The Season of Easter
The word Easter is an adaptation of the Old English Ēastre—the archaic Germanic goddess of spring and dawn. Feasts held in her honor were celebrated on the spring equinox and ancient Anglo-Saxons named a month in her honor, Ēostur-monath—equivalent to our modern month of April.
The original name for Easter was Pascha, a Hebrew word for Passover. The Old Testament tells us how God passed over the houses of the faithful, delivering them from the plagues sent upon their Egyptian oppressors. The New Testament reveals the perfect Passover, Jesus who delivered the world from sin, suffering, and death.
Easter is the oldest Christian festival. Jesus was raised from the dead on a Sunday. Each Sunday thereafter was celebrated as a little Easter. Eventually, the day of worship changed from the Sabbath (Saturday) to the Lord’s Day (Sunday). The time for celebrating Easter was set by the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D. The date of Easter changes because the observance coincides with the spring equinox. Easter always falls on the first Sunday after the full moon on or after the first day of spring except if the full moon is Sunday—then Easter is celebrated on the following Sunday. The appropriate color for altar paraments liturgical vestments is white—signifying purity, hope, and celebration.
If you have a family member visiting at Easter or if you know of a friend or relative who is spiritually searching—you may be the one that leads them to Christ. Please pray for them and invite them to attend church with you on Easter Sunday. Christ the Lord is risen indeed!
Palm Sunday: Sunday, March 29th - 8:45 am and 11:15 am services
Palm Sunday commemorates Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem after his three-year ministry of preaching, teaching and healing in the regions of Galilee and Judea. Jubilant crowds celebrated Jesus’ arrival by waving palm branches and shouting praises to God. Even today, we still hand out palm branches to help us celebrate this special occasion. On Palm Sunday, the Senior Choir will present a cantata entitled, “Amazing Grace My Chains are Gone.” The full cantata will be offered to the Lord and for our inspiration at the 11:15 am service. Several selections from the cantata will also be offered at the 8:45 am service.
Holy Thursday Service: April 2nd, 7:30 pm (in the sanctuary)
The Holy Thursday service commemorates the Passover meal that Jesus shared with his disciples on the night that he was betrayed. The service is usually quiet and reflective as we contemplate Jesus’ sacrifice for us. The title of this year’s dramatic presentation by the men is, “Into Your Hands I Commend My Spirit.” The inner conflicts of men who were at the scene of the crucifixion will come alive against the backdrop of Jesus’ seven last words. Communion will be served in the pews.
Good Friday Men’s Breakfast: Friday, April 3rd, 7:00 am
All men and boys are invited to join us for our traditional trip to Chews United Methodist Church located at 319 Black Horse Pike Glendora, NJ 08029. Breakfast starts at 7:00 am sharp, and we will need to arrive early! You may contact Russ Fuscia to reserve your spot, and/or if you need a ride.
Good Friday Women’s Breakfast; April 3, 2015, 9 am-11 am
Come join Sicklerville United Methodist Sisters in Faith for a wonderful breakfast and some fellowship while we listen to Arlita Winston share her story. She grew up during WWII as the child of missionaries serving in Sumatra. She later became a missionary, serving in Hong Kong and her outreach in America. The event will take place at Trump National Golf Course in Pine Hill and includes a buffet breakfast with musical entertainment. The cost is a donation of $22.00. If you have any questions, or would like a ticket, contact Shirley Jennings at 856-629-4196 – if no answer, leave a message.
Ecumenical Good Friday Service: April 3rd, 12:00 pm – 3 pm
The Ecumenical Good Friday service will be held at the First United Methodist Church in Williamstown. The service is open to the public, and a number of local clergy and choirs will participate. The service recalls the crucifixion of Jesus, reflects our gratitude for the grace and mercy of God, and anticipates God’s promise of new life through Jesus Christ. This year’s theme will center around Seven Words at the Cross. Pastor Jeff will lead us in “A Word of Forgiveness” from 12:30 pm to 12:55 pm.
Easter Sunday: April 5, 2015
Easter is the joy-filled celebration of Jesus’ resurrection and his victory over sin and death. The following opportunities will help us celebrate
- Easter Sunrise Service: 6:00 am (meet in Faith Hall and process to Calvary)
- Easter Breakfast: Following the Sunrise Service (about 6:30 am) in Faith Hall
- Easter Sunday Services: 8:45 am & 11:15 am
- Sunday School for All Ages: 10:00 am in Faith Hall