As we anticipate staff transitions in May and June, I am happy to announce that our Student Pastor, Linda Bush, will be staying a bit longer than we’d originally thought.  Linda’s time as Student Pastor ends on May 7, but she will return on May 22 through August 31 as Part-time Associate Pastor. Linda will pick up some of Jill’s responsibilities as well as that wonderful category of “other duties as assigned.” I am thankful for Linda’s willingness to serve during this time of transition.
And speaking of transitions (this one potential)…thanks to all of you who have filled out a survey about a second worship service.  If you haven’t had the chance, please do so in worship this Sunday or online via the link we sent out on Wednesday. We want your voice to be part of this conversation. The conversation has been going on for at least a couple of years as we’ve watched our congregation grow and approach capacity in the sanctuary and parking lot.  We know it is a BIG DEAL to add a second service, and if we’re going to move in that direction, we need to do it thoughtfully and well. So please, join this conversation and discernment by filling out a survey. As time goes on there will be opportunities for face to face conversation as we continue to discern.
This Sunday we celebrate Palm Sunday, the beginning of what the church has come to call “Holy Week.” The word “holy,” coming from the ancient Hebrew, means “separate” or “set apart.” You had ordinary space and you had holy space. You had all the nations, and you had Israel called to be a holy nation, separate from the others.
Spiritual leaders and mystics through the ages, as well as poets and artists, have helped us see that the line between holy and ordinary is much more blurred, and the whole world and all people and all time is holy, infused with God and God’s spirit. Everything from sitting in church to brushing our teeth can be holy. So in that sense every week is Holy Week, and yet, we set aside this time when as a community we re-create the final days of Jesus’ life, almost like a drama or a play that we put on every year. We don’t do this because we’re such great actors, and we don’t do it for God’s entertainment. We do it for our own sake, because we need it. We need to set apart these days and focus, more than we normally do, on this mystery of faith.
Please join in the community observance of this Holy Week, on Palm Sunday, and then in our Maundy Thursday service at 7pm on April 13.  Then, of course, we join together joyously on Easter Sunday in two services, 9:30 and 11:00. In addition one of our own, Warren Lynn, will be installing a painted/mowed labyrinth in our green space this weekend -- another wonderful way to walk the path of Holy Week.