A pilgrimage is a journey to a holy place – and we will go there as a community of faith this year.

It all begins on Palm Sunday (or Passion Sunday), April 13th, at our 9 and 10:30 AM worship services. We will take our annual “Journey Through Holy Week,” as we trace the footsteps of Jesus from his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, all the way through his placement in the borrowed tomb. We’ll do this through scripture, art, liturgy and music. Our emotions will run the gamut.

We’ll gather in the upper room with Jesus and his disciples on Maundy Thursday, at 7 PM, in our sanctuary. It’s there that we’ll remember Jesus washing the feet of the disciples, and his command for us to do the same. Our Sacred Dance Choir will lead us as they dance to “The Basin and the Towel.” And we’ll share communion in groups of twelve . . . in the upper room.

God’s Friday, or Good Friday, will bring us two opportunities to worship – at noon, at the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation on Locust Street. This is one of the few times Orthodox Easter and Roman Easter line up, so our Orthodox friends have invited us to their church to pray the service of the hours – a service of chanting and liturgy. Then at 7 PM, at St. John’s, our Sacred Dancers and Chancel Choir will lead us deeper into the passion narrative – the story of Jesus’ trial, punishment, suffering and death for the sins of humankind.

Finally, we anticipate arriving at the “holy place” of our spiritual pilgrimage on Easter Sunday, with First Fire service at 6 AM, at our outdoor chapel, overlooking the Bellamy River. This will lead us right into our Sunrise Service, led by our High School Sunday School class, at 6:30 AM, in the sanctuary. Easter Breakfast, served by our United Methodist Men, will take place following the Sunrise Service. There is no charge for the breakfast, but freewill donations are welcome. Everything culminates at our two principle worship services – at 9 and 11 AM (note the later starting time for the second service) – in our sanctuary. Our Chancel Choir and Praise Team have prepared wonderfully uplifting music to lead us, as we proclaim together that “Christ the Lord is Risen Today!”

Do you have friends or family members who don’t have a church home? Are there people in your life who need to hear of the love of Jesus – a love that heals and empowers for faithful living? Please extend an invitation for them to join you for any or all of our spiritual pilgrimage. They will thank you for it!