Jesus Shall Reign

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The Lord is Risen!

He is Risen Indeed!

Thus goes the traditional Easter greeting, an affirmation of the central tenant of Christianity, the truth of which, were it not true, we would be “of all men, most miserable” as the Apostle Paul noted to the Corinthians.

But this Easter we were not miserable, even if, in Missouri, on the first of April, we had snow to celebrate the resurrection. Instead we rejoiced in God’s good humor.

So today’s post, is clip(s) from the service and service music. A few will be going up later, so check back on this post, and then the residual will be posted in place of the Wednesday hymn music spot.

Delays are due to the time needed for processing the videos locally, and the unusually slow uploads to Youtube.

 

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A Look Ahead: Easter is Not A Memorial Day

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As I write this look ahead post we are in the heart of what Christians call Holy Week. As such I encourage everyone to attend the services available to them. Below I will list the ones relevant to myself and the fellowship I attend. But before I list those, and the other upcoming events, I wanted to reprint the below article from my Pastor, the Rev. Choong-ho Kwon, which he published March 26, 2018 in the Avondale United Methodist Church newsletter.

Easter Is Not A Memorial Day

There was a world-wide mourning for a great preacher in the week my grandmother passed. I read the newspaper article on Rev. Billy Graham’s funeral service when I was on the way to my grandmother’s funeral. He was a great evangelist. He preached all over the world. I heard 1.1 million Christians gathered when he held the Billy Graham
Crusade in Seoul (June, 1973). My father was one of them who heard his powerful message. I don’t mind calling Billy Graham the John Wesley in the 20th century even though their theological perspectives are different. Their passion for Christ impacted billions of people in the world. Both of them delivered the message of new hope and transformation of life in Christ. The main theme of their message didn’t miss the resurrection of Christ. They believed Easter has the power of transformation.

Jesus called ordinary people and made them as his disciples. Even though Jesus was their teacher and minister, their discipleship was not successful. They were stubborn. They were never changed when he was with them. The dramatic change happened after his resurrection. When the disciples experienced the power and hope of God through his
resurrection, they became true disciples. Their lives were transformed. They also changed the world.

Easter is not a memorial day. Church is not a memorial chapel where we remember just what Jesus and his disciples did for us. The church is called to become the body of Christ which continues his ministry of transformation. Easter proclaims that God’s love gives us new hope and changes us. Christians who hear that message can experience that his
love makes an impact on their lives and God is with them in the darkest
valley they walk.

I give thanks to God for another Easter. We’ll celebrate this season of hope together this Sunday. I pray Easter becomes a new beginning of transformation for our church as well as our life.

In Christ,

Choongho Kwon

Maundy Thursday

is today, March 29. Avondale United Methodist Church will have its services at 7:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary.

Good Friday

is March 30. Avondale United Methodist Church is one of the local Methodist churches joining together at North Cross United Methodist Church for a combined service at 7:30 p.m.

Avondale UMC’s annual Easter Egg Hunt

is Saturday, March 31, 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. in Wesley Hall and the Education Wing.

Easter

Is Sunday, April 1. This year Ash Wednesday shared Valentines Day on Feb. 14, and Easter is sharing April Fool’s Day on April 1. A gathering of Northland churches is having a sunrise service at 6:45 a.m. at Bethel United Church of Christ, 4900 NE Parvin Road, KCMO. Avondale UMC will be participating. AUMC will then have worship services at 8:30 and 10:50 a.m., with the latter service including music from the Cathedral Choir and brass ensemble.

Worlds of Fun opens

Worlds of Fun will be opening for the season on April 21.

Songflower Chorale Spring Concert

April 29 the Songflower Chorale will be performing its spring concert, featuring many classic choral works of the past several centuries, along with a recent work by its renowned director Geoff Wilcken, along with three world premiers of choral works composed by music composition students at Kansas University, Lawrence, KS.

 

Please note: If anyone has events they think should be featured on this events list, please send me the information for my consideration and inclusion.

A Look Ahead …

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In this spring of the year (just arriveid), Day 22 of my Sabbatical year, the social calendar seems somewhat slow in the immediate future. So I am going to use this weekly feature to build an event listing, of events I know and think worthy, many of which I am attending, others I won’t be able to attend but still want others to be aware of and attend as they are able.

So here is my start-up of items:

Worlds of Fun Job Fair

The first of three dates for this one is past, with twwo more to come: March 24 and 25, each from noon to 6 p.m. at the park campus, 4545 Worlds of Fun Ave, KCMO Their blurb: Spring hiring is in full swing! Join us at one of our 3 onsite job fairs in March! Everyone who applies, interviews, and gets hired between March 1 and March 11 is entered into a drawing for two FREE Tickets to the P!nk concert at the Sprint Center on March 15, as well as free Worlds of Fun Tickets, free meals in the employee cafeteria, free rides on Ripcord and other great prizes.

