As we read in the Gospel of John 20:1–18, Mary Magdalene goes alone to the tomb. Peter and the disciple “whom Jesus loved” go to the tomb after hearing Mary’s witness. Unlike Mary, they do not remain outside the tomb; they return home. But Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. He said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Her encounter with Jesus in the garden qualifies her as the first witness to Jesus’ resurrection. Beyond that, Jesus sends Mary to the other disciples to announce that she has seen the risen Christ.

Belief in resurrection does not come from an empty tomb. Belief in resurrection comes in a restored relationship, and in Mary’s witness: “I have seen the Lord!” Why do we keep telling this story over and over, year after year? We do it to remember not old details but new insights and fresh perspectives to nurture our faith and to grow our relationship with Jesus the risen and living God. Given the commercialization of this day in the secular world, most participants in our group will be aware that this is Easter, but some may not realize that the Easter story is also the story about the Resurrection, the foundational story of our faith.

While some of the youngest members of our group may have not heard the resurrection story before, older children, youth, and adults probably know a combined version from the other gospel accounts and may have questions about what really happened. John’s account of the story offers an opportunity to highlight Mary’s courage and witness. At our time, together we will provide space for the exploration of this story on different levels. We hope that all in our group will experience both the wonder and mystery of this sacred story.

All children and youth are welcome to join us for Bible story time and activities on the 2nd floor after the time of conversation with the pastor. Childcare is available for children 4 and under on the 2nd floor as well.

Palm Sunday was a blast! From the singing and palm parade into the church to the festivities on the great lawn. It was so much fun! We had many visitors and families that stopped by to enjoy the Petting Zoo. Around 30 children from toddlers to eighth graders enjoyed the Egg Hunt. All Easter eggs, even our reserves! went fast. But there were enough for everyone to share. Many thanks to our youth assistants and childcare workers who helped in the stuffing and hiding of the eggs and in providing care and support to our guest and newcomers.