April 2023: R is for Resurrection (and Recycle!)

Dear friends,

Resurrection is messy business. However you might understand the Easter story — metaphor, miracle, mystery… or a little bit of each? — the process of coming back to life is a messy one.

The gospel accounts include mistaken identities (is that Jesus, or the gardener?), unhealed wounds (just ask doubting Thomas), and an impromptu picnic on the beach (resurrection also apparently makes you hungry).

Think of a time you felt life force returning after deep grief or personal challenge. It was certainly not a tidy, linear experience. The mud and volatility of March speak to resurrection’s ebb and flow: Sunshine and crocuses one day! Rain and biting wind the next. But, slowly, and yes, sometimes miraculously… new life steadily takes root.

This week, our church(es) will be bustling with preparations for both Holy Week (the last week of Lent, from Palm Sunday through Easter), as well as for the rebirth of a beloved First Parish tradition: the first May Market in 4 years, at long last!  Folks are already hard at work, getting hands dirty, moving up and out what’s old, to make it new again. For the first time since the “before times,” Tucker and crew (maybe you?) will once again help transfigure recycling into treasure.

Faith communities like ours have long been experts in resurrection-as-creative-recycling. We cycle through the calendars of our lives together, year by year, revisiting ancient stories and traditions inherited from spiritual ancestors, applying old prisms to our particular season and circumstances, looking for new light and truth to break forth. Churches have come back to life again and again for new generations, and we’re in a bit of a season of post-Covid rejuvenation ourselves, experimenting with new rhythms and possibilities. We rejoice in new (and renewed!) faces in our midst and look forward to welcoming a remarkable group of new members on Easter.

Stewardship (shoutout to this year’s amazing team) and special Outreach offerings (like this year’s Easter offering to benefit Earthquake Relief in Syria and Turkey) are certainly collective opportunities for creative recycling of resources. When we give of our time and treasure together, in community, there’s a transformative power that resembles resurrection alchemy: we find new life breathed into our dollars and hours when we give them away.

We hope you’ll consider all the new life taking root this spring here at the First Parish, and find where your soul might benefit from some fresh, resurrection spirit: from Holy Week (don’t miss all the extraordinary music and lively egg-hunt!); to Bill McKibben’s sure-to-be prophetic presence this Sun (4/2); to a series of earth-centered spring events sponsored by FPL Green (like a Spring Fest and “Green Commute” Sunday (4/30), with Bicycle Blessing and May Pole!), or the rescheduled Spring Retreat (4/29) with yoga, writing, and sound bath.

May you receive the many messy, miraculous blessings of this resurrection season!

See you soon,
Kit and Nate

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