Pastor’s Pen - April
Lent is a journey, an annual spiritual pilgrimage, towards the cross. Shady Grove Presbyterian, along with many other mainline protestant churches, has a tendency to avoid the cross. Some congregations opt to remove the cross from the sanctuary so as not to offend visitors or those of a differing faith. The cross could be absent because the architectural design of the sanctuary does not lend itself to such a display. The focal point in our sanctuary is not a cross, but rather an artist rendering of how this community sees God in the world - triune, intermingled, dancing together towards the sky.
We also refrain from talking about or speaking of the cross. It is, after all, a symbol of torture and exceedingly painful death. As Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing.” Put another way, the cross is offensive! It offends our sense of justice and runs counter to a belief in non-violence. Even today, metaphorically speaking, Christians wield the cross as a weapon against people of other faiths and against those who profess the same faith but who are just not faithful enough.
Despite it all, we put up a cross in the narthex for Lent. The rugged, barren cross is a sharp contrast to the colorful paintings set behind. It’s our reminder of the gravity of this season. Seeing the bare cross, we are reminded that our Messiah was once treated as a criminal, our Savior once spat upon and beaten, our Lord once died so that we may live.
Paul told the Corinthians that “the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing,” but finished his thought with the claim that “but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” There are many, many symbols that represent the power and love of God across all faiths, and the cross is indeed ours.
We avoid the cross because it is a symbol of death, but we can also embrace the cross because it is a symbol of new life. To that end, the folks on the Worship Team found another cross that will be displayed on Easter Sunday. Right now, it is just as barren, but come Easter morning and with the help of our worshiping community, it will blossom with new life.
There will be a ‘Flowering of the Cross’ on Easter this year! Everyone is invited to bring flowers and greenery from their homes and yards, or even a favorite from a florist. As we gather to worship, the barren cross will be transformed as we attach our fresh, living flowers. The death of the cross is transformed into the new life of Easter. Covered in color and beauty, the cross becomes a visual emblem of Jesus' resurrection, and also of the continuing presence of Christ in this world.
A special thanks to the Worship Team and others who found these crosses at the church, and had the imagination to bring new life into an old tradition.
Adult Sunday school meets every Sunday, at 9:30am.
Children's and Youth's Sunday school meets every Sunday during worship.
Calling All Artists!
Please consider submitting your original artwork for the cover art on Sundays bulletins. There is a schedule in the narthex for the specific dates needed.
We are in the process of creating on online directory, as well as a print version for those who prefer a hard copy. The software we are using is Realm and in the near future you will receive an email to create an account. Once you have an account, you will be able to update your personal information and change your profile photo. You will also have the option to view your year to date giving. You can access the app for your phone by downloading Realm Connect.
PW Day & Night Circles
The Day Circle will meet Tuesday, April 2, at 10am in the library. The Night Circle will meet at the home of Judy Young located at 1873 Parkview Cove at 7pm.
Join a Team
Team meetings are Sunday, April 7th after church. Please consider getting involved!
Will meet Monday, April 8, at 6pm here at the church.
Tai Chi for Health
Every Monday (except April 8), at 6pm, in the fellowship hall. Free, open to the community. Suitable for all levels and can be done seated. Call Cynthia Mealer for further details or questions at 833-1746.
The monthly meeting is April 9, at 7pm, at First Congregational Church located at 1000 Cooper St.
All Task Force Meetings will be Monday, April 22, at 6pm, at First Congregational.
Service of Healing and Wholeness
As members of the body of Christ, one of the ways we care for one another is to offer opportunities for continuing and enacting Jesus' healing ministry for body, mind, and spirit. On April 10, at seven o'clock following the Wednesday evening dinner, as we approach the end of Lent and look toward Holy Week, a service of wholeness and healing will be held in the sanctuary. While the central element in this service is prayer, it also includes scripture, hymns, and laying on of hands and anointing with oil. All are welcome.
Wednesday Night Dinner
Please join us for dinner at 6pm in the Fellowship Hall on April 10th and 24th. There is a sign up sheet in the narthex or feel free to email the office.
Singers and choristers, now hear this!
Come and experience the hippest choir around, and hang with some excessively groovy people!! Join us every Wednesday, at 7:30pm, in the sanctuary.
Spring Work Day
Come join us Saturday, April 13, at 9am to help spruce up the church campus. Lunch will be provided.
The Formation Team will be offering sausage biscuits (and plain biscuits) for sale to raise funds for the annual St. Luke's Christmas Dinner. They will be offered Sunday, April 14th and will cost $3.00. Your support is greatly appreciated!
Holy Week Service
April 18, 6pm, join us for a contemplative service observing the events of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.
On Saturday, April 20th, come serve at St. Luke's United Methodist Church on Highland @ Mynders. Plan to stay from about 3:00 pm to about 5:30 pm. Call Susan Baldwin with questions 605-7704.
Book and Movie Group
The book group will meet April 25, at 7pm, to discuss Killers of the Flower Moon. Nancy Walker will lead the discussion. If anyone would like Pat Walker to order the book, please contact her at 683-4437.
Will meet April 28th, at 2pm, here at the church.
SuperLo & Kroger Cards
Please see Shelley Gray after worship each Sunday to sign up for the Rewards programs. Our last quarter Kroger rewards totaled $296.74!
Don't forget to stop by the store after worship. Lots of new merchandise just arrived!
Cans of main dish items with meat are needed.
Annual Palm Sunday Festival
and Ping Palm Event
Join us April 14th as we take to the streets celebrating the triumph of the Godworld! The first Palm Sunday, people lined the streets, they danced, they chanted about a new hope for the Kingdom of God, they believed that another world was possible—without Rome and its legions…
Every year at Shady Grove we mark the anniversary of that dream with a festival.
There’ll be a potluck luncheon in the Fellowship Hall.
Fried chicken, rolls and drinks will be provided.
The Great Easter
fun for all ages.
April 21st after church
Join us for our annual Easter Egg Hunt in the courtyard
(or playroom in bad weather). We have plenty of
plastic eggs, but we welcome candy donations to fill the eggs.
Prayers for Healing and Wholeness
Sandra and Ned Smith
Janet Baldwin (Susan Baldwin’s mother)
Chuck Cambell (Friend of Sonny and Avalon)
Anges Sanders (Avalon’s sister)
Jane Sohm (Sarah Strong’s mother)
George and Darlene Gray (Nancy Gray)
Sandy Smith (Ned and Sandra Smith)
Lynn Douglas (Shelley Gray)
DeAnn Pace (Ann Miller)
Rosalind Walker (Ann Miller)
Amy Waddell (Ann Miller)
Gaye Hazel (Angie Wagner's aunt)
Darrell Willis (Carolyn King's friend)
Prayers for Peace and Comfort
The Myers Family
The Baker Family
Meredith Walsh and Kyle Tingley
Prayers for the Human Condition
All affected by gun violence
Immigrant communities and families seeking asylum