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Dear Middletown Reformed Church Family Member and Friends,

Over the last five weeks in our Lenten journey we have traveled with Jesus, listening to him and learning from him. Now we are in Jerusalem, waiting with him. We know the end of the story and we look forward to resurrection day, but first, we must journey with him a little longer through betrayal and then the cross.

Here we are in the most holiest of weeks.

As I’ve been preparing for Holy Week I am keenly aware of how full this time of year is for those who are called to ministry, and even for those who are not. Deep down, something is whispering to me this ought not to be so. 

A while back someone from the Midwest mentioned to me how busy our culture is, especially here in the Tri-state metropolitan area. It seems the busier we are, the more important we are regarded. I have often thought back to this observation, wondering how we can do the work of ministry to which we are called, and also create a space where we are quietly resting in the presence of God. I think if ever there was a time to slow down and think on God’s grace for us — Peace, be still! — it is Holy Week.

My hope for us as a congregation for the next week is just that. Slow. Down. 

Take time to pray, go for a walk, sit in a park, meditate. Carve out the space in your schedule to observe the beauty of spring singing out the song of new life. Let us resist the temptation to hurry and scurry, thinking that doing is more important than being in the presence of God. Instead, I invite you to approach this very well-known story of Jesus’ death and resurrection in a manner that encourages seeing God with a fresh perspective. Perhaps, just perhaps, we will not only see the holy power of resurrection around us; we will feel it too.

Here are our worship offerings for Holy Week. I pray you will find them as a space to be still in the presence of God.

Maundy Thursday

"Nearer, My God, to Thee" -- A Maundy Thursday service adapted from Bethany Besteman. Beginning with a brief message and the celebration of the Lord's Supper, and continuing with a Tenebrae service of growing darkness. A worship to remember the night Jesus was betrayed and his new commandment to "love one another as I have loved you.”

Good Friday

The Seven Last Words of Jesus -- Lay leaders give a brief theological reflection on one of the seven last words of Jesus. Original music from Thomas Martucci and Dan Pannebaker. This worship has been pre-recorded and will be posted on our YouTube channel. Please note the sanctuary will be open on Good Friday from 10 AM - 12 PM for quiet prayer.

Easter Sunday/The Resurrection of the Lord

Come and celebrate that Christ is Risen! He is risen, indeed! Alleluia! And that Love could not be held in the grave, 10:30 AM. Special music from the Krystal Bell Choir, New Jericho Choir, and the Joyful Noise Adult Choir. I will be preaching from Mark 16.1-8 and my sermon title is Go to Galilee! After worship, we will have our annual Easter egg hunt on the Great Lawn of the church.

As you come to worship, we ask that you consider being generous in your Easter offering in addition to your regular offering, as we rely on your faithful giving to support the ministries of God’s church. You may give online at https://give.tithe.ly/?formId=88cfca48-2705-4b66-8f9b-04634fe8509d or you may give in person. And please let me say thank you for all the wonderful ways you already give to the life of our church.

And now, beloved of God, receive this prayer as we wait with Jesus: Now, O Lord, calm me into a quietness that heals and listens, and molds my longings and passions, my wounds and wonderings into a more holy and human shape. - Ted Loder

May God bless your Holy Week journey.

In gratitude for the privilege of being your Pastor and the holy call of loving you,

Pastor Trish