Easter Sunday message

This past Sunday, as is the case each Easter, we had lots of visitors. Usually it is children coming home to see parents, but this time we also had random visitors from town. Members of their family came from out of town and they wanted to attend a church together, and picked ours. It was wonderful and many of our members reached out to them in a warm welcome, and that was nice to see. Of course my extroverted husband was one of them, bless his heart! Here is what the members and visitors heard that morning. I must admit having such a large audience did make me a bit more animated, and sort of took away the nagging pain in my back. On Monday I went to the chiropractor and she is a magician. Here is the message.

The scriptures we had were: Psalms 118:1, 4-6, 22-24, Colossians 3:1-4 and Matthew 28:1-10. The title was simply, “Easter Morning.”

I read the gospel lesson here at the start then gave the following message: There were two choices for the gospel reading this morning. Both were the story of the resurrection, but each is a bit different. The other choice was from John chapter 20 and we have read it in the past. It is the version that fits more with the song we sang on Thursday about Mary in the garden alone not recognizing Jesus.

Today we have the version from Matthew. It is similar, but not exactly the same. The women see the angel, the empty tomb and Jesus. Later some of the disciples see him and recognize him, and he tells them to go tell the others. And in Matthew’s accounting, both the angel and Jesus tell the women and the disciples to go to Galilee to meet with him.

Ah, Galilee. Galilee is where Jesus grew up. Galilee is where Nazareth is located If you remember back to the story that we often read during Christmas…and he shall be called a Nazarene, words spoken by the prophet Jeremiah…is in the gospel of Matthew in the story of Jesus’ birth.

But again today we are not going to focus on the story of the history of this text because we basically know that. Today, we will look more at the historical geography of this scripture and what it means for us. And our message for today will be the story of why it is important for us to know that version now.

So let us begin with the geography. The area of Galilee is fairly small in comparison to Samaria and Judea and the surrounding places. Nazareth, itself, was basically a small, isolated village. But, in the same area of Galilee where Nazareth was located, there was another city, a much larger city. A place that was Roman ruled with roads and other “modern” infrastructure put up by the Romans. It was a metropolis compared to the little farming village where Jesus grew up.

This other city Sepphoris or Tzippori (Hebrew) as it is named on some of the maps was much larger and far more important in its day than Nazareth. This other city was between 3-4 miles from Nazareth and apparently sitting up on a hill. It was also known as Diocaesaraea by the Greeks with another name being La Sephorie, which is what the French called it during the Crusades. Whatever the name you use for it, during the time Jesus lived on earth it was a growing thriving city with people from all parts of the world, and they were from all religions and all cultures.

And I am not sure which was the chicken and which was the egg (as in which came first), but this city was along a major trade route between countries of the west and countries of the east, it was one of those silk/spice trade routes that moved goods, and animals, and people and cultures from one end of the world to the other. And because of his knowledge and way of acting, this is where many of the Biblical scholars believe Jesus geographically spent part of those unknown years, you know, his teenage and younger adult (his 20’s) years.

The scholars believe that Jesus as a male son and heir likely worked with Joseph in the carpentry trade, and so at that time he was in the middle of a world where there were diverse populations and languages and ideas and actions and beliefs. Not much different from some of the big cities in our country today, and not so different from some of the larger towns in our own area as of late.

But we all know that Jesus did not stay in that world. We all know the stories we have in the Bible. In his early 30’s Jesus left all of that carpentry and family behind and was baptized by John and began the work of his heavenly father. He gathered his disciples and taught them all the things that we learn in the scriptures and charged them as he does us now to go out and share all of that with the world, and mostly to share the love that God has for us, and I think that is the important part of what we have to learn for today.

The truth is that not all of us have been given the gift of voice or witness or the opportunity of missionary work. Not all of us have that ability to stand on the street corner calling out to others to listen to the word. Maybe I am wrong, but I don’t see evangelism as the strong suit of our denomination. We really aren’t that sort of Christians.

