Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter Joy

We have had a great Easter here in Pinellas Park Florida, and hope that you, our readers, have also been so blessed.  Hope Lutheran has been quite welcoming to us, as well as Melissa, Spencer, and Nathan.  Over the past weeks we have joined them for their Lenten suppers and services.  I have enjoyed working in their thrift store as well as helping with their rummage sale.  The church once had a larger membership, and the neighborhood has changed a lot over the years.  Some homeless, as well as others who have found it hard to make ends meet,  live nearby and visit the thrift store and food pantry of Hope regularly.  There is also a shelter for abused women located near the church, and the ladies from there enjoy shopping in the thrift store.  Smaller in number, the members of Hope do an awesome job in caring for the community around them.
Pictured above is the chancel of Hope Lutheran, decorated with flowers for the celebration of Easter.  The cross is covered with a white cloth indicating that the events of Holy Week did not end on Good Friday.

After a delicious Easter breakfast at Hope this morning, there was an Easter egg hunt.  The Easter bunny must have known that little ones like our grandson Nathan do not yet have an idea that one must look for the hidden eggs!  The plastic eggs were laid out in the open so that all the toddlers had to do was grab them and place them in their baskets.  Nathan filled his basket very rapidly
After the Easter egg hunt we went out into the Memorial Garden of the church were the older children were to hunt for a cross.  The young lady with the pink jacket joyfully held it up when she found it.
The next event of the morning was the release of butterflies.  What excitement for young and old, holding those boxes and knowing that the dormant butterflies inside might just possibly fly out!  But first everyone had to wait while Pastor Bresemann read a verse from Thessalonians which reminds us that, as Christ rose from the dead on Easter, so we too will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord when we die.  The tabs were then pulled on the boxes and small yellow butterflies flew out, some very hesitantly.
Nathan's butterfly flew away immediately and he cried out "more".  One butterfly, held by a lady next to me, rested for a brief moment on her thumb before flying away.  It was hard for Nathan to settle down for a church service after all that excitement.  Usually the choir anthems, bells, passing the peace, putting money in the offering plate, and going to communion for a blessing keep him content during the service.  Not today, he kept repeating that he wanted to "go" or was "going".  The Easter eggs got us through the sermon.  His Mom and I kept filling them with a few raisins, yogurt melts and small oranges which he ate as rapidly as he could open the eggs.  But it worked and we made it to the end of the service.
Today is our 40th wedding anniversary.  That also makes it a very special Easter for us.

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