06 April 2020
Welcome to the week that the church has set aside to remember the mystery of Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection. It gives me great strength and wonder to know that even as our world faces global crisis–pandemic exacerbated by pre-existing injustice–Christians around the world this week will open their Bibles, gather around their computer screens, sing across alleyways, and recite from memory the story that has always been the sure foundation of our faith.
Here are some ways we’re inviting you to keep Holy Week together this year:
MAUNDY THURSDAY we will worship at home around the dinner table. This is one of the most intimate and embodied days of the church year, as we remember Jesus’s last supper, washing the disciples’ feet, and giving us the commandment to love one another. You’ll need a candle, a Bible, food and drink, a bowl or sink with some water, and a towel. You’ll get an email from me on Thursday morning with instructions, plus links to the evening’s music and a sermon by Diaconal Intern Lora Salley. If you live alone and/or would like to keep Maundy Thursday with others, email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let me know. I’ll connect you with a small group to meet via phone or Zoom.
THURSDAY OVERNIGHT we will keep vigil together from our own houses as we remember Jesus’s plea to the disciples, “Stay awake with me.” Choose a 30-minutes time slot for you or your household to keep watch with Jesus and pray throughout the night. Sign up at this link, or email Pastoral Intern Elle if you need help signing up.
GOOD FRIDAY worship will be online at 7:00 p.m. on Facebook Live. We’ll hear the passion story from John’s gospel, offer prayers for the whole world for whom Christ died, and spend time contemplating ancient and modern images of the cross as we pray the solemn reproaches. You might also like to find or make a cross in your house to focus on as you pray.
HOLY SATURDAY morning at 10:00 a.m. watch Facebook Live for a short devotional from Pastoral Intern Elle on the harrowing of hell, a time between the horror and the healing.
EASTER VIGIL worship will be online at 5:00 p.m. on Facebook Live. This is the night of salvation! We invite you to gather around the fire–whether that’s a candle, fireplace, or outdoor grill–to hear our ancestral stories of freedom. We will sing alleluia for the first time since Lent began (Bev literally pulls out all the stops on this one!) and affirm our baptisms together. If you like, you can replicate a post-vigil potluck at home with a glass of sparkling juice or wine to celebrate the resurrection.
EASTER SUNDAY worship will be online at 10:10 a.m. on Facebook Live. We need your help with this one! Please take a photo or video of you or someone in your house celebrating. You might want to show yourself dancing around the kitchen to your favorite song, holding up a sign that says “Alleluia,” skipping down the sidewalk, wearing your sparkliest party outfit, high five-ing, yelling I love you like Buddy the Elf, or any other way you can think of to show us the joy of the resurrection. If you’re having trouble coming up with something, try just smiling into the camera and saying the words, “Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!” Please send the photo or video to me (pastorerin@stlukesLS.org) by the end of the day on Wednesday, April 8th.
A note on keeping Holy Week with children:
- Early in the week, start telling each other, “This is a special week, because we are just a few days away from the great mystery of Easter. We only have a few more days to wait and get ready.”
- Instructions for Maundy Thursday worship at home will include child-friendly options. We’ll also send ideas for telling the story of Good Friday and Easter at home.
- A couple of years ago, we sent families home with Holy Week In A Box. If you still have your box, you might like to pull it out and work with it again this year, or you could make a new box with materials that you can find around the house.
- Keep working on memorizing Psalm 121 and singing the songs that Cantor Bev is working on with the children in Sunday School.
Giving thanks for you as we enter the celebration of the great Three Days together,
HAPPENING AT ST. LUKE’S:
#DecarcerateChrist CAMPAIGN UPDATE
This Holy Week, St. Luke’s and the congregations of the Logan Square Ecumenical Alliance are partnering with the Coalition to End Money Bond and the Chicago Community Bond Fund in an online campaign to get an incarcerated person in need #OutByEaster. You can read more about this campaign in this blog post.
Thank you to everyone who has participated so far. On Palm Sunday, the first official day of our #DecarcerateChrist campaign, we already exceeded our original $2,000 goal! Thanks to your support, we’ve been able to set a new goal of $5,000. This number is significant because approximately 5,000 people are locked up in Cook County Jail on a given day. $5,000 represents the average amount of money required to be released.
Even $5 or $10 can be the difference between an accused person celebrating Easter at home or being imprisoned in a jail with confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the midst of a public health crisis. Please donate and share. LINK TO DONATE: https://secure.givelively.org/donate/chicago-community-bond-fund/lsea-palm-sunday-fundraising-action
COMMUNITY CARE DURING COVID-19
- We’re increasing our ability to provide direct financial aid to community members during this crisis. Make a special donation to St. Luke’s to support this ministry, and contact Pastor Erin if you have financial need.
- Cheerfulness Ministry – We want to find creative ways to stay connected and share joy with each other during this stressful time. Stay tuned for more details about this emerging ministry!
- Sign up for St. Luke’s Pals to be paired with another member to keep in touch during this time as pen pals, phone friends, or email buddies.
- Share your prayer requests with us using this form.
- If you need to talk, you can get in touch with Pastor Erin by responding to this email, or you can add a meeting to her calendar at this link. Your church community cares about you.