And I would guess if we did a poll here today, I wouldn’t be the only one a little skeptical about people who are that sort of Christian. It is sad, but true, I am suspicious of those who are that open about their witnessing; it might have a little to do with my stoic German-Russian genetics, or it might be related to the staunch Puritan ancestry of our church. While on our trip in Tennessee we went to one of the center squares on our last night there, and as we were leaving we noticed that in the middle of the musical entertainers set up every few feet there were a couple of people witnessing and preaching for the crowd. I will just say, it made me a little nervous, and I have to ask myself, why?

When I think of how Jesus shared his love, the love that he was sent by God to show the world, I see the story of the diverse culture in which he must have been raised. I see that in more than just the historical geography of the area where he lived. The proof is in all of the stories about him in the gospels. The proof is in the way that Jesus treated others. He did not take on the closed attitude of the leaders of the religion to which he was born. First off, he didn’t exclude women when he reached out to help those in need, and he didn’t forbid them from being part of his group of followers as the synagogue excluded them from the inner places of worship. We have lots of those stories all the way from the healing of the woman with the years long hemorrhage to the way he treated Mary as she poured the expensive ointment on his feet and washed them with her tears and dried them with her hair.

Jesus also did not withhold his compassion or healing or love from those of different cultures or social status. We have lots of those stories. When he healed the 10 lepers we learn that one was a Samaritan (someone who should have been considered an outcast by a spiritual leader in Jesus area). We learn that when the Samaritan is the only one who returns to say thank you. And, Jesus speaks favorably of Samaritans in his parable about the Good Samaritan as he is teaching about being a good neighbor. He also heals the servant of a Centurion/a Roman military leader and even instructs his disciples to pay their taxes with his, “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s” statement.

Jesus does not show prejudice for or against those who were outside of the family in which he grew up. There is even a story of his mother and siblings coming to see him when he stops and says that everyone who believes is his mother and sister and brother. That is who Jesus was and that is the example he expects us to follow. We here in our community and in the area we live in have had a bit of a sheltered upbringing. We haven’t had to deal with many outside of our German-Russian ancestry, well with a few exceptions of some Norwegians or British or Dutch, or some eastern Europeans, but not much else until recently. And it seems the more you watch the news, the more you learn about the battle in our country between those who would open the doors to everyone and those who want things to go back to the days of the long past. And as much as I want to think myself above this sort of prejudice, while I was putting this message together, I came to realize, my issue is not with skin color or race or language; it is with ideas and ideology and values, and I need to come to grips with that fact and make some changes.

What we learn from the acts and the parables of Jesus is that he doesn’t give his concern and love to people based on the color of their skin or the language that they spoke. He didn’t come to earth to be the Messiah only for the people who looked and talked and worshiped as he and his earthly parents did. Jesus died on the cross for everyone. And mostly Jesus expects us to accept that his love and our love should also be for everyone and that even means it should be for those who live a bit differently than we do.

On a side note, another item that intrigued me this week was how on earth did this day come to be known as Easter Sunday? I don’t see that word in any of the scripture lessons. Some believe that the word Easter is likely from a more pagan tradition and was taken from the name of a Saxon goddess that is related to the word east and had something to do with spring and the new life of new growth. Others who are religious scholars prefer the idea that it comes from the German word of Ostern which originates in an older time from the old Teutonic form of auferstehn. I can’t tell you exactly which is true, but I can tell you, I sort of like that second idea better. Well, how many of us have heard of the Oster Haas (Easter rabbit)? [Thank you to the internet and the websites that supplied this information]

The bottom line is that no matter where the English word originated that we use to identify today, and no matter how much we learn about the historical or geographical parts of the human life that Jesus lived, what matters for us today, on this beautiful and wonderful Easter Sunday, is the fact that we are celebrating the resurrection of Christ. We are celebrating the unbelievable love that God had for us in giving his Son to wipe out our sins, our flaws, our shortcomings. And when we accept that love for us, we are then called to share it with those around us, and that means all of those around us, not just our family, though that is a good start. God expects us to share the love of Christ with others and as I said before, maybe we are not great as shouting it from the roof tops or the street corners, but at the least, we need to share that love in our actions towards others. Remember, God expects us to show our Christian love to everyone without judgment or prejudice. Let’s keep that in mind this week as we interact with those around us. And in case you were wondering, next week we will be celebrating Earth Sunday, so we will expand the story to include the rest of creation. Amen!

