The Spire Newsletter
March - 2008
PARSON TO PERSON: “Easter’s Other Symbol”
Holy Week and Easter always gives me butterflies - “an uneasy feeling, as in the abdomen, caused especially by nervous tension and anticipation.” There’s all the pageantry, great music, and glory - but also all the extra services, sermons and bulletins.
Ah - the lowly butterfly, perhaps a more appropriate symbol for Easter than the lily. Its beautiful form coming from the seemingly lifeless chrysalis reminds us of our Lord’s coming forth from the tomb.
There is a tapestry entitled “Christ in Glory” which hangs in Coventry cathedral, which was rebuilt in 1962 after being destroyed by bombs in 1940. Jesus is depicted encapsulated by a cocoon that has broken open to reveal the risen, ruling Lord.
We find nothing on butterflies in the Bible, but quite a bit about moths. Isaiah and Jesus speak of the destructiveness of moths that are capable of reducing the finest of garments to a pile of dust. Moths prefer darkness, are destroyers, and, on alighting, spread or fold their wings horizontally. Butterflies prefer daylight, as pollinators are creators, and hold their wings vertically when they land. It’s not surprising the church has exalted the butterfly as a fitting resurrection symbol.
The butterfly’s life cycle also symbolizes the life, death, and resurrection of all who are believers in Christ. The earth-bound caterpillar suggests our fallen condition. The motionless chrysalis represents our death and burial. The soaring butterfly conveys the image of our resurrected bodies destined for life eternal.
The migratory behavior of the Monarch also contributes to the resurrection symbolism. Hundreds of thousands, as on a secret cue, launch their way on an 1800 mile flight to Mexico. The November 1988 issue of “the Smithsonian” carries a photo of a guard - gun cradled in his arms - keeping watch over millions of Monarchs. They adorn his hat, whiskers, and shirt, and outnumber the leaves on the trees. The overall impact is that the gun - a symbol of death - has been overcome by the butterfly - the symbol of life beyond death.
This year I’m going to try to focus more of my attention on the resurrection imagery of butterflies - Easter’s other symbol. It might help me to have fewer “butterflies” gnawing away at my innards! June joins me in wishing each and every one of you a butterfly kind of Easter!
FOLLOW-UP TO LAST MONTH’S PASTOR’S COLUMN:
Several of you have asked me if I ever found the box of floppy discs I couldn’t find. Yes, I did. When I returned from lunch, I pulled out my bottom desk drawer and there was the box right where I had put it. It was hiding behind some folders. A sigh of relief was my reward.
WORSHIP IN MARCH:
2nd – Fourth Sunday in Lent / Communion
Scripture: Luke 13:31-35
9th – Fifth Sunday in Lent
Scripture: John 3:1-17
16th – Passion/Palm Sunday
Scripture: Luke 19:28-44
20th – Maundy Thursday / Tenebrae
Scripture: Matthew 26:14-25
23rd – Easter
9:00 – Scripture: John 20:1-9
11:00 – Scripture: John 20:1-18
30th – Second Sunday After Easter
Scripture: Luke 24:36-48
Holy Week Begins . . .
PALM SUNDAY, March 16 Worship at 10:00: Celebration of the Sacrament of Holy Communion, palms distributed and the Cherub Choir will sing. An Easter Egg Hunt for the younger children will be part of coffee hour.
Maundy Thursday, March 20 Communion and Tenebrae Services at 7:30 pm
Good Friday, March
21 12:00 noon – 2:00 pm
Services at Fair Street
Easter Sunday, March 23 Dawn Services at 6:30 am - Sunrise service in the sanctuary led by the Youth Group
Easter Breakfast 7:30 am in Schadewald Hall
Easter Worship 9:00 am and 11:00 am - as we meet Him at the open tomb
RESURRECTION IS A REALITY!
Bring your family and celebrate life, His and yours!
