April 1, 2021
Hello beloved people of First Lutheran –
Happy (almost) Easter, everyone! We start the month of April off with Holy Week. There is a lot to cover, so we’re going to dive right into it.
April 1 is Maunday Thursday. Besides our normal Contemplative Music at noon, and our Lenten devotion at 5 PM, we will also be celebrating Maunday Thursday at 7 PM. I am getting my second COVID shot that day, so I will prerecord the service to be on the safe side. It will post on the Facebook page at 7 PM, and will be on the church website that day, as well. We will do a dinner church worship service that night, and will be celebrating Holy Communion. I highly encourage you to eat dinner with me during the service, and to have bread and wine / grape juice on hand. When the dinner church is done, we will transition over to the stripping of the altar, and will hear Psalm 22 as we do so.
April 2 is Good Friday. We will have our normal Good Friday worship service that day. We will listen to the story of Jesus’ passion from the gospel of John, and contemplate what Jesus’ death means for us today. This worship service will be held on Facebook Live at 7 PM on April 2.
April 3 is Easter Vigil. Similar to last year, will take place throughout the day. We will hear the confirmation kiddos reading the Easter Vigil stories every hour on the hour starting at 8 AM. This will go through 9 PM. Then at 10 PM, we will celebrate our Easter Vigil service. Just like Maunday Thursday, this service will be prerecorded. It will post on our Facebook page at 10 PM, and be available on our church website that day.
Finally, April 4 is Easter Sunday. Not only will this be an exciting day with the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection, it is also an exciting day because we are going back to in-person worship. With the CDC guidelines lowering and many of our older members receiving both shots, the COVID Task Force and I believe it is safe enough to return to in-person worship. We will still have restrictions in place. Just like in the fall, we will be checking temperatures and taking down names at the east entry. We will still practice physical distancing, and not having a fellowship hour. The pews will still be blocked off – leaving space for about 25-30 people in the pews. We can add chairs in back if needed, but know seating may be limited. We will still require that you wear masks and refrain from singing out loud. These restrictions will not be changing for a while. However, it will be nice to be back in person, and physically gather as the body of Christ.
If you are still not comfortable with worshipping in person, have no fear. We will continue worshipping online. We will also continue doing our online devotions each day throughout the week.
Finally, with regards to worshipping in person, I want to caution everyone that we may have to go back to worshipping online. What this last year has taught us is that with COVID, nothing is 100% guaranteed. I hope this will not be the case, but it’s good if we keep that in the back of our minds.
I look forward to celebrating this Holy Week with you all, and I definitely look forward to seeing you all on Easter Sunday.
Pastor Caitlin Jensen