Our Joy after Easter

Following is the article I submitted to the local paper for the ministerial column.

As a teacher and coach I both loved and hated this time of year. For me the month of April meant time outside working with the track and field team going to meets and enjoying being with the young people in a setting apart from the classroom. It was fun to watch them improve in what to me was a more measurable standard of inches and feet and times. On the other hand, April in the classroom meant that we had finished the various units on Shakespeare’s plays, and my juniors had completed To Kill a Mocking Bird. (I kept that order every year to keep me enthusiastic during that long month of March.) But April was always a tough month for me because I knew that the end of the year was on the horizon. May was the time when the seniors graduated and left the building. May was when we had to give up, send away, let go of those students who had become important leaders in our building.

In the church we begin the post-Easter season in which we study the actions of the disciples after the crucifixion and resurrection of their beloved leader, Jesus. In those days the disciples must have been torn between the loss of Jesus as their constant companion and the happiness of knowing that Jesus had overcome death and was reunited with God. As Christians we have just gone through the season of Lent in which we study the life of Jesus and his work on this earth. We spend time in self-sacrifice or fasting or even giving ourselves to doing various works for others. For some we spend more time in prayer and meditation on who Jesus is to us and how we are to react in our own lives. Mostly Lent is a somber time.

For us the real joy comes after Easter in knowing that Christ is risen, and that he is risen not just for his disciples and those who followed him in his day, but that he is risen for us. Although we in our day and age know the facts of Jesus’ resurrection going into the season of Lent or any season of the Christian year, it is somehow more pronounced to us at this time. Easter is the season when we are able to wake each morning and remind ourselves, “This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24. All we need to do to accept this joy daily is believe and follow our resurrected Christ. May you be reminded of God’s love each day, and share it with those around you.

Christ’s Peace

This morning the theme to our message was Resurrection Witness. I decided to go with it because I wasn’t willing to take the time to figure out the point of my message in time for the bulletin to go to print. I also was never very good at figuring out themes. I used to point my students at common themes like: survival of the fittest, overcoming adversities and other cliché sorts of things. I can’t even think of good examples now. I really thought my message was boring and over used and same old same old this morning. Then as Toni and Darlene were leaving they said they had been feeling that same blah that I mentioned in the “announcements” part of the service. They noted that the theme this morning was peace.

In the gospel scripture Jesus greets the disciples with the words of Peace being with them. He was not referring to world peace and end of all wars peace, but instead he was looking at the peace you get when you accept the world around you and resolve to do the best you can with what you have. Thanks to those two women, I get the story for today. I finally understand what the message was all about. It is about allowing yourself the peace to do what you need to do and be who you are. I think there is a Hall and Oats song that has that phrase, Be who you are. “Do what you wanna do girl, and be who you are…” I like that theme.

Below is the message or at least the printed version of the message of today. The scriptures used were: Acts 5:27-32, Revelation 1:4-8 and John 20:19-31. The title was, “Resurrection Witness.” The songs were: “Power in the Blood,” “Because He Lives” and “Jesus is Coming Again.” I think they were what tied it all together.

The theme of our message today is Resurrection witness. Note the noun, witness, is in the singular form instead of the plural. This message is not for us as a whole, though in some form it might be. Today’s title is really for us individually, for us alone, in private with our God. The adjective in the phrase is resurrection. For many of us that word is really just a form of the verb, resurrect. It should be listed as an action. It is something that Jesus did. For all points and purposes, it is just one more thing in our study of Lent of all the things that Jesus did. He did something that no one else has even been able to do and that is come back from the dead on their own.

