Celebrating Easter - April 5, 2015 

On Sunday we will joyfully celebrate the resurrection of Jesus and the new life it brings with one Easter service at 10:30 am. There will be no evening service or dinner that day. The church is usually full on Easter, so please make sure to come a little early. Remember to bring your bells to ring on the "alleluias," and perhaps some bells to share with visiting children. 


An Easter breakfast/brunch will be held in the Parish Hall from 9-10:20 am. Everyone is encouraged to attend, including family, friends, and visitors. Please bring an egg dish, baked goods, fruit, or juice to share, and let Rosa Uy know what you are bringing at rosauy@aol.com.  


While families are welcome to use our nursery facilities, the nursery will not be staffed on Easter. All children wishing to play in the nursery need to be accompanied by an adult. 

New Creation/New Community: Part 5 of "God's Five Act Play" 

The resurrection - a conversation with Marcia and Larry Roepke 


What does it mean to us that Jesus was resurrected from the dead? What does it mean to live a resurrected life? What does it mean to live in a resurrected community? 


Marcia: It means that there is always hope. That there is never any situation so dire that God will abandon us. Living a resurrected life means not only expecting redemption and grace no matter what the situation, but recognizing God's acts when they happen. It also means believing that God is at work in the world even though it might not feel or look like it. There have been times when I have felt the presence of Jesus and times when he seems very far away; there are moments when the Spirit is moving so powerfully that it makes me weep. There are the rare times when God speaks clearly, but the times when God is silent are the times when I cling the hardest; when I walk the narrow path most carefully. When I was hospitalized for a week a few years ago, God seemed very far away. But I clung to him fiercely, refusing to let go. That was a unique time, and the hands of my husband and friends became the hands of God to me, who came to visit me in the hospital and held my feet and sang sweet soft hymns that helped me remember God's promises. 


Larry says what would it mean to believe in a Jesus that wasn't resurrected? What would it mean to just believe in Jesus? "The non-resurrected Jesus is a person in history that had a profound influence on the world, like Plato or Socrates. The resurrected Jesus, however, is someone I have personally met. Socrates is an important person from the past, but I have never met him." 


Living a resurrected life means walking with him. And it's a constant thing, Larry says. "He's always with me. I'm preoccupied most of the time, but he's still with me. My puny little brain has a hard time believing he came back to life from the dead because the laws of physics and medical science and empirical data point to the fact that that's impossible. But even though my mind says it's impossible, he died, he can't have been resurrected, I choose to believe it's true that he lives. In quiet times of meditating or being still, when I make a pointed effort, I'm aware of his presence." 


But do we fool ourselves? Do we want to believe it so badly that at some point it becomes real for us? Is it just our deep desire that makes Jesus' resurrection seem true? Was this Mary Magdalene's experience at the tomb? Did she miss him so much she imagined him alive in front her? But then the fact of him saying, "don't touch me!" makes it sound more believable, since the story had that unexpected twist. Because if it had been a fantasy, wouldn't it have continued as a construct of her desire? Instead, the events were beyond her control. That lends it an air of credibility. But if we only had her word, it would not be enough for us. We have the others' words who saw him and touched him and ate with him and walked with him. 


Which brings us to a resurrected community.  It's a collective thing, ("Like bees," says Larry. "But not like the Borg - the Star Trek hive-mind," says Marcia).  It makes a difference that more than one person saw the resurrected Jesus. It makes a huge difference in our lives of faith that our friends and neighbors have encountered the risen Jesus, and walk with him, and meet at the Lord's table to eat and drink and remember him. 


Always, however, there is still that bit of doubt that is nurtured by our brokenness -- that "sophisticated despair" that is encouraged by our popular culture. We must walk with him daily because doubt visits us daily. "Lord, I believe, please help my unbelief," we pray, just as saints before us have prayed for thousands of years.


 Music for Easter Morning

  By J Michael Compton

Katie Lowry (flute), Martha Mason Miller (horn), Richard Burns (trombone), and Christopher Jenkins (pictured above with cymbals) are among the many musicians who will accompany the Parish Choir on Easter Sunday. Chief among the musical offerings Sunday morning will be Gustav Holst's "Short Festival Te Deum" written at the end of World War I.   Other selections will include a Gloria in excelsis written in Chinese style, a Hallelujah from the Carribean, an African Sanctus and Sir John Goss' setting of "Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us."

An Easter Meditation


 "At Communion" 


Whether I kneel or stand or sit in prayer
I am not caught in time or held in space,
But, thrust beyond this posture, I am where
Time and eternity are face to face;
Infinity and space meet in this place
Where crossbar and upright hold the One
In agony and in all Love's embrace.
The power in helplessness which was begun
When all the brilliance of the flaming sun
Contained itself in the small confines of a child
Now comes to me in this strange action done
In mystery. Break time, break space, O wild
And lovely power. Break me: thus am I dead,
Am resurrected now in wine and bread.


Madeleine L'Engle

Bil Gangl
Bil Gangl Memorial Run 
Bil Gangl was a well loved parishioner at St. Matthew's who left us far too soon after a long battle with cancer. He was a gifted middle school teacher and track coach, and loving husband, father and friend. We join the Gangl family in continuing to miss his joyful and gentle presence. 


An annual memorial run, established by the Mahtomedi High School track team and his wife, Megan, honors Bil's memory by raising funds for the Cancer Care Center at Regions Hospital. The funds are used to support families in various ways, focusing on fun activities, meals, and holiday celebrations. You can be part of this effort on Friday, April 24 at 8am through Saturday, April 25 at 8am. The goal is to have an ongoing 24 hour relay on the Mahtomedi High School track to honor and remember the remarkable life of Bil Gangl.  Ways to be involved include:

   * Walk or run for 30 minutes or more 
   * Donate directly to the fund
   * Bake cookies or bring snacks for the participants  

If you are interested in signing up to walk or run, or making a donation, visit the Bil Gangl website OR you can bring a check to the relay at Mahtomedi High School - any amount is appreciated.

Looking Ahead: Calendar Highlights
  • April 2: Taize Maundy Thursday service, 7:00pm, Community Meal, 5:30pm
  • April 3: Good Friday Stations of the Cross, 7:00pm
  • April 5: Easter Sunday, Festival Eucharist at 10:30am. Easter Brunch, 9:00am
  • April 18: Novel Faith Book Group, The End of the Affair, by Graham Greene
  • April 19: Celtic Sources Series begins with John Lawyer, 9:15am in the library
  • April 19: Poetry Reading by Carol Bjorlie, 4:00pm
  • April 19: Celebration of Community Art Show reception, 6:30pm
  • April 24-25: Bil Gangl Memorial Relay Run
  • May 15-16: Women's Retreat 
Please share your news and photos with us: tidings@stmatthewsmn.org

Visit our website for the prayer list, calendar and sermons