He has risen!
The three words that changed everything were the words of the angel on that first Easter morning, the first Easter celebration. The most recent Easter celebrations, here at Nativity, were really amazing too and I want to thank everyone who made that happen. We had dozens (hundreds?) of volunteer ministers working throughout the weekend to host our celebrations for thousands of parishoners and guests. On Easter Sunday about 4500 people in four services in six venues (church, chapel, children’s wing, theatre, pavilion and Crowne Plaza) celebrated that he has risen. About 120 joined us at Crowne Plaza, which is the largest gathering yet there.
Usually we have a Monday staff meeting in which we share antidotal “wins” from the weekend. Since we didn’t have that meeting today (the staff is off) I’ll share some of them with you. Five wins that kind of sum up what we were trying to do in our Easter celebration:
-about 8:30am I came across a meeting of the 9am Host Team. I don’t know how many there were, but there were many more than I realized there were. And the meeting wasn’t being led by me or Maria or any of our staff, it was being led by a volunteer ministry leader. And there were several First Serves serving with them.
(Win=parishoners serving and parishoners leading.)
-greeting people coming out of the video venue in the children’s wing, a new family told me it was the best Easter celebration they had ever attended.
(Win=video venues work.)
-kids literally shouting with excitement as the TimeTravelers program was announced.
(Win = children excited about being in Church means parents excited about being in church)
-a lady after the noon service saying, “I don’t want to leave.”
(Win = irresistible environment)
-a woman who brought her adult unchurched son who said, “She told me I’d like it and I did.”
(Win = partnering with parishoners to make invitations to church)
-a letter from a new comer to our church: “I could go on and on about how grateful I am to you and your team for injecting life, purpose and meaning into my family.”
(Win = life change changes lives and honors God)
Thanks again to our incredible volunteer ministers and leaders.
And all the thanks in the world to the very best staff any pastor could ever have. Happy Easter.