Really that might sound so simple, or maybe the better word is so old, so historical. We talk about Jesus dying and coming back from the dead in historical context, but wouldn’t we be about as skeptical as those Jewish leaders were if such a thing were to happen here, today. Let’s stop and think of Jesus resurrection in today’s world. No one gave Jesus CPR. No one administered any oxygen to him. No one shouted charge the paddles and clear and then shocked his heart back into a rhythm, and no one performed any transfusions or surgeries to heal his wounds. Jesus died and three days later rose again to defeat death once and for all so that when we die to this human body, we will have the opportunity to join with him in the eternal, forever life. But historically, we’ve all heard this before. We all know this. Telling you these facts is only preaching to the proverbial choir on my part.

Today is not about the facts of the resurrection. It is about the aftermath. It is about the work of the ones left to carry on, the ones who were left behind. When my nephew was little he loved to play baseball, and he could usually coerce a few others, especially the slightly older neighbor kids to play with him. He seemed to always want to be the one batting, so he often gave orders about where people were to play in order that he could be the batter. I think as the story goes, he knew the words for some of the spots, but not all of them. He told someone to pitch and another to go out in to the field to catch what he hit, but he needed a catcher, and not knowing the term for catcher, he just told the one he chose for that spot to stand here and be the “behinder.”

The disciples ended up being the “behinders.” They were the ones left “behind” on this earth to go through “all-the-world” and witness to the life and death and resurrection of Jesus and what that meant for them and for everyone else. What a task!

Our gospel lesson for today is actually the story of when Jesus gives them their assignment. It is evening of the day when Jesus rose. They aren’t totally sure what is going on. They know that the tomb is empty and they have heard the reports that Jesus is alive, but they aren’t certain, they don’t really dare to believe, and so they gather in the place where they were last together. They must have been scared stiff. What if the leaders find them and crucify them next. No wonder they are hiding out when Jesus comes to find them.

So many times we take this passage and concentrate on the part about Thomas and how he doubts, and how Jesus shows him the holes in his hands and feet to make him realize the truth of the resurrection. That part is important, especially for us because in the end Jesus tells him “Have you believed because you have seen? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.” He said that for those of us who would come much later in time and not have the opportunity to be there to see the wounds. We are the ones who must believe from the scripture and because of faith.

The main part of this passage that is important today is the earlier section. It is the part where Jesus comes into their midst and says, Peace to you, He greets the disciples in a standard greeting for their time, yet it is such a perfect greeting for the circumstances, Peace. Here they were probably pacing or trembling in fear, and Jesus comes with the words of Peace. Next he shows them the scars and the wounds, not because the group questions, but because he wants them to know that he is real and what happened to him was real. He wants them to realize that there was no miracle of non-suffering. Jesus did endure the crucifixion and also overcame it. Any questions the disciples had about what exactly happened must be put to rest at this meeting.

And before Thomas can even show up to join them, Jesus let’s them know why he has come to see them. He has come to tell them what their next purpose on earth will be. Jesus is about to leave to return to be with God his father, and they must carry on sharing the good news of Jesus with everyone. It is up to them to do the work to start Christ’s church. The disciples’ task is to come after Jesus, be the behinders if you will, and spread the news about him. He tells them that he is sending them out just as God sent him out. Now they understand better that they each have the task of being the Resurrection witness to all nations. And so in fact do we, that is the message for us today.

The chapter in the book of Acts that we get our New Testament lesson from today gives us information on some of the things that happened to the disciples as they began their mission of spreading the news about Jesus. If we were to read the beginning of the chapter, we would learn that the disciples had been put in jail, but that they were released during the night by an angel who sent them to the temple to continue teaching. Later they were caught again and in this passage, we read, we learn that they were brought in front of the Sanhedrin.

