Old South Haven Presbyterian Church, Brookhaven, NY April 8, 2020 7:30 PM
Dear Members and Friends of Old South Haven Church,
We had a lovely virtual Palm Sunday Service this past Sunday and all who participated were pleased with it. Our Easter Sunday Service will again be virtual and the information for joining the service is below Pastor Ralph's letter, which is attached and included below.
We look forward to your participation in our Easter Service and let me take this opportunity to wish you a Happy Easter in these troubled times. See below for instructions for connecting to the Easter Service.
Letter from Rev Ralph Wright
April 9, 2020
Dear Members and Friends of Old South Haven Church
As one reads this letter we are approaching the end of Holy Week. The events of Palm Sunday and the victorious entry of Jesus riding on a donkey into Jerusalem is behind us. We are now focusing in on the events of Holy Thursday, the commemoration of the Last Supper in which Jesus transformed the Passover meal into a new rite namely that of Holy Communion. The Bread and the wine became the center piece of our Christian faith, namely the Sacrament of the Eucharist. This is my body broken for you, take eat, do this in remembrance of me….this is the blood of the new covenant, drink ye all of it.
Following the meal in the Upper Room, Jesus and the disciples went up to the Mount of Olives to pray, and then our Lord was arrested and taken away to jail. An event which struck fear into all the disciples. The next day he was tried and found guilty by the Sanhedrin, brought before Pontius Pilate who then condemned him to death on the cross. After three hours on the cross he died, was taken down and placed in the tomb provided by Joseph of Arimethea.
On the third day we hear these words, "He Is Risen. He is Risen Indeed!" Easter Sunday…a great day of celebration…the day of resurrection. The day of the empty tomb. The most holy of holy days of the church year. Though the disciples at first were skeptical, they then became great believers, shouting out "We have seen the Lord!" From that time on the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ spread around the world transforming the way we pray, the way we think and the way we believe. Down through the centuries we have celebrated the Resurrection of our Lord.
The public celebrations of Easter have evolved and become a major part of our life. This year however we are stopped short by the Corona Virus. Churches are closed and we have stay at home and distancing rules. If we look back in history we can see that this is not the first time Easter celebrations have been cancelled. Plagues have been apart of our history, not only in Biblical times but also through the past 2,000 years.
In 1633 the Bavarian village of Oberammergau, Germany ravaged by a pandemic made a pledge to God. One in four people are believed to have died. Whole families were gone. Then villagers stood before a cross and pledge to God that if he spared those who remained, they would perform the Passion Play – enacting Jesus' life, death and resurrection – every 10th year forever after. For nearly four centuries, with a cast of over 1,000 villagers, the people of Oberammergau kept their promise. With the exception of two wars, they celebrated their salvation from one pandemic – until another pandemic forced them to break it this year...the Corona Virus. This year's summer presentations in the 4,500 seat open air theater will take place in 2022.
Already, the Corona Virus has given new significance to the words Frederik May, who was to play Jesus, had been rehearsing. When Jesus addresses the people of Jerusalem, he talks about how "poverty and disease
are carrying you off." In two years, when the pandemic has taken its toll and the Passion Play is resurrected, Mr. Mayer said, "that sentence will have a whole different meaning."
We too look at life a lot differently today than a couple of months ago, I again encourage you to spend time to follow in the steps of Jesus as he walked through the events of Holy Week. We may not be able to leave our homes and come to church, but we can with the aid of modern communications walk the road of faith together.
I invite you again to read in a daily manner the Gospel of Matthew beginning with chapter 21 and follow the events of Holy Week. I also invite you this Sunday at 10 a.m. to be with us via the internet. You can follow the service in this Sunday's bulletin. Our faith will see us through this time of upheaval and fear. Please reach out to one another by telephone to share the Christian Fellowship we are so used to enjoy. Please feel free to contact me with your concerns and prayer requests.
UPCOMING EVENTS THAT YOU MAY BE INTERESTED IN:
BELLPORT METHODIST CHURCH
Zoom Conference Call Worship https://zoom.us/j/6312860525 (Meeting ID: 631 286 0525)
Holy Thursday, April 9th, 6:00 pm. A celebration of Jesus' Last Supper through Love Feast and hand washing. After the service there will be a virtual potluck dinner. Please join the service with dinner.
Good Friday, April 10th, 7:00 pm. we gather to remember Jesus' death on the cross as an everlasting example of how God's love for us was literally "to die for."
OLD SOUTH HAVEN CHURCH
EASTER SERVICE: APRIL 12TH AT 9:45 AM. Please go to following link and join. Service will start at 10:00 but we are giving you time to join and get ready.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 242 554 4200
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Meeting ID: 242 554 4200