Midweek Message – April 5, 2018 Holy Humour Sunday!


Many churches are resurrecting an old Easter custom begun by the Greeks in the early centuries of Christianity-“Holy Humor Sunday” celebrations of Jesus’ resurrection on the Sunday after Easter. For centuries in Eastern Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant countries, the week following Easter Sunday, including “Bright Sunday” (the Sunday after Easter), was observed by the faithful as “days of joy and laughter” with parties and picnics to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection.

Churchgoers and pastors played practical jokes on each other, drenched each other with water, told jokes, sang, and danced.
The custom was rooted in the musings of early church theologians (like Augustine, Gregory of Nyssa, and John Chrysostom) that God played a practical joke on the devil by raising Jesus from the dead. “Risus paschalis – the Easter laugh,” the early theologians called it.
In 1988 the Fellowship of Merry Christians began encouraging churches and prayer groups to resurrect Bright Sunday celebrations and call it “Holy Humor Sunday,” with the theme: “Jesus is the LIFE of the party.”
With that in mind, at Riverview Mabel Wellwood and Margaret Hines are engaging in a dialogue between Mary and Martha about the Dinner Party they were preparing to host. At NMR, Wendy and Rev. Catherine will play the parts.

It’s Birthday Sunday at Riverview, where we celebrate all the birthdays that take place in April. Paul Bolivar has volunteered to bring the cake.

We are baptizing Simone Wood at Riverview!

Pentecost Project! I haven’t heard from anyone yet as to a Pentecost Project, you will have the opportunity to speak on it for a minute or two during the Minute for Mission time in both churches and we will decide together which project to focus on. This could be a local/national/international project.

There will be a shot Congregational Meeting immediately following worship at Riverview, in order to elect additional Executive members and Trustees.

The Heart of Covenant Living Rainbow Heart

We created rainbow hearts at both churches during Lent. At Riverview, Janice Lewis has created a permanent piece of artwork from the glass. She has given it to me as a personal gift, which will hang in the entry way until I leave.

Just above the heart, you can see the new ‘Smart TV’ purchased with Memorial Funds. As the Riverview Executive looked at the cost of signing for the entryway, we discovered that a smart tv was the most cost effective and flexible solution, as it could be adjusted to suit the day/week/occasion. Good signing is one more way we demonstrate hospitality.

Summary of Executive Minutes of March 2018
• The mortgage documents were signed by the trustees and sent back to the United Church. The balance owing is $ 37,669.68 and the interest rate is 2%.
• Janice Lewis is creating two new stained glass windows, one to celebrate her mother and another commissioned by the family of Phyllis Thompson.
• We decided not to go ahead with a picture directory at this time.
• Rev. Catherine shared an update on the plans for 2018;
• Rev. Catherine shared some questions to help evaluate the new governance model; these will be shared with the congregation by the end of April.
• We are looking at redesigning the ‘Circle Sheets.’
• The Stewards set some tentative dates for fundraisers:
o May 12 – Turkey Supper
o July 11 – Strawberry Supper
o Sept 8 – Yard Sale
o October 27 – Turkey Supper
o December 1 – Turkey Supper
• Full minutes are available on request.

There won’t be a mid-week message next week as I am on Study Leave. In my absence, Rev. Heather Fraser is leading worship in both congregations and Rev. Matt Fillier is on call for pastoral emergencies. His number is in the bulletin and will be on my voice mail.
While I am on Study Leave, I will be working on pulling together the various pieces of work that have taken place during the Interim Ministry. This will help the Joint Needs Assessment Committee with their work. I plan to spend some time on the ‘Can We Talk’ session planned for May and the Mission/Vision Statement workshop in June.

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