Just over 2,000 years ago, people lined the streets of Jerusalem with palm branches, cloaks, and whatever they could find in order to make a joyful procession to welcome Jesus’s as he entered the city. This year, our commemoration of that day will be somewhat similar as we too grab whatever we have on hand for our observances of Palm Sunday and Holy Week. Our palms might branches or whatever leafy things we can find in our backyards, our foot washing might happen with a kitchen bowl and a bath towel, and our Easter Vigil fire might be a candle in the kitchen or a bonfire in the backyard. Just like the fanfare of the original, impromptu Palm Sunday, our resourceful celebrations can be just as meaningful when they are part of helping us enter into the Easter story.
Below you can find an outline of our live stream services for Holy Week and Easter. In the next few days, we will also be sending out prayers and rituals that can be done at home to mark this sacred time.
Palm Sunday Palm Crosses
For Palm Sunday, two of our parishioners, Chuck and Susanne Bateman, have made palm crosses for everyone in the parish who would like them. They will be available on the front steps of the church starting at 9am Saturday until 6pm that evening. They will have been blessed, and so considered sacred, meaning they are not disposed like regular objects. You may return them to the earth, burn them yourselves, or hang onto them to bring back to the church so that we can burn them for next year's Ash Wednesday ashes, as is customary.
Palm Sunday Pictures
If you get a chance, please send me a selfie of you and/or some of the people at your home waving a bit of greenery (see picture below). You can send it to email@example.com or text to 503-888-7637, and please do so by Saturday at noon. We will then send these out on Palm Sunday in Enews as a way to share our celebrations and see each others' smiling faces. You can also post them to our Facebook page on Palm Sunday.
Palm Sunday Godly Play
We will have a Godly Play family Zoom chat at 9am, as we have in recent weeks. This week will include a story that talks about Palm Sunday.
We are still having Easter Flowers if you would like to make a donation with a thanksgiving or remembrance. There's more information on how to do so, below.
Finally, here's a quote from Episcopal author, Sara Miles, to contemplate as we prepare for this Sunday:
“Beginning on Palm Sunday, we have the opportunity once more to witness, receive, and be Christ. Whether we’re walking through the spring sunshine in our neighborhoods, or waiting and worrying by a bedside in the dark hours before dawn; whether we’re rejoicing in the birth of a child or grieving a loss, we are not alone. He is drawing us nearer to each other, nearer to God, and nearer, always, to Easter.”
8:00am and 10:15am - Join us on our Facebook page for a live stream of these services, which will begin celebrating the triumphal entry into Jerusalem and end in the dramatic reading of Christ’s Passion. There will be music at 10:15am only.
Maundy Thursday, April 9
This day calls to mind the Last Supper that Jesus shared with his disciples and the new command he gave to love one another. People are invited to share an Agape meal and foot washing in their homes (instructions and prayers will be sent out). At 7:00pm we will live-stream our service, which will include a message and the Stripping of the Altar.
Good Friday, April 10
On Good Friday we will be sending out a Stations of the Cross devotional video that can be done at any time that day. Our live-streamed servicewill begin at 7:00pm and will include the chanting of St. John's Passion, beloved hymns, a Good Friday sermon, and the veneration of the cross.
The Great Vigil of Easter,
Saturday Night, April 11
Join us 8:00pm on our Facebook page for an abbreviated version of this service, which dates back to the fourth century, and begins with darkness, the lighting of the new fire, the ancient Exsultet, and a re-telling of the stories of God’s love and call to us. With the announcement that the Lord is risen and the ringing of bells, we celebrate the first Eucharist of Easter.
All Holy Week & Easter services will be live-streamed on our Facebook page. Video links will be sent out via email after each service.
Easter Flowers: We are still taking remembrance and appreciation donations for Easter Flowers through Wednesday, April 8. You can make your donation through the mail or through the All Saints PayPal account by clicking here. Please let Cris know your thanksgiving/remembrance for the Easter Sunday listing by emailing her.