These Jewish leaders really would have liked to get rid of all the disciples as soon as possible, but they help back in order to keep the people from ousting them. In this story the disciples are only warned and beaten after they are found outside of prison, and eventually they are sent on their way. Again, instead of obeying they go out rejoicing and sharing with everyone about what Jesus did, not just in his death and resurrection, but in his life. They couldn’t contain themselves; I think that is the beauty of the whole thing. They were so overcome by the facts that they couldn’t help but be a witness for Jesus. O if we could all have a shot of that enthusiasm sometimes. Again, I think of the phrase, “if they kept silent, the very stones would shout out.”

We today in this Sunday following Easter have the same charge as the disciples did, though fortunately for us a little different circumstance. We aren’t likely to be put in jail for sharing what we know or what we feel, though we might be ignored, and I don’t know about you, but every now and then I get that feeling that others would like to point me in the correct way since my way is not exactly right. Here in today’s gospel Jesus charged the disciples to go out and witness about him. Jesus also charges us to go out and be the witness, but not just to his life and death and resurrection. Yet for us it is more than that. We live in a world where many people know the story, they have heard of Jesus and the events surrounding his life. For us it isn’t just the simple telling, it is the living. For us it is the actions of love and caring and openness. For us it is the joy that should be in our lives because of the promises we have in being part of Jesus’ followers.

As I said in the beginning, this phrase is singular, so I really think the point is for us individually, though if we look at one of the quotes left with the background material on these lessons, it might just be about the church, too. I will leave you today with the words of

Clarence Jordan, 20th century “The proof that God raised Jesus from the dead is not the empty tomb, but the full hearts of his transformed disciples. The crowning evidence that he lives is not a vacant grave, but a spirit-filled fellowship. Not a rolled-away stone, but a carried-away church.” Let us continue to be that carried away church, not one that huddles away in silence knowing the truth, but one that shows it is every act we do and every event we host. Let’s all be that resurrection witness. Amen

Happy Easter #1–Family!

Jaxon in the morning.

Jaxon in the morning.

So Here is my family version of Happy Easter. It started with Jaxon getting up and having breakfast. He was cranky pants about what the Easter Bunny brought. His mother was unhappy about his demand for more. By the time Granma and Grandpa were finished he was better. I also think a little food helped.

The Easter Bunny stopped by.

The Easter Bunny stopped by.

Victoria's gift from me. Another project off my list.

Victoria’s gift from me. Another project off my list.

The other Easter gifts, well sort of.

The other Easter gifts, well sort of.

Next set of pictures is of Grandpa and Jaxon imitating Grandpa during breakfast. He finally settled down to eat.

James says no picture of me.

James says no picture of me.

Jaxon copy cat of Grandpa.

Jaxon copy cat of Grandpa.

Jaxon is finally sitting down to eat.

Jaxon eating.

Jaxon eating.

Jaxon saying "Cheese."

Jaxon saying “Cheese.”

So we went to church, that will be the next post. I just didn’t want to put all the text and all the pictures together into one big long super boring blog post. When we got home about 11:45, we frantically started on the rest of dinner. The only thing I wasn’t able to pull off was the home-made bread, but I think we survived quite nicely.

Table in the kitchen where Victoria said the cool kids were sitting.

Table in the kitchen where Victoria said the cool kids were sitting.

Table in the dinning room, not sure what was not cool about this group. Only one missing.

Table in the dinning room, not sure what was not cool about this group. Only one missing.

Close up of Annabell and Flossy and Adam.

Close up of Annabell and Flossy and Adam.

I was too busy enjoying the day to take pictures outside. I did take a few shots just after everyone left. Gives you an idea how lonely the porch gets when it has to be without people. Even the black birds were wandering around wondering where the party went. It was supposed to get to 68 degrees today. Paulina and James took a walk and said it was over 70 on the bank clock. I won’t say we were upset about the heat, no one was, It was great to turn off the furnace and open the windows to try to get the heat of the oven out of the house. Yippee! And I am pretty sure I heard a Meadow Lark this morning. I am declaring that to be the real sign of spring. Alleluia, Hurray!!

Roger hid in the rafters when the stray dog came to visit. She stayed up there until the last car went home.

Roger hid in the rafters when the stray dog came to visit. She stayed up there until the last car went home.