Palm Sunday Brunch

Plan to join with your family and friends on March 25 in Wesley Hall of the Avondale United Methodist Church.
The Contemporary Life Sunday School Class will be serving brunch from 9:00 a.m. to 12:45 p.m..  Come before or after Worship Service and enjoy wonderful food and fellowship.
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Avondale UMC’s annual Easter Egg Hunt

is Saturday, March 31, 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. in Wesley Hall and the Education Wing.

Worlds of Fun opens

The job fair of course is a reminder that Worlds of Fun will be opening for the season on April 21

Songflower Chorale Spring Concert

April 29 the Songflower Chorale will be performing its spring concert, featuring many classic choral works of the past several centuries, along with a recent work by its renowned director Geoff Wilcken, along with three world premiers of choral works composed by music composition students at Kansas University, Lawrence, KS.

 

Please note: If anyone has events they think should be featured on this events list, please send me the information for my consideration and inclusion.

The Lord Is Risen!

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HE IS RISEN INDEED!

Such is the traditional Easter Greeting.

Today being Easter, I am taking some time off from my journey through the Hymnbook feature to put up some Easter-themed music.  The first clip is actually from our Maundy Thursday church cantata. My son is the narrator, and the choir sings under the direction of Aaron Redburn and John Livingston. The Cantata had music through Easter, but we stopped with Good Friday music.

Easter services started with a Processional on Hallelujah, a joint effort of the youth chime choir and the adult bell choir. It was an impressive and resounding pealing declaration of the resurrection:

The service also featured the church orchestra, which comes together for special services and celebrations.  Besides accompanying the hymns, they also did an anthem arrangement of Crown Him:

And not to be left out, the cathedral choir closed out the service with a performance of the Hallelujah Chorus:

Interspersed within both services was an excellent sermon by Rev. Kwon on two empty tombs, and how they gave evidence to the Resurrection.

The Lord is Risen!

He is risen Indeed!

A Blast of the Past #19: Easter through the years

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I came across these first couple of Easter pictures from 1998 and thought they were so cute, but I really didn’t have enough with them alone to warrant a blog:

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So I decided to pick out photos from Easter through the years to augment the story. Quite interesting what years we took pictures, what ones we didn’t and the types of pictures that were taken each year.

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The year 1999, seen above, had wonderful outside play shots, and an excellent glamour shot of the ladies of the family in their Easter finery.

The year 2000 added another actor to our Easter pageantry.

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It was also the year when the cutest china doll pictures of Carly were taken.

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There is a blank year in 2001, before we get to the final fashion show in 2002 — with Easter clothes that I sewed myself. The photo quality itself isn’t that great, some of our first digital cameras. This was during my sewing era, that started with my making costumes for the Renaissance Festival.

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After this point we don’t seem to have pictures of Easter finery, but we do manage pictures from several years of the annual Easter egg hunt.

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One year, 2009,  the hunt was even done at our house, as the above photos show:

A couple of years we even got pictures of coloring the eggs, the deviled eggs that are an annual tradition, and the jello eggs that we sometimes make. And with those, I’ll end this photo blog. Plenty more pictures of the egg hunts, but I think this is about enough for now.

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In Praise of the Easter Egg Hunt — and the Easter Bunny

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Yesterday I wrote a post about the Hope of Easter.  In it I talked about having seen Rise of the Guardians for the first time, and how I thought it was a great movie, even if it did take creative liberties with the childhood myths of the “guardians” that were part of the movie plot.

Today, in heading to the family Easter dinner and egg hunt, the son started talking about how the Easter Bunny was actually something pagan, not Christian. That got us into a whole conversation about pagan vs. Christian, about borrowing from paganism, and why.

There are a lot of Christians who are skeptical of the myths, of the Easter Bunny, and Santa, the Tooth Fairy, etc. They think we should teach our kids only the truth, not “lie” to them and make sure they understand the difference between fantasy and reality. I am not one of them.

I believe the distinction between fantasy and reality as stated is misdrawn. And I believe kids can tell the difference between the fantasy and the true story. And that the pleasure of the fantasy contains an important truth that we hide by denying the power of myth.

G.K. Chesterton says the following in Orthodoxy:

Christianity is the only frame which has preserved the pleasure of Paganism. We might fancy some children playing on the flat grassy top of some tall island in the sea. So long as there was a wall round the cliff’s edge they could fling themselves into every frantic game and make the place the noisiest of nurseries. But the walls were knocked down, leaving the naked peril of the precipice. They did not  fall over; but when their friends returned to them they were all huddled in terror in the centre of the island; and their song had ceased.

Yesterday’s blog talked about Hope’s Song, and the true meaning of Easter. Today, I say, when we focus on the true meaning of Easter, and its hope, we get all the pleasure and magic of paganism into the bargain, without any of its nightmare — but we have to start with the truth first for the magic to follow.

So celebrate the truth, and enjoy the magic.

Happy Easter!