Greetings to all in the Love of Jesus Christ:
This past week, I was blessed to observe Palm Sunday at FCC in Scottsdale. I continued my long-standing tradition of leading a palm processional while playing the bagpipes. We remembered Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, an entry filled with hope and expectation, expressed by the crowds shouting “Hosanna!”
But Palm Sunday is also Passion Sunday – the Sunday on which we tell the story of Holy Week, of Jesus’ passion, of his betrayal, arrest, torture, and execution. It is a week that brings us face to face with the pain and suffering that human beings can inflict on each other. And, of course, it is a week that ends with the promise that Love can transform pain, that new life is possible.
Reflecting on these themes, I find it appropriate that this newsletter contains an invitation for all of you – pastors, church leaders, and other interested Disciples – to an Anti-Racism/Pro-Reconciling workshop on April 30. Racism is one of the ways humans being inflict pain on each other. None of us really wants to face it. But pretending it doesn’t exist will never make it go away. We see in the story of Jesus that the only way to transform pain is to go through it, to confront it face to face, to deal with it honestly and openly, and then allow God’s love to bring new life. Over 20 years ago, the Disciples proclaimed that Anti-Racism/Pro-Reconciliation is one of our mission priorities. I hope you will join us, and encourage others to join us, on April 30.
In the meantime, I wish for you a rich and deeply meaningful Holy Week. May the story of Jesus offering love to all inspire you. No matter what the world threw at him – even when he was betrayed by a friend, denied by another, abandoned by others, and hung on a cross – Jesus kept on loving. May Jesus inspire us all to love each other no matter what.
Happy Easter, and Dios les bendiga!
Regional Minister and President, Christian Church in Arizona
We invite you to pray for the following congregations in the coming months. Visit our Regional Calendar of Weekly Prayers for our annual list.
17 Office of General Minister and President Terri Hord Owens & the entire Disciples of Christ movement
24 Alfa y Omega (Phoenix) led by Pastor Elias Garcia
1 Chalice Christian Church (Gilbert) led by Pastor Vernon Meyer
8 Iglesia Cristiana Ebenezer (Tucson) led by Pastor Sandy Flores
15 Foothills Christian Church (Glendale) led by Pastor Bekah Krevens
22 First Christian Church (Globe) led by Pastor Al Beasley
29 Comunidad Limen Christian Church led by Pastor Pedro Ramos-Goycolea and New Church Ministry