Rev. Dr. Faith J. Conklin
Sunday, May 16, 2021 at 9:30am
As I write to you, I am about 30,000 feet above Atlanta, GA, and flying home. On Tuesday of this week, I surprised my mom on her birthday with a quick trip to Southport, NC. As with many of you, it's been a long time since I could visit my family in person (Thanksgiving 2019). What a great joy it has been to be able to reconnect for a few days. As life begins to feel a bit more regular, I pray that we never take our gatherings with friends and family for granted.
As the plane soars above the clouds, it feels symbolic of the week we find ourselves in on the Christian calendar. On Thursday, my dad walked into the family room after reading his devotions and shared (in his pastoral voice), "Ascension Day blessings!" Yes, Thursday was Ascension Day, and we will celebrate Ascension Sunday this week. I found a description on umc.org that might help a bit if you are unfamiliar with this special day...
"Forty days after Easter is just another Thursday with many of us in our ordinary weekday routines. The event it celebrates, however, is an important episode in the life of Jesus that the church has regarded highly through the years. Luke tells the story of Jesus' ascension both at the end of his gospel (Luke 24:50-53) and the beginning of his writing about the early church (Acts 1:9-11). Our creeds affirm the Ascension as a central doctrine of the Christian faith. The Apostles' Creed reads, "he ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty." The Nicene Creed similarly states, "he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father." Centuries later, our United Methodist forebear, John Wesley, emphasized the day by including it as one of three non-Sunday holy day observances included in his Sunday Service of the Methodists in North America—a forerunner of our Book of Worship. The other two are Good Friday and Christmas. "You can read more at Why Ascension Day Matters.
This Sunday, we'll be blessed by a special Ascension Day message from our dear friend, Rev. Dr. Faith J. Conklin. I know that she will have an amazing and inspiring message for all of us. We will also be blessed with some wonderful special music this week. I hope you'll join Rev. Faith and me at 9:30 a.m. for Outdoor Worship (or Livestream Worship). We will also have our 10:45 a.m. Prayers and Communion Worship (with Organ) in the Sanctuary.
Grace, Peace, and Saturday Blessings,