A weekend to celebrate!

A weekend to celebrate!

Wow! What an Easter! When we processed down the center aisle for the first service and I saw a room full of people gathered eagerly for the 8:30 celebration, a wave of gratitude and emotion swept over me! Particularly to see so many of my older friends back after more than a year, vaccinated, feeling confident to join us in person…it was such a wonderful start to that morning for me.

And then, to watch as we filled not one, but two modern services (all within appropriate guidelines, of course) including setting a post-Covid record for children in attendance…well…it just doesn’t get much better than that for a pastor of a church that is rebounding from a pandemic.

Here’s something else. Not only was the attendance strong—1,868 people in the three services—people were remaining afterward! Mingling. Talking. Enjoying that sweet fellowship that is such an important part of our worship experience.

It may have been the most joyous Easter of my ministry because I felt like WE…as the disciples had done…were bursting out of hiding and racing toward the empty tomb where we could worship together.

My heart is so full of joy, it seems an appropriate moment for us to begin a study in the most joy-filled book in the Bible…and my personal favorite of all Paul’s letters…Philippians! The series will be called, “Joy No Matter What!” I think the title speaks for itself and I believe it will be just the shot in your arm…if I might use a very current metaphor…to encourage you forward in your victorious, healthy spiritual life.

And…a special treat for our 8:30 crowd…barring any changes from the county health department, we are going to resume our pastry and coffee service after the first service. That fellowship time was such a valued part of the Sunday morning experience for those who love our Classic Worship. I look forward to seeing you again in the Gathering Place…you might even catch me munching on an apple fritter.

Pastor Mark Toone