Spring has arrived, and not a moment too soon! Trees that were dormant are budding & leafing out, flowers are blooming, the birds are singing, the bees are buzzing, the grass needs mowing, and the lizards are hanging out. Renewal is in the air!
It’s springtime for our nation, as well, as we slowly but surely recover from the long winter of the pandemic. Infection rates and hospitalizations are dropping, vaccination rates are rising, and we are slowly but surely moving through this byzantine color-coded tier system (Forecast: Red today, Orange eventually, then Yellow!). But progress is being made, giving hope that we are coming out of this and getting back to normal.
It’s springtime for our church, as the weather warms and more people are vaccinated and people feel more confident coming back to church to worship together again. We regularly have 300 or more in worship, and last Sunday we had 366, one of the highest Sundays in a year! We’re still missing over 100 people each week from before the pandemic hit, but we are growing! Just in March we welcomed 5 new members, with 2 baptisms, and dedicated 15 children to the Lord (if you missed Child Dedication Sunday, you can dedicate your child any Sunday by bringing them up during the invitation after the sermon). We are planning to re-start indoor classes for children and adults soon, and to resume indoor worship in the near future – stay tuned! (Yes, I like worshiping outdoors, too, but many people cannot return until we move indoors, including some older folks and families who cannot manage their babies or children outdoors, plus unpredictable weather, mounting rental costs and repair issues for our patio services, so indoor worship is the goal!) And for those who cannot currently attend, we now livestream both our services, so that you can participate in the whole service of your choice from home while it’s happening, or later (just watch from our church website at www.lightcc.org or on our Facebook page). The good news is, we are moving in the right direction – we’re planning Vacation Bible School for our children! (see Andrea’s column).
We’re very excited about celebrating Holy week this week together – remember last year, when we had to stay home and watch it on TV? This year we’re back in person! Things kicked off last Sunday with upbeat Palm Sunday services (thanks to Dave Wendruck for the palms and to Andrea & team for decorating our front steps & patio). The weather was the warmest yet this year, the worship & message were full of praise, and we ended with a baptism, praise God! We are getting ready for our Good Friday service this Friday @ 5:00 p.m. and then 3 services Easter Sunday: 8:00, 9:30, & 11:00 a.m., all on the patio & lawn. Please be inviting your family, neighbors, & friends – we had a number of visitors who came last Sunday because they got an invitation in the mail or from one of our people. We encourage all who can to bring your own chair, but we are renting chairs in addition to the ones we have for those who need them.
I also encourage you to be reading the Gospel of Matthew, a chapter a day, to end with ch. 28 on Easter Sunday. Then I have one more important message from Matthew the week after Easter – don’t miss it!
Come join us in celebrating this renewal of springtime! Let this be a time of renewal for you, your faith, & your family.
Mike Openshaw, Senior Minister