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Just Around the Corner - April

Easter is one of the best days to worship and often one of the most difficult days to preach. Worship is full; the pews filled with people, the chancel filled with lilies, the music filled with joy, hearts filled with hope. ‘Christ the Lord is risen today! Alleluia!’

Preaching Easter morning doesn’t always comes as easy as the hymn’s melodies. Who has not heard this story? What could possibly be added to such a wondrous celebration? Is there anything else that could possibly be said? These are the questions that are grappled with each year!

It’s from the desire for a unique and fresh approach to Easter and the want to contribute a sermon that equals the excitement of the day, that makes every preacher reach for an odd idea or two at some point. ‘Perhaps this year I will preach from the perspective of the rolled-away stone or the folded linen cloth!’ Easter is a familiar story, and if we aren’t careful, as the old saying goes, familiarity may breed contempt.

Our faith journey is an odd mixture of the familiar and the fresh. Familiar are the traditions and fresh are the ways our traditions are allowed to evolve. Familiar are the stories and fresh are the ways we allow those stories to shape our lives. Familiar are the words that are said and fresh are the ways in which we hear them.

The Easter story is familiar! We know of Mary’s discovery in the early hours of that fateful morning. We know the disciples’ foot race to the empty tomb. We know the very first Easter sermon, “I have seen the Lord!” I love these familiar words. I love them and continue to be challenged by them.

It’s not that the Easter story isn’t powerful; it is. It’s not that the text has nothing fresh to say to us here and now; it does. It’s challenging because the text itself calls us to do more than just believe a certain thing. The Easter story calls us to become a particular kind of people; a resurrected people.

Easter lies at the heart of our faith and our faith community. It’s one singular day out of the year, but its lessons, its stories, and the hope it evokes within us is the core of who we are and the beacon of where we are to go.

Easter is familiar and fresh, unique and accustomed. It is the culmination of love and it is the challenge to live as a people redeemed and a people resurrected.

Be Blessed and Be a Blessing,

Rev. Will

Children's Sunday School
On Easter Sunday we will finish up the last lesson of a seven part series on Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. We will continue the Easter season by learning about the meaning behind Easter eggs, and different kinds of crosses. Jesus and the twelve will be our next lesson, then we will finish April with a lesson about the synagogue and the upper room. 

Rev. Will is out of the office from Monday, April 2 - Friday, April 6 to visit family in Kansas. He will be back for Sunday, April 8 when Rev. Sara Dorrien-Christians will be the guest preacher.

Join a Team
Team meetings are Sunday, April 8th after church. Come prepared to stay.

Presbyterian Women
The Night Circle will meet April 3, at 7pm at the home of Judy Young located at 1873 Parkview Cove, Memphis, 38104.  The Women’s Day Circle will meet on Tues., April 10th at 10:00 am in Room 13.
Choir!  Rehearsal is at 7:30 pm each Wednesday in the Sanctuary.

Sausage Biscuits
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 on April 8th and will cost $3.00.  Your support is greatly appreciated!

MICAH’s April Meeting
Will be on Tuesday, April 10, 7:00p, at Union Avenue Baptist Church. With primary elections upcoming, Rev. Earle Fischer will present on the Memphis/Shelby County Voter Collaborative, the purpose of which is to increase political involvement in Memphis and Shelby County and, where necessary, register, educate, and empower citizens to improve the social and political conditions in our community.

Wednesday Night Dinners
April 11 & April 25

Book & Movie Club
Will meet April 19, at 7:00 pm to discuss The Book of Isaias.  Billy Bickers will lead the discussion.

Saturday Supper
On Saturday, April 21st, 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.

Knitting Group
Will meet Sunday, April 22, at 2pm here at the church.

Presbyterian Women's Annual Gathering
Will be held April 28, from 10am til 12:30pm at Stephen Olford Center, 4000 Riverdale Rd.  This year's topic focuses on immigration and minority youth.  If you would like to stay for lunch, please make reservations by April 14th.

Listening Sessions for the Presbytery of the Mid-South
Rev. Bo Scarborough, our current interim Executive Presbyter, will be retiring from his position in June of this year. As we begin the search to fill this office, the Presbytery is seeking input from members on what is desired of the next Executive Presbyter. Input will be gathered through a series of listening events.  The local event will be held at Idlewild Presbyterian Church on April 29th at 3pm.

The input obtained will help the presbytery identify the right candidate for us.  Information on the sessions will be posted to the Presbytery’s website.  Additionally, the link to an on-line survey will also be posted on the Presbytery’s website for anyone unable to attend one of the sessions.  

3rd Annual Ghost River Trip
Amanda Noe will lead the Ghost River Canoe/Kayak trip on Saturday, May 12.  More details to follow.  There is a sign up sheet in the narthex if you are interested.

Kids and Worship
Want to be an acolyte or psalmist in worship? Sign up on or call or email the office.

Kroger Rewards
For the 4th quarter of 2017, your support raised $56.80 for Shady Grove.

Mustard Seed
The store will be open Thursday, Saturdays and Sundays in April.  Store hours are 11:30 until 1:30.   If you would like to volunteer to work in the store, please see Bonnie Dodson to sign up.

Food Pantry
At this time, regular size jars of peanut butter are needed.  

Presbytery Notes
Matt Noe and Curt Wilson were Shady Grove’s commissioners to the Winter Stated Meeting of the Presbytery of the Mid-South.  Rev. Anne HK Apple was installed as the Moderator for 2018.  Rev. Apple was also commissioned as the Teaching Elder representative and Curt Wilson was commissioned as the Ruling Elder representative to the 223rd General Assembly (2018).  The presbytery-wide Pentecost Celebration is scheduled for May 20, 2018 at 4:00 P.M. located at Rhodes College.
Session Notes
Rev. Christians announced the MICAH team for Shady Grove included the following members:  Rev. Christians, John Rutkauskas, Sonny Gentry, Emily Kearney, Meghan McDevitt-Murphy, and Mary Alice Brake.  The team will be conducting one-on-one meetings with church members.  Jeanine Akers reported for the Education Committee that Sarah Poston has been hired to provide assistance in the nursery.  On motion of the Nominating Committee, Peggy Wilson was elected to be the Church Treasurer.

Please remember Shady Grove in your will.



Robert Christians (Rev. Will’s Grandfather)
George and Darlene Gray (Nancy Gray)
All affected by gun violence
Janet Baldwin (Susan Baldwin)
Meredith Walsh
Coleen Whirley
Mary Fischer (Henry & Janet Bartosch)
Sandy Smith (Ned & Sandra Smith)
Chuck Campbell (Sonny & Avalon Robinson)
Agnes Sanders (Avalon Robinson)
Family of Bob Farmer (Sarah Strong)
Jane Sohm (Sarah Strong)
Polly Heimberg
Adam Cruthirds (Connie Cruthirds)
Mary Julia Garcia-Brake (Mary Alice Brake)
Ruth Ingram
Okan Demirmen (Elizabeth McFadden)
Lynn Douglas (Shelley Gray)
Avalon and Sonny Robinson
Frierson Graves
Garland Smith
Helen Wofford & Family (Kay Ericksen)
Ned and Sandra Smith
DeAnn Pace (Ann Miller)
Rosaline Walker (Ann Miller)


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