Dear Church,

This upcoming Sunday is our Easter Sunday, one of the two most glorious days of the church calendar, the second being Christmas. It is especially interesting to me to celebrate Easter against the backdrop of this global pandemic. How could there be rejoicing when we can’t even gather together for worship? When all of our support systems have been stripped from us? When we can’t shake one another’s hands? When thousands of people are dying every single day? More than ever, we are asking our God of resurrection, where God is this Easter Sunday.

The season of Lent, which are the 40 days of repentance to prepare Christians for Easter, are a time of reflection and refining and boy, do we feel like we have been through the refiner’s fire these last few weeks. But now, we need to stop and actually reflect more deeply upon this question. How has God been refining us? And what is God making anew through this pandemic? What is God resurrecting in the church and within us? These are the questions that Pastor Bob Rhodes, the Lead Pastor of Pacific Beach United Methodist Church, and I will be exploring in this upcoming Sunday’s joint sermon. That’s right, we will be giving you a joint sermon on this Easter Sunday celebration. Tune in at pbumc.org/live at 9 a.m. on Sunday morning. And hey, if you don’t wear your Sunday’s best to the livestream, don’t worry, I won’t tell.

Enclosed is an envelope for you to give a special Easter offering to the church. This offering is more important than any other year because our finances have been hit by not worshipping in person from week to week. May this gift that you give be a profound symbol of trust that God’s work in the world is just as powerful now as ever before and will continue to be so as we emerge from this time of physical separation. Gathered in one place or not, we will always continue to be the church together. Hallelujah!

In this together,
Rev. Lydia