The empty porch is sad.

The empty porch is sad.

Blackbirds in the grass, which is starting to green up well.

Blackbirds in the grass, which is starting to green up well.

Hope you all had a Blessed and wonderful Easter.

 

The Between Saturday

This is the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. As a child I never thought much about this day. It was just another Saturday with the idea that I would be wearing something new to church the next day and likely in a program reciting a special verse and singing special songs for the service. Other than those issues there wasn’t anything special about this particular Saturday.

As I grew older going to college and when I was first married, it occurred to me that the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday should really be a continuation of Good Friday, at least until the Easter Sunrise Service. And so in the book of Mark towards the end of Chapter 15, we find the account of what happened on that Saturday. It was the burial of the body of Jesus. It was the day that Joseph of Arimathea came to Pilate and asked for the body so that it could be laid to rest in a respectful way. He was the one who wrapped Jesus’ body and placed it in a tomb. According to Mark, both Mary Magdalene and Jesus’ mother were witnesses.

I did not grow up with a sunrise service, but in high school when our little Congregational Church yoked with the Peace Lutheran and the United Methodists in Herreid, we did a sunrise service every Easter in the Lutheran Church. I was part of their Luther League and we had a major part of the brass section of the school band in those three churches, and the entire trombone section of which I was a part. We played our instruments instead of having the organ in the morning. I loved it!

I have nothing more, except a few family photos from this weekend. Jaxon is here with his mother. We spent Friday shopping, which is not my idea of how to deal with Good Friday, but it had to be done. Prom is on the horizon, and it will be the last one for me and James let alone our daughters.

Roger sitting on the box of Easter baskets.

Roger sitting on the box of Easter baskets.

I sort of suspect that Roger didn’t want me to get the baskets out to set up a display for Easter. On the other hand, she might just have wanted to sit closer to the sunshine.

Jaxon and Grandma made an Easter bunny out of play dough.

Jaxon and Grandma made an Easter bunny out of play dough.

I remember making lots of bunnies when I was younger. This is perhaps the worst one that I have ever put together. Of course the color didn’t help. Yes, I will keep using that excuse.

Eggs being dyed.

Eggs being dyed.

Sadly Paulina ended up doing all of the eggs by herself. Victoria and Jaxon fell asleep, so he really will believe that the eggs come from a bunny instead of from ourselves. I guess that works for now.

We always right names on our eggs then dye them.

We always right names on our eggs then dye them.

 

Funny instead of Dad, she has James. Apparently there are two for each of us, one with name and one with title. Ha!

Funny instead of Dad, she has James. Apparently there are two for each of us, one with name and one with title. Ha!

 

Easter gathering and a haunting feeling….

Today I need to take a little time to share about the Easter gathering our family had. We all, well at least those who were available, gathered in Wishek at Melissa and Bruce’s place. James and Paulina and I have been attending church in Wishek off and on a little bit this past winter. It is closer than going to our church in Mobridge, and selfishly, there is no road construction between here and there. I am not much of a fan of road construction, although I do like improved roads. Sort of hard to have one without the other, but that is another story, not for today.

Here is the deal. The plan was for my part of the extended family to meet in Wishek for church. The pastor there, Tammy, is an old, old friend of mine. We worked together on one of the commissions when I was part of the Council of the North Dakota Conference of the UCC. I forget the exact name of the commission we were on, but it dealt with educational issues including Sunday school and camping and youth and the media center and I think women’s issues. Add to that the fact that Tammy is a cousin to son-in-law, Nate, and we have a regular old home week when we stop in Wishek.

We had no sooner sat in the pew when James tapped me to turn around. There sat Rev. Reiny Klein and his wife. Reiny was on the Conference Council at the same time I was, and we spent more than one trip at Pilgrim Park together. From that point on, I was a mess of nostalgia through the rest of the service. All I could think of were those days at the Park. It is located on Lake Metigoshe in the north central part of North Dakota. It is no longer a church camp, but many of the same buildings are still standing, and it is being used as a resort.

