Easter/Holy Week 2022
Holy Week marks the journey of Jesus and his community of changemakers…as they bring their project of peace to Jerusalem and invite the city to wholeness, justice and new communion.  
 
For the church, Holy Week suggests a shared experience of lovingkindness, prayer and discernment.  We celebrate God’s vision of inclusion and justice on PALM SUNDAY.  We recommit to hands-on service and partnership on MAUNDY THURSDAY.  And we bear witness to God’s passion, and Jesus’ suffering among us on GOOD FRIDAY.
 
This pligrimage leads us, together, to the riverside on HOLY SATURDAY–where we remember our baptismal commitments and rejoice together in the love which death cannot deny.
 
 
And then, with a gathering of old and young, gay and straight, bashful and bold–we gather on EASTER SUNDAY to praise the God whose love rises to claim us and excite us and move us forward in faith and determination!
 
Sacred Ally Quilt Ministry
April 14 to April 20, on exhibit, in the Chapel
 
Designed and stitched by nine NH congregations, these ten quilts bear witness to the last words of George Floyd in 2020–the pain that runs deep in the experience of peoples of color across the country.  They’ll be on exhbit at the Community Church this Holy Week, and offer peoples of faith and conscience an opportunity for reflection, spiritual struggle and new commitment.  A number of our Holy Week activities draw on the injustice captured here, and our determination to be “allies” (or even “accomplices”) in dismantling racism and white supremacy in our generation.
Maundy Thursday / April 14
5:00 pm  WHAT KIND OF ALLIES WILL WE BE? 
               EXPLORING RESISTANCE & JUSTICE IN THE US
               A PANEL DISCUSSION IN THE FELLOWSHIP HALL
 
As we welcome the Sacred Ally Quilt Ministry to Durham, we invite community leaders to share insights and questions around the task before us:
dismantling racism and white supremacy in our generation.  Dave Grishaw-Jones moderates a conversation between Kevin Pajaro-Marinez (Black Lives Matter/Seacoast), Alexis Simpson (Waysmeet at UNH) and Nathan Bourne (St. George’s Episopal Church).  Plan to spend sometime, before or after the panel, walking through the exhibit and experience its call to action and solidarity.
7:00 pm  “WHAT I HAVE DONE TO YOU”: 
                A SERVICE OF COMMUNION & TENEBRAE
 
Our Maundy Thursday worship gathering is simple and spare, yet rippling with profound implications for our life and faith together.  Join Pastor Dave and friends in the Church Parlor, at 7 pm, for a service of communion and footwashing (or handwashing)–as we recall the last night of Jesus’ life, and his joyful gathering  with friends in the Upper Room (John 13)
 
A very simple ritual of hand- or foot-washing will be included (and optional), for those who wish to model the servant ways of Jesus as he modeled them for his friends at that same table.  All ages and all friends are most welcome to join us for this hour of worship.
Good Friday / April 15
2:00 pm  STATIONS OF THE CROSS: 
               WITH THE BLACK HERITAGE TRAIL OF NH
 
We’ve been invited to join the Black Heritage Trail for their Good Friday Virtual Walk this year.  In partnership with St. John’s Church, the walk pairs each of the 14 stations of the cross with 14 trail stories.  The readings are recited, and the story made real, as we virtually walk the stations together.  Pastor Dave is included as one of the leaders in this year’s walk…and all are welcome to register and join. 
 
7:00 pm  STITCH, BREATHE, SPEAK: 
               ART, CONSCIENCE & SOCIAL JUSTICE
               IN THE FELLOWSHIP HALL
 
On Good Friday, we welcome dear friends Dr. Harriet Ward and the Rev. Mark Koyama, collaborators and UCC allies who curate the Sacred Ally Quilt Ministry.  Dr. Ward is a nationally-known activist who serves on the United Church of Christ’s Board of Directors nationally.  Mark Koyama is pastor of the United Church of Jaffrey here in New Hampshire.  Both bring passion and creativity to their faith and commitments.
 
Included in our 7 pm gathering:
 
A screening of “STITCH-BREATHE-SPEAK”–a documentary exploring the creative process and extraordinary impacts of the Quilt Ministry.
 
A prayer time of 9 minutes, 29 minutes–as we bear witness to the period of time police knelt on the neck of George Floyd, killing him, in May 2020.
 
Conversation with Dr. Ward and the Rev. Koyama–aw we consider the role of the arts, and the steps we must travel to dismantle racism and white supremacy in all its forms.
Holy Saturday / April 16
2:00 pm  COMMUNITY CELEBRATION:
                RENEWING BAPTISMAL COMMITMENTS
 
On Saturday, this lovely community of sisters, brothers and siblings — committed to the way of the palms, and the way of the table, and the way of the cross — gathers by the riverside at Jackson’s Landing in Durham.
 
There, with a sprinkling of salty river water, we celebrate our ‘raw, ragged, open’ faith, and renew our commitments to the path of faith and the lovingkindness of Jesus.  Some will step into the river.  Others will choose a simpler ‘sprinkling.’  Others will watch and cheer.
 
Click the GREEN LINK to sign up and let us know you’re interested!
 
 
All are welcome!
Easter Sunday / April 17
OUR EASTER WORSHIP CELEBRATION:
10:00 IN THE SANCTUARY
 
Christ is risen!  Risen indeed!  Alleluia!” 
 
Join a multigenerational community of friends at our single Easter service, as we celebrate the Good News of Resurrection and New Life together.  As we delight in the Spirit’s many gifts, and in our gathering together, we’ll welcome several of our youngest friends into the membership of the church, through the Rite of Confirmation.  Another sign of new life and rebirth in our midst!
 
We’ll be blessed by the joyful leadership of our Chancel Choir, with David Ervin at the helm, and Catherine York wonderful as always on the organ!
 
We’ll do our best to “livestream” this special service too, on Zoom and Facebook live, as usual.