Habits of Grace: An invitation for you, from Presiding Bishop Curry
As we learn how to adjust our lives given the reality of the coronavirus and the request to do our part to slow its spread by practicing social distancing, I invite you to join me each week to take a moment to cultivate a ‘habit of grace.’ A new meditation will be posted here on Mondays through May.
Loving Our Neighbor in the Time of COVID-19: For our neighbors in distress, All Saints is still providing boxed lunches every Saturday starting at 11:00am as well as showers and laundry services with our partner Harbor of Hope every Saturday from 10:30am to 2:00pm. Please spread the word, and if you feel inclined to support us in this ministry, this link will take you to our donation page; please indicate in the note section how you want your donation to be used.
#PDXThanksYou - A Note from our Mayor
Our friends in cities around the world are sharing a nightly cheer to honor and thank health care workers who are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our nurses, doctors, and first responders continue to risk their health and well-being every single day to make sure the sickest among us get the care they need. Other community heroes like grocery store employees, delivery drivers, chefs, and others make sure we have food on the table. Let’s boost the morale for all those who are struggling as well - a nightly reminder that no one is alone.
So here’s what you can do. Set your alarms for 7 pm nightly.
Step outside on your balcony, front porch, or open a window and cheer for our heroes. Use your pots and pans if you’d like.
We begin the nightly ritual this FRIDAY.
We will continue the nightly cheering until the deadly impact of COVID-19 is a thing of the past.
Please help spread the word. Include #PDXThanksYou to get the word out.
History will look back at this moment and see a community rise together and support each other in ways that seemed unimaginable even just a few weeks ago.
Stay strong, Portland.
We’ll get through this together.
Social Justice & Advocacy Column
"The Peaceable Kingdom” by Edward Hicks
“Humans have balked at both voluntary and involuntary frugality ever since greed and wealth have been an option. On the other hand, we have also often found peace of mind, freed time and a sense of belonging, self-worth and accomplishment when we have taken frugality up with the same passion with which we sought wealth. The desire to survive may stir that passion in us when we fully realize that doing more of what we have been doing is fatal. "
~ Ellen Lacont
And on the Lighter Side: click here for a little laugh!
Fire Drill Fridays on Hold: But the mile-long oil trains bringing their explosive and polluting cargo into our city and Zenith Energy are not! Any messages to Mayor Wheeler and the City Council encouraging them to put a stop to this would go a long way toward protecting “this fragile earth, our island home."
Remembering Thomas L. Truby
Nov. 26, 1946 - March 16, 2020
The Rev. Dr. Thomas LaVern Truby died peacefully at home Monday, March 16, 2020, his wife, Laura at his side. Tom was preceded in death by his father, LaVern J. Truby. His mother, Ruth Ellen Truby, 96, still lives on the family centennial farm near Randolph, Neb., where he was raised. He was with her for Thanksgiving and his last, 73rd birthday.
Tom is survived by four younger sisters, Mary (Eddie) Smith, Sylvia (James) Johnson, Pat Truby and Nancy (Jim) Travnicek; and also in Portland, daughter, Angela (Seth) Truby; son, Aaron Truby; and granddaughters, Willa Clare and Iona. A wonderful father and grandfather, he was very proud of each.
Born in Aurelia, Iowa, Tom died in Oregon City. After graduating from Randolph High (1965), he attained his BA degree in Psychology from Morningside College (1969), followed by a Master of Divinity degree at St. Paul School of Theology Methodist in Kansas City (1972), where he met his wife and soulmate, Laura Hamilton. Married May 16, 1971, they nearly reached their 50th anniversary. Moving to Chicago to study Pastoral Counseling at the Center for Religion and Psychotherapy, he simultaneously earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from Chicago Theological School (1977). For 18 years he provided Pastoral Counseling in Missouri, Illinois and Michigan, ultimately through his own organization, Kalamazoo Counseling Ministries. He attained "Fellow" level in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, taught Family Systems Theory and served as consultant. In 1995 he chose to return to parish ministry and served several churches in Michigan before moving to Oregon in 2006. Over the past 14 years, Pastor Tom served the Clarkes United Methodist Church and community, beloved by all ages, finding much happiness in his friendships there. Unable to gather at this time, congregants continue to place fresh flowers on their Easter Cross out in front of the church "In Memory of Pastor Tom." The service for his Celebration of Life is postponed until gathering is safe.