Jessica has been there since it was turned into a resort. She said that the only thing she didn’t see was the chapel. I would guess that was taken down for more than practical purposes. There were several bats claiming residence there the last time we were in it. Paulina for one entire winter complained about why we were going to the church in Jamestown instead of her “real” church. It wasn’t until we were looking at pictures from camp that we realized she was talking about the chapel at Pilgrim Park. Amazing how the minds of children work.

Sitting in the pew on Sunday, I just couldn’t help missing all the things we did in those days when the girls were young. We helped open the camp at least twice. We spent time there for a family thing. We were there for an annual meeting at least once. It was great. We also attended so many annual meeting for the conference including the one we hosted in Jamestown. I still hear how that was a great event. Somehow we have moved away from so many of those things, and it is sad. So many lives to live that we can’t stay with the one that mattered, the one that felt good. So many good people we met along the way, and have lost track of. No wonder I couldn’t help it that my eyes leaked a few times while I was sitting in the pew remembering all of those things.

Perhaps some of the nostalgia is because I have been thinking about the past off and on all month. Today is my last day of being 54. My father never made it past 54. His father never made it to 54. I am starting to wonder how much more there is. My Great Aunt Regina always said of all the children, I look the most like my father. I know that in many ways, I have his temperament. I used to feel that I had inherited some of his mathematical skill, but I know that I don’t have any of his mechanical ability. He was a genius in many ways, but never went to school past 8th grade, and so was stuck with what he had. Eventually the alcohol took most of the ability away, but that too is another story, not for today.

So, the gathering continued with all of my girls eventually making it to church. Jessica, Victoria and Jaxon came from Jamestown. Nate had to stay home and work his part-time job. James and Paulina and I were there also. Melissa and Carson shared a pew with all of us. Elisabeth was busy helping with some of the Sunday School, youth activities. Bruce was back and forth checking on dinner. Aunt Glenda came later after her church; she picked up my brother Adam on the way. Flossy couldn’t come because she too had to work. Steve and Adie were there as soon as their church was over. The only other ones not there was my sister Kathy and her family. Kathy went to Sioux Falls and hopped a plane with Tiffany to meet Peren in Chicago. He is home for a brief stay from Italy. Hope we all get together sometime before he has to go back.

Well, that is all for Easter Monday. No school today, just getting ready for the track meet in Hazen tomorrow, and trying to get over the memories that are really haunting me today.

Confirmation

Patricia Fuehrer on her confirmation.

So, this picture came to me a few months ago. It was given to my brother Adam by our cousin, Blaine Lutz. They found it when they were cleaning up some items in his mother’s house in Herreid. It is the only picture I have ever seen of my mother at her confirmation. I am guessing from the way things are done in our church that she was about 13 at the time this was taken.

She did tell me once that she had to go to Eureka to do confirmation. Come to think of it, she might be in the group picture in the St. Paul’s UCC History book in Eureka. I will have to look that up, and add it in a comment when I find it. She always talked about not being accepted by a few of the women in the Greenway Church.

She was raised without a father, and in those days that was considered quite bad. Apparently she always felt that she was the one being judged as a “bad” person because her parents chose not to become a family. To this day we really don’t have any idea who her biological father was.

I guess we survived without the information for this many years, and there is nothing we will do about it now. Some families get concerned about the medical history issues, but as far as I am concerned, life goes on. It used to really upset her when a teacher gave an assignments in which students had to do family tree research. Guess what, I can get through that too. There are other avenues to research, and so what.

I don’t have much else to say for this post. I am trying to make up for the lack of sermon post today. I just didn’t have anything that was appropriate for Easter Sunday, and so I decided to use my mother’s confirmation picture. In those days, in fact even when I was confirmed, we did it on Palm Sunday, which is close.

More on Easter tomorrow. Just want to say we spent Easter in Wishek with Melissa. Jess, Vic and Jaxon came for church and Adam and Glenda showed up later. Adie and Steve also came later. See ya Monday.

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