From Our Pastor

Palm Sunday

Posted 22 March, 2018 by Pastor Keith Ritchie

We begin a powerful week of worship and preparation as we worship this Sunday, Palm Sunday.

We begin the 11am service of worship with the singing of "The Palms." As the choir processes through the sanctuary, we all are to join in singing this hymn which recalls Jesus' entry into Jerusalem. Scripture from chapter 15 of the gospel of Mark will guide us in worship and in the proclamation of the word, as we recall this faith in which we affirm Jesus was crucified, dead, and buried.

The Martinsville-Henry County Clergy Association is sponsoring its annual Palm Sunday service in the park on Sunday. However, with rain being forecast for Sunday morning, the service will be held indoors at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 1527 East Church Street. This service, which many local clergy participate (including myself,) will be held at 9:45am. I hope to see you there.

From Palm Sunday we are led to Maundy Thursday. At 7pm on Maundy Thursday in the sanctuary, we obey Jesus' words,"Do this in remembrance of me" as we share in the Lord's Supper. We also recall our place in the company of his disciples to deny and betray him.

On Good Friday, I hope you will take part in services of worship we have prepared. We partner again with Wesley Memorial UMC in hosting the annual Crosswalk. We leave from First UMC at noon, remembering Jesus and his carrying of his cross. We conclude this walk at Wesley Memorial UMC.

At 7pm on Good Friday, we share in a powerful service of worship as we share in "A Solemn Liturgy of the Lord's Passion." This service will offer some dramatic readings of scripture, of the account of the Passion of Jesus in John's gospel, in particular. This service will also involve several members of the church, including Corky Corcoran as he sings, "Were You There." This service is a new experience of worship on Good Friday; I truly hope you will take part in it.

I hope you will also take part in the sunrise service on April 1st at 7am. This service will take place on the front lawn of the church, facing east so as to get a great view of the sunrise. Craig Dietrich will again graciously provide a fire pit for the service; Corky will sing for this service "The Holy City." I am grateful to Nancy Bryant and members of the Fellowship Committee as they provide an Easter breakfast following this service in the fellowship hall.

This past Tuesday, we concluded our evening Lenten small group study. We have no evening small group study planned following Easter, but I do encourage you to consider a small group opportunity which begins at Smith Memorial UMC in Collinsville beginning Monday, April 9. This study is titled, "Explorations in the Book of Joshua," and is led by Dr. Ralph K. Hawkins, chair of the Department of Religion at Averett University in Danville. More information about this five-week study may be found at Smith Memorial's Facebook page.

I look forward to worshipping with you on Palm Sunday.