It is Easter Sunday night – as I type that, it is odd we use the word Easter. The word Easter actually is derived from the name of the pagan fertility goddess Eastre – who was celebrated in tying in to the Spring equinox and all the egg and rabbit fertility symbols of the spring holiday. But, somewhere we began calling the day Easter…. Anyway, the day is over and I am quite pooped after speaking at three Easter morning worship gatherings we had (one was the Presbyterian church gathering and two Vintage Faith ones) – as I imagine most of the other Vintage Faith Church staff and those who put on the Vintage Faith Stations of the Cross downtown Santa Cruz.
Friday and Saturday there was a team of Vintage Faith folks who set up our annual Stations of the Cross art exhibit on the sidewalks of downtown Santa Cruz. We get permission as well as talk to the store owners, so we aren’t an obtrusion in that way. It is always a thrill to see this as so many people walk by and look. They set up at each art piece a sign that has the Scriptures written out where it shows the story of what happened at the various stations we depict through art.
Wendy Davis created the station of the empty tomb – and she made an artistic representation of an opened tomb from a refrigerator. She told me all the meaning of the various things she did, which all were really great and showed meaning to what the resurrection and empty tomb was. But I admire the amazing creativity of walking down the street and seeing that.
It was great standing back and watching people stop and read the description and the Scriptures and looking at the art pieces right there on the main downtown street. I personally didn’t do a thing in putting on this event, and the group who put it on worked very hard and did a wonderful, wonderful job putting it all together and having it downtown for 2 days. There was an art station of Simon of Cyrene carrying the cross which was a communal one where several artists were creating it on the street and rotated shifts, so it represented an eclectic mix of artistic style. Wendy and Cheryl convinced me to take part of that one and I spent about ten minutes drawing something out there and felt very self-conscience and silly as I cannot paint like them so I abandoned my paintbrush and fled.
As for our first Sunday in the Presbyterian church building – it was crazy but fun.
We still have lots to figure out – and one of the worship gatherings this morning was so crowded that people couldn’t get in the sanctuary to sit in there. But it was all fun and a good first weekend in the new building.
As the below photo shows, we all sat in rows of rows of pews all looking forward and at the back of each others heads. I rebelled and sat on the floor and didn’t sit in a pew. We did explain that we are entering into a "Extreme Makeover – Church Edition" the next several months as we will finish building the coffeeshop, do interior decor and set up changes, get all the sound and lighting installed etc.
This morning I gave a short message from John chapter 20. The choir led some singing, there was Maxwell doing a rap (I don’t know what it is formally called, just a beat going and his voice) on Jesus, Molly read a wonderful poem she wrote on why she as a new believer loves Jesus. It was a full day and I now have to get used to three worship gatherings every Sunday. So I am tired, but it was a Jesus-honoring weekend I believe from everything that the people of the church did and as we had the first weekend down there at the new building. So many people helped out getting things ready, and I am always honored to be serving with such dedicated people and staff. I heard Robert Namba was hanging signs around the buildings until 4 AM so they would all be up for the morning.
After we put Katie and Claire to bed in a few minutes, Becky and I will be watching the Chronicles of Narnia movie. We haven’t seen it yet, so we shall settle in and watch it on Easter Sunday night and most likely I will fall asleep on the couch as I watch it and have to rewatch it later.