Around 2000, Tom discovered Girardian Theory and intuited that it would provide the integration of anthropology and theology that he had searched for all his life. The theories and writings of the late Rene Girard gave him life, and his preaching meaning, purpose and joy. A member of Theology and Peace and of the Colloquium on Religion and Violence, Tom attended conferences forming friendships with other Girardian writers. He was a voracious reader, deep thinker, illuminating writer, insightful preacher and Jesus-follower. His wonderful sermons, posted on girardianlectionary.net will continue to guide us in these challenging times. Respected worldwide, Tom was an articulate witness to God's love for all and that Jesus revealed there is no rivalry or violence in God, only forgiveness and peace. Tom believed in the Resurrection and modeled Jesus' non-violence. He was a masterful gardener and storyteller. We will miss his beautiful smile, twinkling blue eyes and witty retorts that made you laugh! He Rests in Peace and Joy with his Lord.
A Note from Your Treasurer: Here are three ways to give while in person services are suspended:
1. There is a Donate Button on our website allsaintspdx.org (or click here) where you can access that will enable to you make a Pledge Payment or any other type of donation through PayPal. PayPal charges us 2.9% plus $.30 per transaction, so if you want to make the full Pledge Payment, please consider adding this additional cost to your payment.
2. The second method of making a secure Pledge Payment to All Saints is through your Banking Institution. All Banking Institutions have a system in place where you can have a check directly issued and mailed to All Saints in the amount of your Pledge Payment or donation at no cost to you or to us. This method is the safest and best way to ensure your Pledge Payment or donation is credited to you and easy for us to keep track of. You can choose the time of month or even have the checks issued weekly and not worry about physically being present at All Saints to make your payments. Please let me know if you need any help in getting this set up.
3. You can also mail a check to the Church Office at 4033 SE Woodstock Blvd.
We sincerely appreciate your generosity in support of All Saints, and together, we will continue to do God’s amazing work.
- Jerry Meter, Treasurer
Calendar for Upcoming Week:
Saturday, April 4
11:30 AM Hot Meals - Boxed lunches
Noon - 2:00 PM Harbor of Hope Showers & Laundry
3:00 PM - 10:00 PM Janitorial Services
Sunday, April 5
8:00 AM Holy Eucharist, Rite I: Live streamed via Facebook
9:00 AM Godly Play via Zoom
10:15 AM Holy Eucharist, Rite II: Live streamed via Facebook
Wednesday, April 8
3:00 PM - 10:00 PM Janitorial Services
Thursday, April 9 ~ Maundy Thursday
7:00 PM Maundy Thursday Service on Facebook Live
Last Week's Sermon:
The Rev. Andria Skornik
March 29, 2019
Ezekiel 37:1-14; Romans 8:6-11, John 11:1-45
“Can these bones live?”
As we reflect on our readings this morning, it’s interesting how both the Ezekiel and John passages begin with images of desolation.
In Ezekiel, it was during the time of the Babylonian exile — a low point in the people of Israel’s history. Some of them had been taken captive. Others left behind. The temple had been destroyed, so that place of their coming together wasn’t available to them. They don’t have autonomy, but were under foreign rule.
And during that time, God takes the prophet Ezekiel to a valley of dry bones, which the prophet learns are actually the fallen armies of Israel. Not only are they the remains of sons, husbands, fathers; all lives taken too soon. But that their bodies were left there would’ve been especially painful for their families. In the ancient world there was great importance placed on burial, so much so that the Torah required that even thieves get a proper burial.
And in the middle of this scene of death and decay, God asks Ezekiel, “Can these bones live?
It’s an odd question. Because, although there were biblical precedents for restoring life to a person who had just died — like the widow’s son whom God raised through Elijah, or the Shunammite woman’s son who was brought back to life through Elisha — in each of these instances, the death was recent. Never had it happened for someone who’d been dead for a long time. And so the obvious answer to God’s question would’ve been “No.” These bones represent ultimate hopelessness.
