Dear Friends in Christ,

Alleluia! Christ is Risen! Alleluia! Yes, too much to be confined to one day ~ The Great 50 Days of Easter – have begun!

During my prayer time, when the weather is accommodating, I open a nearby window and enjoy a symphony of birds accompanied by the subtle hum of road traffic. Cardinals, robins, sparrows, and more! A reminder of the beauty of God’s creation, the beauty of the birds with colorful feathers, their ability to sing, and spread their wings and fly!

Today is Earth Day and tomorrow we’ll kick off a parish wide composting program. Bins are now onsite to be used on Sunday and you are invited to participate by bringing your own compostable materials: food scraps, coffee grinds, staple free tea bags, click here for more information. Buildings and Grounds have installed many LED lights over the past few years, and programable thermostats are used. As a congregation, we continue to do our part to care for the environment. Many of you do this at home and know opportunities for creation care takes on many forms. When we choose to engage in creation care we say yes to helping transform our habits which will transform our world.

This year’s vestry-staff retreat was led by the Rev. Frank Baltz, a consultant in the Diocese of Atlanta, who led us through exercises that are part of the College of Congregational Development’s methodology. At the conclusion of our time, we decided our theme for 2023-2024 to be “Transformation”! We strive for the “Transformation of our hearts, minds, and actions, to live our baptismal identity and purpose.” Eastertide is the perfect season to lift our theme!

The life of Jesus transformed many and the transformation continues as we gain a glimpse of who God is and God’s desire for creation.

On this Earth Day pause and thank God for the beauty of creation! Consider carefully praying and reflecting on the following Psalm.

PSALM 84 (St. Helena Psalter)
1 How dear to me is your dwelling, O God of hosts! *
My soul has a desire and longing for your courts;
my heart and my flesh rejoice in the living God.
2 The sparrow has found her a house
and the swallow a nest where she may lay her young, *
by the side of your altars, O God of hosts,
my Ruler and my God.
3 Happy are they who dwell in your house; *
they will always be praising you.
4 Happy are the people whose strength is in you, *
whose hearts are set on the pilgrims’ way.
5 Those who go through the desolate valley will find
it a place of springs, *
for the early rains have covered it with pools of water.
6 They will climb from height to height; *
the God of gods will be revealed in Zion.
7 O God of hosts, hear my prayer; *
hearken, O God of Jacob.
8 Behold our defender, O God, *
and look upon the face of your Anointed,
9 For one day in your courts is better than
a thousand in my own room, *
and to stand at the threshold of the house of my God
than to dwell in the tents of the wicked;
10 For God is both sun and shield *
and will give grace and glory.
11 No good thing will God withhold *
from those who walk with integrity.
12 O God of hosts, *
happy are they who put their trust in you!

With prayers for a joyful Eastertide,