Risen Hope!

It been a few years, but we are going to have Pastor Dale White narrate the resurrection as we enjoy an Easter morning passion play at 11:00 am in the Randy and Rod ReCreation center.  This is a historic moment of faith you won’t want to miss.  We need you and your friends to help us pack out this splendid auditorium that was designed for theater and to accommodate a large number of people.  Join us as our church family gathers a new momentum for a new start in Easter 2017.

Happy Holy Week,

It almost sounds a bit funny to say “Happy”, but it is true.  One fruit of the Spirit is Joy, and are we ever experiencing joy! We are having fun this Easter watching God move mightily in our presence as we experience springtime in Washington Cathedral. (Or using other terminology, experiencing “revival” in our church.)   Last week Sally Jo Holmes and Marilyn Biggs had to be just overjoyed as they led our prayer wave for this Easter. Most of us signed up to pray 10 minutes a day for the last few weeks and then on the Friday night before Palm Sunday, we began our 24 hours of prayer for renewal in our church and community. I can’t express how it felt to have tears streaming down my cheeks at each of the Palm Sunday worship services, as hundreds of people came to the cross to dedicate or re-dedicate their lives to Christ.  I just wish I could have seen the face of our two prayer captains in those precious moments. I could, however, see the face of Pastor Becca after delivering a soul-filled message. This had to be have been the greatest response to a message she has ever seen in her ministry career.  After those Palm Sunday services, there was just a joy in our church as we met new friends – laughed and visited. Later, on Tuesday at our staff meeting, when Pastor Jackie shared with us the touching response of those who wanted to meet with a pastor a spontaneous cheer rose up.  And that was just the start of Holy Week.

Pastor Rex and his team have an awesome Good Friday service planned in the beautiful Spirit Falls Sanctuary in front of the waterfall and the three crosses.  The flow of the service, the moment of communion, the praise music and the message – I can’t wait to see what God has in mind for us on Good Friday.  Our youth pastor Josh and I were sharing about the cross as he prepared for the Wednesday night youth group and we both teared up discussing that holy moment.  Our prayer together after our meeting was such a joy-filled experience.

Saturday at 4 pm there will be a Easter egg hunt in the recreation center pool.  How cool is that! The kids never forget it and it is back by popular demand. After our big 11:00 Easter Service on Sunday, there will be a huge Easter egg hunt on the beautiful grassy hill with a view of the whole valley.  Mark Thompson, the famed ventriloquist, will be there. Spread the word and bring friends to either or both of these one-of-a-kind events.

And who doesn’t love Pastor Linda’s enthusiasm at the Sunrise Service in Spirit Falls at 7:00 AM?  What a way to start off the greatest Easter of our lives. The music will be beautiful, with our very own young soprano, Dani Burke, closing out the service. (I know sunrise is at 6:17 am, but in the Puget Sound area the sun is rising off and on until 7.) You’ll enjoy the birds, the wildlife, the light off the flowers and the waterfall. We have seen, ducks, geese, a bald Eagle, a red-tailed hawk and doves, who all join us for this tremendous moment.

Someone in the staff meeting was teasing Pastor David about his cooking and Pastor Josh took exception to it saying, “Hey I’ve been eating his cooking at church since I was a baby.”  Our beloved Single’s Pastor is working hard to prepare an Easter breakfast for the community. On the menu are delicious pancakes, bacon, eggs, sausage, potatoes and juice.  It will be served from 8:00 am to 1O:30am.  What a great event to bring your neighbors to.

The featured event of the entire Easter weekend is happening at 11:00am in the Randy & Rod ReCreation Center. We have canceled all the other regularly scheduled services in order to bring our entire church together for one amazing moment of renewal. You will experience the Easter story first hand — from Jesus being removed from the cross, portrayed by our amazing actors in this kid-friendly presentation, to his resurrection from the Garden tomb, originally designed by a Hollywood director.  The actor playing Jesus is our own Raffael, whose Christ-like enthusiasm is spreading throughout our church. Pastor Rhonda and the choir will be at an all-time high as they sing Easter hymns. I will have a short, positive Easter message that I promise you will be the most inspirational I have ever delivered.   Our worship leader, Eliot Stone is bringing together a peak performance by our worship team.  He has even recruited his dad (a famed guitarist) to join him.  The praise itself will be so authentic it will express the cry of your heart.  They will all be joined at the end by children choirs, teen choir in a moment so wonderful that it will impact the rest of your life.

I have been going door-to-door inviting people to our church this Easter and icing my knees at night. I have had so many amazing Godly experiences.  But today I went to get my hair cut and they asked me if I had any plans for Easter. I basically told them just what I have told you.  My stylist, who is new to our country from Vietnam, told me his testimony with enthusiasm. Coming from a background of no faith, he prayed to Jesus that he could get his family and himself out of Vietnam and after being stabbed in the back he promised while in the hospital that he would find a church for his wife and children.  He said, “Pastor your inviting me to church is an answer to prayer of several years.”  Well the rest of the barber shop asked me what the meaning of Easter was and I got to do a practice run on my sermon only with questions and answers. It must have been okay because everyone there committed to come to church this Easter.

I’m thinking about just getting my hair cut all day rather than going door to door. It was a lot more fruitful and my knees don’t hurt as much.  But, unfortunately, I don’t have that much hair.

I dare you. Surprise us by your attendance this Easter. I have given my life to building this great caring network and your presence at that 11 am service means more to me than you will ever know.  I can only imagine what it will mean to your family and to God himself as we all join together in this moment of miracles.

Your friend for the rest of my life,

Pastor Tim White

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