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Holy Week: The Ultimate Us & Them

Dear Friends,

My favorite week of the whole year is Holy Week. As a child, it meant that we got to, yes, got to go to church a lot. I loved going to worship and listening to the music. As a parent with young children, I often thought Holy Week was a lot of juggling little ones on my hip. Over the years as our children grew, I worried about my teenagers and what were they experiencing. It seemed their life lessons were less about Holy Week and what Jesus did for them and a lot more about giving up a rehearsal or practice to go to worship instead. I wonder how my parents made this time of worship so special? I wondered, "What have I passed along to my children and the children I have shepherded?" I think my parents made Holy Week special because they were “all in.” They read stories out of the Bible, worshipped with us, and even did the goofy activities and crafts with us. They made Holy Week more than a memory; they made it a part of the foundation of my own faith. Looking back, in my own home, with my children now grown, the lesson that has stuck the most is the baking of the Easter Cookies and the walk step by step through Holy Week. What do you remember as a child? What do you long for children of all ages to know this Holy Week more than ever before? In a world where we are on “sides,” we wonder what are we learning about one another. In a world that seems to be screaming or even killing one another out of anger, what message of hope do you want your children and children’s children to remember? My hope is they know that Jesus knew exactly what it means to be “US vs THEM.” In our final weeks of the 7th Story by Brian McLaren and Gareth Higgins, we struggle with the hatred and violence of US vs THEM – even if it means – to kill the “THEM” out of anger, distrust, frustration, or simply out of hatred. Jesus knew this violence of the mobs and said there is another way, God’s gift of grace. Children will learn what we teach them by what we value, engage in, talk about, and even fight for. Children will learn who we love, care about, have compassion for, and who we are as followers of Jesus Christ, especially how we act when they aren’t watching. What are we teaching them about God’s gift of grace? Join us this Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Morning to hear a God-sized message of hope that you are loved and forgiven, forever. And all God’s people shout out, AMEN Pastor Katie

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