Dear Folks,

When you need space and time to talk with a spouse or a child or a friend, have you ever resorted to a long drive to give you a captive audience, buckled up together and travelling 60 miles an hour? Perhaps you were the one who had been strapped in? My wife had an aunt who planned a two-week trip through the Bavarian countryside with her husband of 37 years. Admiring their photos when they returned home, I asked how they had chosen Austria and Germany to visit, and my aunt didn’t miss a beat. “Honey, I just needed a country with highways and rental cars! We could have been anywhere. After four decades of marriage, I had a few things to say, and I needed my husband to just sit there and listen.” After a pause she continued, “Really it was this: Neither one of us had said often enough, ‘I care about you’ and ‘Thank you’ or ‘I’m sorry.’ We’d stopped asking ‘Where does it hurt?’ or sharing ‘I hurt sometimes, too.’ Before it was too late, I wanted to see what shape we were in.” Then smiling, she told me, “So I snapped myself into the driver’s seat, and didn’t let him out for 700 miles!”

A friend told me about a similar experience with his five-year-old son. The boy had misbehaved, so as he sat in his car seat in the back, the father delivered a speech on the way home from school. After the dad had finished, there was a period of silence, and then the boy said, “I hear you daddy, and I’m sorry.” And then he asked, “Daddy, how come you tell me all the things I don’t want to hear, but you never say the words I want you to say?” Amen. I think the kindergartener is telling the story of our lives: so often we get the news we don’t want, but seldom hear the words we long for: “I love you. Where does it hurt? I hurt sometimes, too.”

The news this week has been devastating: a ship losing control, an essential bridge collapsing in seconds, six men filling potholes on the graveyard shift falling to their death… battle lines drawn and redrawn in Israel and Haiti… elected officials fiddling while Kharkiv burns. How many of us put our fingers in our ears, just to keep moving in the morning? Are we forgetting what we need to say about justice and compassion? Do we practice hearing God’s still, small voice, which offers peace as a better, more lasting alternative to war? Do we remember how to do the hard work of listening to each other and ourselves? What do you need to hear?

Sometimes breaking our accustomed patterns helps, and that is what the trio of days from Maundy Thursday through Good Friday and Holy Saturday offer. If you are willing, jump in the car with parishioners and staff this evening, Friday, and Saturday, moving through each liturgy and experience planned for us, to see what Spirit is saying to you and doing for all of us. The trip won’t be the same without you.


Maundy Thursday, March 28 @ 6:30 p.m. Parish Hall – The Last Supper
Join us around a big table in the parish hall with your own brown bag supper, recreating the first Eucharist with bread and wine, sharing experiences of hope and healing from our Lenten journey. Then we’ll walk in silence to the church to strip the altar, an ancient preparation for Good Friday.

Good Friday, March 29
11:00 a.m.
Walk Through Holy Week Designed for children ages 5-11, but appealing to anyone who learns best through stories. Participants will gather in the chapel (entering through the choir room); follow the person with the water jug; sit in on the Last Supper; and walk along with the cross, learning the stories of Holy Week as they go. Children younger than 5 are welcome if attended by an adult.

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Good Friday Liturgy, a poignant service of prayers and silence.

1:15 – 2:30 p.m. History Committee Walk: Join members of our history committee as they lead a walking tour of our church and campus as a way to highlight some of their findings about Redeemer’s relationship with the institution of slavery and the era of Jim Crow. We will gather outside of the chapel to begin our walk. Please wear comfortable shoes!

2:30 – 3:15 p.m. Embodied Prayer & Stations of the Cross: Vivian Campagna & Cristina Paglinauan will lead us through a series of guided meditations, prayer postures and simple, gentle yoga — intertwined with the poetry of Pádraig Ó’Tuama — offering an intuitive and integrative experience of the stations of the cross. No prior yoga experience necessary. You can bring a yoga mat or blanket, or sit in the pews or in a chair.

**Our labyrinth will be set up in the Parish Hall, along with the traditional stations of the cross, for anyone to walk on Friday afternoon between 12-4 p.m.**

Easter Vigil, March 30 @ 7:00 p.m.
We will gather in the church to kindle the Paschal flame and move from darkness to light while telling the story of our salvation history. If you have any bells, tambourines, or noisemakers, please bring them.

Easter, March 31
7:30 a.m.
Chapel – Holy Eucharist, Rite 1

9:00 a.m. Church – Holy Eucharist, Rite 2 with music by the Redeemer Choir, Choir School of Baltimore, brass, and timpani

Easter Egg Hunt follows the 9:00 a.m. service on the day school playground

11:00 a.m. Church – Holy Eucharist, Rite 2 with music by the Redeemer Choir, brass and timpani