Easter is coming soon, and spring is definitely in the air. There is a spirit of renewal stirring around and among us. We are grateful for the winter rains that nourished the earth and brought so much green to life in the hills around us. Those other colors aren’t bad either! This time of Easter really does lift us. It reminds us that even in our most difficult days, the grace of God is still at work, bringing new life and hope out of death. Christ’s tomb lies open. The grave is empty, and he invites us into a future that is still unfolding in wonder, joy and hope.
Recently a number of you have asked when we might have a new church directory, to help us get to know some of the new friends who have become part of our church family. Even those of us who’ve been around a while would find it useful! One of the challenges of producing a church directory is that it is out of date virtually as soon as it goes to print. People’s lives are ever in motion, and addresses, phone numbers and even family members change all the time!
Rachel Stam, who led our Family Ministries program for the last 3 1/2 years, helped find an answer that we hope will work for years to come. Later this month we will launch an on-line church directory, accessible through our church’s web site – www.rhumc.org. You can read about it a little further on, but I wanted to add my own encouragement about the project.
Each family will have its own user i.d. and password, so that you can edit your address or other information whenever it changes. The directory will not be publicly available and is only for non-commercial use by our congregation.
Once you receive the initial invitation you will be able to access the directory (and your personal profile). You can upload a family photo, as well as individual photos if you like. It will give all of us the opportunity to see, and be seen by, other members of our growing congregation. With three worship services each Sunday, none of us has the chance to know everyone who calls RHUMC our church home. But this will bring us closer!
I am grateful for Rachel’s leadership. Her warmth and grace have added to our life together. From Parents Night Out programs, the Women’s Retreat, Bible study and grief programs, evenings at the Hollywood Bowl, she has helped lead our congregation in generous, hopeful ways. We are grateful that she, Adam, Katie and Caleb will be with us over the coming months, as their move to Texas unfolds.
The season of Lent finds its completion in the events of Holy Week and Easter. They reveal the breadth and depth of God’s love. In word and song, in story and symbol, we are invited to experience once more the excitement and hope, the discouragement and despair that marked those days, so that we may discover the new life waiting for us.
Grace and peace,