Can’t Touch This?

Sometimes life just falls apart.  Who and what will get you through?  This week we are looking at the resurrection of Jesus as found in John 20:1-18.  In John’s account, we have a solitary woman coming to the tomb with a heavy heart.  For Mary, her life had fallen apart in ways she couldn’t begin to describe.  In a week’s time she had gone from the parade of Palm Sunday to the crucifixion on Friday and now to the tomb to anoint the dead body of her friend and teacher Jesus.  It is amazing how quickly our lives can change.  She was leaning on her tradition to help her take next steps.  It was her tradition that brought her to the tomb.  With clouded eyes and a determination to follow a prescribed ritual, she nearly missed her biggest blessing.  What blessing might God be unfolding before you?  How will you make sure you can see it, especially if your heart is heavy and your life taking unimaginable plot twists?  Be sure to worship at one of our worship services this weekend and especially on Sunday where we’ll look for next steps and unfolding blessings, even when our lives are falling apart!

As our times of worship draw near, please consider the following opportunities as invitations from God to you:

  1. Maundy Thursday (April 13) Upper Room Drama at 7 PM: Actors from Sunrise Men’s Ministry will act out the events that unfolded the night before Jesus was crucified.  You will be a witness to the conversation and events of the Upper Room and you will be invited to come forward and receive Holy Communion with the Disciples.
  2. Good Friday (April 14) Reflection from 6:30-8:30 PM. Join us for this holy contemplative time where Sunrisers are invited to come and go as their schedules and worship needs dictate.  This will be a powerful, quiet and meditative experience designed to bring you to the foot of Jesus’ cross.
  3. Holy Saturday (April 15) ReFuel and service of Tenebrae at 5:05 PM will lead worshippers in confession of sin and a closer relationship with our crucified Lord.
  4. Easter (April 16) Sunrise Service at Douglas Chapel AMEZ Church at 6:30 AM with the Holly Springs community (breakfast to follow worship). Everyone is invited (201 Douglas St. Holly Springs, NC).  The service will be led by clergy from churches in and near Holly Springs.  Pastor Tom will be offering the invocation at the start of the service.
  5. Bring fresh flowers for the cross on Easter Sunday. The church will have a cross with wire for you to add flowers on Easter morning.  Feel free to bring flowers from your yard to decorate the cross before each of our regular services at 8:30 and 11 AM on Easter Sunday.  The decorated cross also makes a great backdrop for family photos (and we’ll have someone available to help you get your picture with your camera or smartphone).
  6. Join the Choir for one week only: The Choir will be singing the Hallelujah Chorus at the 11:00 am service on Easter Sunday!  We know many people have sung this majestic piece either growing up, in another church, or in a community choir – and we would love to have you join us.  Just come up at the appropriate time in the service (when prompted).  For those wishing a refresher rehearsal, please be in the sanctuary about 10:30 for a brief run-through with regular choir members.
  7. Are you Ready to grow Spiritually and see God do amazing things through you? Are you a “people person” who loves helping others know Christ?  Are you open to perhaps leading a Life Group next fall?  Contact Ann Lawton for more information (alawton@mysunrise.org).
  8. We are going back to Haiti! Sunrise is sending a mission team back to Haiti this summer.  You may not be able to go in person but you can show the love of Christ for the people of Haiti by supporting our Yard and Bake Sale April 29.  Yard sale donations, including clothes, are needed and appreciated.  We are also in need of bake sale items including cakes and cookies.  Please drop off yard and bake sale items between 2:00-9:00 pm Friday April 28.  If you need to drop off yard sale items in advance, please contact Matt Raymondi at 919-608-7560 or mraymondi@att.net.  He has graciously offered to store items in his garage.  If you have questions about the Bake Sale please contact Paige Mileski at 919-267-5634 or mileski1@mac.com.
  9. Men’s BBQ on May 12th! Join the Men of Sunrise Church as we offer delicious Eastern NC style pork BBQ plates with all the “fixin’s” plus dessert for just $9 (kids plates available for $4 with optional hot dog & chips).  All proceeds benefit mission and ministry.  Eat in or take-out from 11 AM until 7 PM.  More information is coming.  Helpers will be needed in a variety of roles.  To volunteer to get the latest updates please contact James Bingham (jamesbingham62@gmail.com). Be sure also to c heck out our Facebook event for the BBQ and either click “like” or tell us you’re coming.  With 100 RSVP’s we will begin to get a lot more exposure to people in Holly Springs through Facebook!  https://www.facebook.com/events/157616798098047/.
  10. Join the movement to end hunger! Sunrise will once again host a Rise Against Hunger (formerly Stop Hunger Now) meal packaging event on Saturday, May 13, 2017 from 10:00am to 12:00pm.  Sunrise has been partnering with Rise Against Hunger/ Stop Hunger Now since 2009 to fight world hunger. Each Spring, we package approximately 10,000 meals to be sent to areas of need. Last year, our meals went to impoverished children at schools in Uganda.  This year, thanks to a generous donation from the Sunrise Youth, we will be packaging approximately 12,100 meals!!  There is no cost to participate, it is fully funded by the Missions Committee (and the Youth). This event is also open to all ages! A webpage has been created for our event at http://events.stophungernow.org/MySunrise. Registration is MANDATORY for all participants. If you have any questions, please contact Ryan Brummeyer at ryanbrummeyer@gmail.com.

With whom will you share this message?  Evangelism can be as simple as a forwarded email and an invitation to worship together this weekend!

Happy Easter!

Tom Newman, pastor