NEW MEMBERS JOIN OUR CHURCH FAMILY:
At worship on February 24th, Bob and Colleen Conklin, Josh and Melissa Lasher, and Steve and Valerie Nekos united with our congregation. Watch for a “getting to know our new members feature column next month.
BABYSITTING FUND RAISER
Need a night out without the kids?? Well, we can help. On 3/28/08 from 6pm till 9pm will be a babysitting night to benefit the AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY.
Just drop off your children and go out and have a fun night. We will watch your child(ren) and provide them with a snack. Any questions or to sign up for this activity please, see Katie Emrich. Thank you.
Thank you for all of the empty cans & bottles that you have brought in!! Keep them coming until the end of May. Just bring in your empties to the box in Schadewald Hall. All of this benefits my WISE project for the American Cancer Society.
I am so lucky
to have some many people help me with this project!!
Property and Maintenance:
Look up to the heavens! (to see our new gutters)
We are collecting hygiene items for bags that we will be making up for Church World services. Please watch the bulletin for items that we will need to fill these bags.
We will be holding a Spaghetti Dinner on Sunday, 4/13/08 from 4pm till 7pm. There will be no specific seating times so, please come anytime between 4pm-7pm for your dinner.
We will be serving: Spaghetti - Your choice of plain, marinara or with meat balls, Salad, Bread & Butter, Drinks and Dessert. All for $6 a person.
Our upcoming events:
REBECCA MASTERS TO BE HONORED:
Every three years our Regional Synod of New York hosts a “Christian Service Award” dinner. Each congregation is invited to select a person to be recognized. Our Consistory selected Rebecca to be our honoree. In addition to her many activities associated with her teaching and her daughter, she has been involved with the “Corn and Craft Festival” put on by the Hurley Heritage Society. But most of us have come to know her as the “nursery care” lady on Sunday mornings, a position she has held for over 15 years. Several hundred
people will attend the 8th such dinner on Sunday, April 13th, to be held once again at the Sheraton Crossroads Hotel in Mahwah, New Jersey. The guest speaker will be the Rev. Louis Lotz who for years has written the last page in our monthly RCA “Church Herald” magazine. We hope to have enough family and friends attend to fill a table.
The toiletries that were brought in for December/January will be used for Church World Services. The Women’s Guild will be making up hygiene kits and the items collected will be used for these kits.
The February/March food pantry item(s) will be spaghetti, spaghetti sauce, lime Jell-O mix & Italian salad dressing. The items collected will be used by the Women’s Guild for the Spaghetti Dinner on 4/13/08.
Thank you for your support with the Souper Bowl Chili Sale. A check was sent to Caring Hands at the Clinton Ave Methodist Church in the amount of $460. Thank you for your support & hope that you enjoyed the chili!!
The Night at the Museum in Albany, NY on 1/25/08 was a great time. We had 64 people attend this fun time. The museum had great staff that split us into 3 different groups & took us around & did 4 different activities with each group. All ages loved this experience!! The next day about 12 people went to the Ronald McDonald House in Albany, NY. We took a tour of the House and saw a video. We gave a donation of $250 to the Ronald McDonald house. This donation will pay for families to stay at the House for 25 nights at no cost to them. We all were touched on how lovely the House is, on what they do to help families that stay there & that we were able to help families as well. We will be doing several fund raisers in the future for the House plus hope to go back to the House in the late spring.
Our upcoming events:
3/22/08 Easter Dawn set up/Prep/pre-cook/rehearsal at 10am
3/23/08 Easter Dawn Service at 6:30am
Breakfast at 7:15am
4/6/08 Coffee hour
4/13/08 Women’s Guild Spaghetti Dinner
4/18/08 Youth Group Rally @ Warwick
5/11/08 Sanctuary flowers
5/18/08 Fundraiser with Women’s Guild for pew hinges for church
6/7/08 Yard Sale & Car Wash 8am till 1pm
6/29/08 Picnic at the Rosendale Youth Center for the whole church
If you see an activity & would like to be a part of it, we would love to have you!! New members are ALWAYS welcome!!!