Family

Family
Our most recent family pic with only Andrew missing

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Easter Pastoral Letter from Cedric and JohnWesleyProject.com

Easter 2014 Pastoral Letter from Cedric
Easter....the Great Fifty Days

Many are surprised to hear that Easter is not a single day. It is actually a season that begins on Easter Sunday and continues for seven full weeks. This seven-week cycle is known historically as the Great Fifty Days or the Week of Weeks. During this time, the church celebrates the Lord’s resurrection, His appearances to the disciples after Easter, His post-resurrection teachings, His ascension into heaven, and the disciples’ eager anticipation of the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. Ascension Day, the 40th of the Great Fifty Days, is frequently commemorated with special worship services and here at AMC we will as usual have a morning service at 10:00 and an evening service at 19:00 on Thursday 29 May.

Easter Day is the principal celebration of the church year. The resurrection means that Christ has overcome death and in His victory has opened to us everlasting life. Nothing can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39). The Lord’s new life in which we share is the message of this season. As baptized Christians we take time during Easter to ponder the meaning of membership in Christ’s body, the church. We look at events in the church’s life, the sacraments, the accounts of resurrection and the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus to discover their meaning and what they tell us about how we as a community here at AMC are to live the life of the Risen Lord.

Like the two who walked the Emmaus road with Jesus, we can know Christ in the sharing of the word and in the breaking of bread at Communion.

The Great Fifty Days of Easter are the time when we are called to reflect on the meaning of our baptism into the church of Jesus Christ, whenever that baptism might have occurred. Through the lectionary texts (see Easter booklet) we explore the “mysteries” of our faith (a process which the early church called mystagogia).


Our Vision at AMC is to be a community of disciples who grow the Kingdom of God. Historically,the discipling purpose of the Easter Season has been twofold. The first purpose is doctrinal. Easter Season was (and is) a season for mystagog, teaching the “mysteries of the faith” (core doctrinal matters). Second, it is a time to help all to discern, claim or reclaim their spiritual gifts and their calling to ministry in Christ’s name and the Spirit’s power. Easter Season culminates with Pentecost, where we celebrate the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the commissioning and empowering of the church for ministry. In order to link these historical purposes of the Easter Season with our AMC Vision, the notes for each week include a doctrinal focus (aimed at discipling us) and a ministry focus (aimed at growing the Kingdom of God). What each individual preacher decides to focus on will be up to them as they work through the texts under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, but I do encourage you as individuals and as small groups to work through both the doctrinal and ministry notes in your meditations and discussions.

During the season of Easter many Christians around the world pray a prayer called Christ Our Passover which is based on 1 Cor. 5:7-8, Rom. 6:9-11 and 1 Cor. 15:20-22. I shared it with you last year and have often also used it as the “Candle Prayer” here at AMC in my previous Easter Seasons with you. It is a beautiful prayer to pray daily during the Great Fifty Days.

Alleluia.
Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us; therefore let us keep the feast,
Not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. Alleluia.
Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.
The death that he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
So also consider yourselves dead to sin, and alive to God in Jesus Christ our Lord. Alleluia.
Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
For since by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.
For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. Alleluia.

My last pastoral letter closed with the news that Ryan and Lindrique had decided to accept an invitation to the Kempton Park Circuit from the beginning of 2015. This one will close with a request for your prayers for the Poole family and AMC as my 5 year term here at AMC comes to an end at the end of 2015. It is our normal Methodist procedure that invitations are reviewed during the fourth year of a 5 year invitation. This process is led by the Circuit Stewards and Superintendent in consultation with our Society Stewards and has begun in the last few weeks. Please pray for our Circuit stewards, Society stewards, Chris and me as we all seek God's will for the future.

May this Easter and Easter season be a great 50 days for us all.

Much love to you all, 

Cedric

No comments: