April 2, 2021

Dear Prairie Avenue Family,

I write this in the middle of my Good Friday fasting, experiencing hunger pangs that are slight compared to the brutal act of crucifixion, a slow asphyxiation form of death. Breath is literally pressed out of you.

It has been a long time since an in-person Good Friday service has been held at Prairie Avenue. The last Good Friday worship bulletin I found this past week was in 2006. I would like to encourage you to join us in-person at 5 pm today for this meaningful service. You can also join us on Facebook Live in a simulcast.

Last evening we crossed over a milestone into the broadcast history of Prairie Avenue since this pandemic forced so many changes. Our online outreach prior to COVID-19 was posting sermon recordings on our YouTube channel. Now we are familiar with Facebook Live, wix video, OBS, and Worship Extreme editing (or at least I am fluent!). For our Maundy Thursday service last night, we were able to broadcast live from our sanctuary for the first time. I recently reviewed those first, tentative video broadcasts from early in our pandemic experience, and I could not believe how much progress has occurred from those earliest productions to the anticipated Easter celebrations this weekend.

It is Easter. But I feel the stone of COVID-19 being rolled away.

I see more vaccinated (or halfway-vaccinated) people in our pews and places.

We still wear masks. We still cannot fully sing. But we can see the coming joy, the return, the resurrection of our lives to a new sense of being. May this Holy Week be a blessing, and may you participate fully in the good news.

Good Friday, Friday, April 2, 2021, 5 pm
A series of prayer stations will be placed in the sanctuary for this special worship service remembering the betrayal, trial, death, and burial of Jesus. Meaningful readings, music, and participatory actions will be incorporated into this special service. Easter cannot happen without the tragedy of Good Friday.

Easter, Saturday, April 3, 2021, 5 pm
With the addition of Saturday evening worship comes an opportunity to get a "jump" on the Easter celebration. With hymns, songs, scripture, and more, we will discover the tomb is empty, the confusion the disciples experienced, and the unexpected appearance of the resurrected Jesus.

Easter, Sunday, April 4, 2021, 8 am
Gather early on Easter Sunday morning as we sing, share, and celebrate the resurrection. A light continental breakfast will be available.

Easter, Sunday, April 4, 2021, 9:30 am
Gather mid-morning on Easter Sunday as we sing, share, and celebrate the resurrection. A light continental breakfast will be available.

Parking Lot Attendants / Greeters Needed
As we anticipate our "resurrection" in in-person attendance, we need smiling faces and joyful hearts in greeting and security. I need two parking lot attendants to greet our guests and assist them with their entrance. Once service begins, these parking lot attendants will secure all entrances to the building, locking the doors, closing the garage about 15 minutes into the worship services. I would like to have attendants for each service -Saturdays at 5 pm and Sundays at 8 am & 9:30 am. Contact the church office (217-428-3327) if you are interested in helping assist in guest/welcome services.

Music Ensembles To Resume
As we look towards in-person hospitality and activity, we need additional assistants at each of our worship services. I would like to have a music ensemble for each worship service: Saturdays at 5 pm and Sunday mornings at 8 am and 9:30 am. These groups are tentatively called Meadowlands 1, 2, & 3. You will lead the congregation in singing the hymns and leading our expanding list of familiar praise songs and choruses. While the ability to read music is helpful, and holding a musical pitch (no matter what size bucket) is expected, all those willing and able are welcome to join these small ensembles.

See you this weekend,

Blessings to you all,
As a church family, we care for and pray for one another.

As a matter of online privacy, we will only disclose public sympathy to a church friend or family member whose passing has also been publicly disclosed.

If you would like prayer, please submit your prayer request online, and Pastor Jason and prayer team members will pray for you.
Prairie Avenue Christian Church | Website