Easter is the highlight of our liturgical year at Freedom Vineyard. We start our celebration with a solemn Good Friday Sensory service. Often we will follow that with a Candle Mass Easter vigil, but this year we had an Easter service on Monday.
We tend to change up the stations a bit from year to year. This year the theme was about our participation in God's redemptive work. I wanted to focus on the three ways we contribute to this work - through our time, energy and money. A cool note, we had a financial need coming up and all the money in our account was accounted for already - but at the provision station (that is a place where you can give or take money) we had almost exactly enough money come in for the need. I think that is pretty cool. We were over by a matter of cents. The provision station isn't new, but the challenge was creating stations that dealt with time and energy.
For time we asked participants to take at least 2 minutes (the timer) and meditate on how they use their time. We included a journal that had over 50 verses and quotes about time, arranged one to a page as reflection starters. The idea was to keep a journal that we could share as a community. I titled this journal "Thoughts on Traveling with God Through Time" and it was quite an interesting experiment. Being fairly activist in orientation (impatient is another way to put it) I often do not reflect enough on the power of waiting. Often Jesus would ask his disciples to wait. I think my reaction is against those who wait for an otherworldly hope, thinking that this means waiting out this life. Actually it is more a waiting for what God is doing in this world, so that we can learn to participate with that life and action. My favourite quote was from Leonard Bernstein - "To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan, and not quite enough time."
For energy I borrowed something from the Matrix. We presented a dare to the participants - a series of articles, editorial pieces, that gave accounts of injustice. Everything from a recent attempted child abduction from our city to this brilliant piece on the exclusion of homosexuals by evangelicals. If they dared to open their eyes then there was a two-fold response: a cry for God to come and a question "how will they respond?" We added red and blue pills (mini M&Ms) to drive home their choice.
We had a really good attendance to this service including both of my kids. We had a smaller group come out Easter Monday though. But what was cool is that David Kitz, who used to pastor the first church I went to in Ottawa, came and did his one person play - A Centurion's Report. David and I reconnected, through facebook, about a year ago. I hadn't seen him for over 20 years, but we have mutual friends so I'd hear the stories. He does a great job, I think that next time I'd have invited more people - but we had a lot of last minute cancels which if they all came would have filled our home almost too full. We started off with a potluck, I made a big gluten free lasagna (yummy) and had plenty of food. My friend Christine brought really good samosas. And we hung out for quite a while. I led worship for a bit and then interspersed the acts with worship songs. We did Kris MacQueen's "We Cannot Contain All You Pour Out" which is such a great song. I ended up closing with that song too. David did his play. It was really good to have someone come with a passionate presentation of the crucifixion and resurrection. Something very hopeful.
We have one more big event planned for this spring - Sean and Aimee Dayton are coming for a night of worship. We'll be hosting this one at our place. We are suggesting folks donate $10/person. I think it will be an evening well worth it. April 14th, Wed. 7PM- Call my cell eight-seven-eight - eight-four-six-three (613 area code) or find us on facebook (Freedom Vineyard).