Paul’s Message: Let’s Go For A Walk!

EmptyTombWhen you come to First Presbyterian Church on April 20, 2014, you will find an empty tomb.

I mean that theologically, as it will be Easter morning and we will be celebrating the story of the first disciples discovering an empty tomb. But I also mean it on a more material level as our sanctuary on that morning will be empty.

We are inviting everyone to take a walk instead! Instead of two services that overfill the space we have, we are celebrating Easter together in one service at the Logan High School Auditorium.

There are two factors behind our decision to celebrate the resurrection this way. First, we have run out of room for our Easter morning celebrations. Last year, people actually came to church and then turned around and went home when there was no room for them. Secondly, we want to worship together as one church family! It’s great having two services. But this has meant that some of us don’t have a chance to connect with those from the other service.

Don’t worry, we will have some folks here to welcome those who come to church that morning to steer them down the block. Don’t worry, the bells will play and the choir will sing. We will all join together in the Hallelujah Chorus. We will hear and experience the blessed story once more. All the wonderful parts of Easter will be there. We will just enjoy and celebrate them together!

If you are a first service type, when the clock strikes 9am on 4/20, sleep in a little longer, color some eggs, go for a run or ride, enjoy some extra family time, or cook yourself a healthy breakfast (one that’s a little decadent is ok too. It’s a holiday!). Because at 11am, we are all going to have church together! The good news of Easter will ring at First Presbyterian transplanted. The church, after all, is not the building, it’s you, and all of us together in the presence of a risen Savior.

After the service, the hospitality deacons will be hosting a special, expanded fellowship time back at FPC in Bruner Hall, complete with Easter egg hunt (you know you want that chocolate kiss). All the details of the morning are still in the works. It will be a special, whole community celebration.

So bring your family and good friends. Invite casual acquaintances, the stranger you run into at the market, the neighbor who has nowhere else to go on Easter, and the one you haven’t talked to in too long. You might even invite the one you had a little disagreement with the last time you saw each other. There’s room for everyone this year (or at least room for many more). Let’s bring a smile to Jesus face.

It’s a time for community, for fellowship, for celebration, for joy. It’s Easter! It’s good news. It’s reconciliation and new life. We’ll discover it together. I look forward to seeing you.


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  • A Season of Resurrection

    Resurrection day has arrived. And with it the reminder of eternal hope because of Jesus Christ. Spring has also arrived here in Cache Valley, and while it’s not over, the end of our year-long pandemic seems to be approaching, thanks be to God. I hope this day finds you well in spirit and body, and also vaccinated (or soon-to be). I saw a sign the other day that reminded me while we’ve all been through the same storm in this last year, we haven’t all been in the same boat. Some people have weathered this storm fairly well, others have struggled mightily in one way or another. In spiritual terms, economic terms, emotional terms, and in health. And of course, not everyone has made it through the storm. I am worried that recent progress in this pandemic could be lost, but I’m thankful so many vaccinations are underway. As I’m sure it has been for you, this has been an emotionally challenging year for me as well. It seems to have contained more “downs” than “ups.” But my belief in God keeps me hopeful. Having spoken to many of you, I am thankful that a large portion of our congregation has received Covid-19 vaccinations or are in process of doing that now. The better our state and local community are doing, the sooner we’ll be able to worship in the building together.

    We’re beginning to worship together (outdoors, for the moment) for the first time in over a year. Your elders and Worship Committee have been hard at work making plans for us to transition from online worship back to in-person worship. I’d like to share with you how this process will work. To begin, we will continue to have online worship in some form, even as we get back to in-person outdoor worship (and eventually indoor). This allows anyone who wishes to continue worshiping from home to do so. We will be purchasing a special camera that allows us to livestream a worship service (which means what we do in worship goes straight to YouTube, with no long hours of editing required).

    Details for May are not yet determined, although we are making preparations and plans for indoor worship, for when Session feels it is safe. Session and the Worship Committee have approved the following plans for April:

    April 4th (Easter Sunday!)—we will worship together outdoors, in the Peace Garden and along the East side of the sanctuary, at 11 a.m.  We will hold this outdoor service (with members of our choir leading us in song) no matter the weather, so bring an umbrella or rain jacket if necessary. Masks will be required. YouTube worship will also be available.

    April 11th—we will worship via YouTube on April 11th, with a sermon delivered by an outstanding preacher named Rev. Brian Ellison. Brian is the Executive Director of the Covenant Network, a national group of church leaders working for a church that is simultaneously faithful, just, and whole, that seeks to support the mission and unity of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and to articulate and act on the church’s historic, progressive vision and to work for a fully inclusive church (particularly concerning the LGBTQIA+ community). FPC Logan is a member of the Covenant Network. Meg and I will lead the service, but Brian will be our preacher.

    April 18th—we will worship together outdoors at Trapper Park in southwest Logan, at 11 a.m. This Sunday is dedicated to Earth Day, and after a service (with music from our Praise Band) you are invited to walk the wonderful Logan River Trail with us. Materials will be provided to collect trash along the trail. There is a pavilion at Trapper’s Park. We will hold this service rain or shine (come dressed for the weather). Masks will be required for the service in the park. A YouTube service will be available for those who wish to stay home.

    April 25th—we will worship via YouTube on April 25th. Going back to YouTube this Sunday allows us to evaluate the recent outdoor services and make plans for future services, which may be outdoor, or if we are fortunate, perhaps indoor.

    I thank you for your grace and patience during this long year, and in coming months. It’s been a difficult one for your pastors and church staff too. I am thankful that we’ve had YouTube worship, but I’m very much looking forward to getting back to seeing each other in person and worshiping the Lord together.

    In this season of resurrection, may your hearts be filled with grace, peace, and joy.

    —Pastor Derek

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