess. About halfway through the worship you may notice a subtle shift. The language focuses less on Jesus' triumphal entrance and more on the moments yet to come. We know what is in store, this worship reminds us, and there is no avoiding it. We enter in triumph and we leave looking towards Good Friday, the final day of Jesus' life.
After the worship, the palms we wave at this worship are stored away, and eventually become the ashes for next year's Ash Wednesday service. This worship participates in the interconnected cycle of worship: this year feeds next year, which feeds the following year, feeding years to come. Joy turns into sadness, and back into joy.
Many people struggle with attending services during Holy Week, and not just because it is a different schedule than our normal church routine. And, honestly, it's easy to see why. Maundy Thursday and Good Friday do not feel the same way the Sunday services do. They are dark, sad, and contemplative. You don't leave feeling happy, but neither do you leave feeling depressed. Those services make people uncomfortable. They remind us of the darkest parts of Jesus' life and leave us there. They do not resolve our feelings the way a typical worship service does. It sends us out into the world to sit in discomfort until the triumphant resolution of Easter.
I encourage you to make time to join us at worship throughout Holy Week. It is a unique time of extreme happiness and deep sadness. It encourages us to be mindful of life's highs and lows. It reminds us that we share those moments with each other and with God's Son, God's own self. We are not alone.
Palm Sunday Morning Schedule
- Middle School Sunday School, 9:15 AM (Youth Room)
- High School Sunday School, 9:15 AM (Dale Hall Classroom)
- Confirmation, 9:15 AM (Room 102)
- Palm Sunday Contemporary Worship, 11:00 AM (Sanctuary)
Sunday Evening Schedule
- Middle School Youth Group, 5:00 PM (Youth Room)
- High School Praise Team, 5:30 PM (Sanctuary)
- Middle School Praise Team, 6:30 PM (Sanctuary)
- High School Youth Group, 7:00 PM (Youth Room)
Wednesday Evening Schedule
- NO YOUTH GATHERING - See the Holy Week Schedule below!
Middle School: April 15-17
High School: April 22-24
It's official! Both the Middle and High School groups will spend two nights away at Kirkwood-Brainerd Camp, the Philadelphia Presbytery's Pocono Retreat Center!
Click on your age group above to see the flyers. That's where you'll find all the details about our location and the trip pricing. There are scholarships available - please contact Liz for more information!
Click here to RSVP!
The #30SecondBible Series
Or, it would, if you didn't have this exciting new project!
Every day in Lent, the site 30 Seconds or Less is publishing a 30 second talk on a book of the bible. Each recording will contain a summary and a reflection on the book's contents by Christian pastors, theologians, and scholars (including a seminary friend of mine! Shameless plug).
We are in the New Testament! We've made it into the Epistles - all the way to 2 Timothy.
Check out the video below on Acts! (This is a shameless plug for a talented Seminary classmate - I hope you enjoy her reflections!)
You can find the devotionals in Hassler Chapel.
Youth Program of Media Presbyterian Church
The Youth Ministry programs at MPC has long been a place that welcomes teenagers to embrace their questions and their struggles with faith in a healthy and safe environment.
The Youth Program is led by Ms. Liz Remelius, Director of Youth Ministries. Liz nurtures a deep love of education and believes that there is "a divine beauty in learning." She hopes that anyone who participates in MPC's Youth Ministry will be equipped to ask questions, search for answers, and turn that knowledge into action, both in the Church and the world.