We see something similar in the story in John’s gospel, where in this case it is Jesus’ friend Lazarus who has been dead for four days. Four days was an important number, for in their tradition it was believed that the spirit hovered near the body for three days before transitioning over into the afterlife. So that it had been 4 days — like the dry bones — also represented that they were beyond hope. Which is perhaps why Mary and Martha were so upset by Jesus’ delay.
But, as we know from reading on in these stories, all hope was not lost. In a surprising upset of logic and expectation, Jesus calls Lazarus out of the tomb, and, in the Ezekiel vision, he prophecies and the bones form back together, sinews and skin and life is breathed into these men once again.
Though it is not yet Easter, these are both stories of resurrection. They proclaim that God restores life and that where there is death there is also the promise of resurrection. And yet I wonder if we miss some of what’s being conveyed here and how it applies to us and what we’re going through.
I know that for some of us we miss its truth because we get caught in the literalism — of did it or didn’t it happen. We turn it into yet another thing to wrap our minds around, rather allowing ourselves to be transformed by it. Or, some of us look at these stories as something that happened to Jesus and Ezekiel because they were special. But certainly all of this is not part of our calling.
And if we’re looking at it in either of these ways, we miss the crucial part. That these are not just nice stories about them. They are stories about us. They are stories that speak to our calling as disciples. Showing that in fact, resurrection is part of our God given power.
If that seems too good to be true, just look at our reading in Romans. Here, Paul says, “The Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you.” Do you hear that? The Spirit whose power raised Jesus from the dead is in you. Meaning that life restoring power is in us also. I have to confess, I never saw that before.
We can see it as the same Spirit that gives life in Ezekiel. But notice how in this story — for the bones to be brought back together and life to be restored — it is Ezekiel who must prophesy to put God’s work in motion. This is why God tells Ezekiel to prophesy to the breath. To call forth the life of God in those places of death. Or, as Ezekiel says, “I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.” We see something similar in the gospel, when Jesus says, Lazarus, “come out!” Much like Ezekiel prophesying to the bones, Jesus speaks life where there is death, igniting God’s work.
God raises what is dead to life and instills that same resurrection power in us. Meaning the power of resurrection is not just for us it is in us — the full implications of which are astounding. And no more so than in this very moment.
Right now we are living in a valley of dry bones. We look out and the losses are great. More than 2,000 Americans have died from the Coronavirus. Millions have lost jobs. We’ve lost in person, public gatherings that have been always so much a part of our sense of meaning and purpose. Some have lost access to important services. And though we know that some of these things are temporary, other parts may seem beyond hope. Our question might be also, Can these bones live?
And that’s where we need to see the power that stories proclaim. That the spirit of God is within us — the same spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in us. Which means that wherever we see death in its many forms — loss, grieving, absence of life, decay — that is where we need to be speaking life.
I will never forget seeing this in someone I know and admire. Unexpectedly, and unrelated to anything she did something terrible happened and— what looked like her perfect life — began to fall apart. Everything that hung together so well was now in disarray, and there was nothing she could do to stop or change it. The heartache was overwhelming. And as I listened to her in that lowest point, recounting it all through tears, she said, “But I believe in resurrection.” I remember being surprised by what she said — because, honestly, I wasn’t sure if I had that same faith for her in that moment. It all looked so bleak. But sure enough, resurrection came. Years later her life is a radiant vision of restoration and she is thriving. In the midst of death she spoke God’s life and life came.
We too can speak God’s life where we see death. We can prophesy to the bones. We can do this to our situations, like my friend did. We can do this for our friends and people we love when we encourage them in their moments of hopelessness. We can do this to people we mentor people or children who are in our care when we speak future and potential over them when other influences in their lives are telling them the opposite. We humans do this in our darkest hours as when we declare it’s not over and that we will rise up.
This is something we even do in our funerals. When we speak resurrection life over our dead. When we proclaim that in death life is changed not ended. That there may be death. But death doesn’t get the final word for them or us.
The power of resurrection is in us. Whatever is troubling us. Wherever we see loss. These are our places to speak life and prophesy to the bones.