UMC Cross & Flame

PO Box 217 • 2433 County Route 8 • Minetto, NY 13115-0217 • (315) 343-3465

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Easter Greetings From Pastor Maureen

April 2023

Joyous Easter Greetings, Dear Family, Friends & Neighbors!

The month of April begins with the transition from the season of Lent to Resurrection (Easter) Sunday. Resurrection culminates the solemn time of Holy Week—Palm Sunday through Maundy Thursday, Good Friday & Holy Saturday.

Our Palm Sunday celebration was richly blessed with the Minetto UMC choral presentation of Sanctuary: A Cantata of Hope & Peace, by Joseph Martin.

Directed by Mary Lou Bjorkman, accompanied by Ernest Papay & sung by the Minetto choir, the lyrical pieces of Sanctuary were brilliantly presented. Sanctuary reminded & encouraged us of God’s unfailing love: our place of refuge, God’s sanctuary of grace.

A great big ‘Thank you!’ to Ms. Mary Lou, Mr. Erny & the dedicated choir for their weeks of hard work & preparation for this magnificent musical gift! We love & appreciate you all!

As we commemorate this Holy season, we are reminded that Jesus Christ is alive! He is NOT in the tomb. He is Risen!

When we think of Jesus, God’s beloved Son, willingly sacrificing His life for us, so that we can have full & abundant life in Him, how incomprehensible is His love for us!

How valuable—how precious we are to Him!

Knowing all that Christ has done for us, we celebrate with joy at the empty tomb on Resurrection (Easter) morning. The grave could not hold Him. It was impossible for death to hold Him. Jesus conquered death, hell & the grave. Praise the LORD!

As resurrected people of Christ, we can embrace all that Easter promises to those who believe in Christ.

From Paul’s letter to the church in Rome:

“So now I live with the confidence that there is nothing in the universe with the power to separate us from God’s love. I am convinced that his love will triumph over death, life’s troubles, fallen angels, or dark rulers in the heavens. There is nothing in our present or future circumstances that can weaken his love. There is no power above us or beneath us –no power that could ever be found in the universe that can distance us from God’s passionate love, which is lavished upon us through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One!” (Romans, 8: 38-39 (TPT)

From John’s Gospel: “My sheep recognize my voice. I know them, & they follow me. I give them real & eternal life. They are protected from the Destroyer for good. No one can steal them from out of my hand. The Father who put them under my care is so much greater than the Destroyer & Thief. No one could ever get them away from him. I & the Father are one heart & mind.” John 10: 27-28 (The Message)

“He has removed our sins as far as the east is from the west. The Lord is like a father to his children, tender & compassionate to those who fear him. For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust.” Psalm 103: 12-14 (NLT)

Hebrews 13: 5 “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

John 10: 10 “…I have come so that they may have life & have it in abundance.”

1 Corinthians 15: 57 “But thank God! He gives us victory over sin & death through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

May every Easter blessing be yours, dearly beloved, for we serve a risen Savior!

“He lives, He lives! Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me & talks with me along life’s narrow way.
He lives, He lives, salvation to impart! You ask me how I know He lives, He lives within my heart!”
(Alfred H. Ackley, 1933)

God bless you!
Pastor Maureen