April weather was fickle as ever with wind and rain interspersed with bright sunshine and a riot of lovely spring blossoms and POLLEN! L O T S of pollen! The daffodils and tulips have waved one last goodbye until next year; flowering cherry and pear have leafed out in their emerald green finery, the Redbuds are wearing their leafy hearts on their sleeves and the sound of birdsong is heard in the land again. Spring is here!
The beginning of the month brought the Faithful Aging Conference to our campus. That event featured keynote programs from Melissa Andrews, CEO, Leading Age Virginia and Hess B. “Doc” Hall, Jr., Director of Older Adult Spiritual Formation Programs, The Upper Room. This initiative is one of less than ten statewide efforts in the U.S. looking toward faith communities to help address the gaps in aging services and promoting a positive quality of life for older adults. The program encourages faith communities to offer opportunities for older adults to remain engaged after retirement, educates faith and lay leaders about services and programs for older adults, caregivers, and persons with dementia, and advocates for aging support programs with faith communities. Growing older is an opportunity to enjoy the wisdom that our years bring, reach out to others who may need a little help as well as just revel in a slower pace. Think about all the opportunities available to you and how you could reach out to others with the love of Christ. Spring’s a good time to begin something new…
Many of our senior adults continue to stay busy and active with Pickleball, the senior adult food delivery ministry, game days and mystery trips as well as civic clubs and community service projects. Incidentally, speaking of Pickleball, keep your eyes peeled for the upcoming Second Annual Pickleball Tournament in June! These people are serious about their game.
April 13th, we joined with twelve local churches for the third year as we walked together on the Way of the Cross through our community. This is a morning we can come together as believers and celebrate faith in Christ by beginning the observance of Holy Week through the reading of Scripture, music and prayer on the Saturday before Palm Sunday. Our walk began at Precious Blood Catholic Church and concluded at Culpeper United Methodist Church; about two hundred folks participated. As Holy Week drew to a close on Friday evening, Pastor Adrian Sledge and the Antioch church family joined us for the Good Friday special service, with Pastor Adrian preaching and the Antioch Church Choir.
Once again we celebrated Easter over 2 days. On Easter Saturday, we welcomed the men and women from the Culpeper Jail and had a wonderful time of worship led by folks from Mountain View, CBC and Maranatha (you can view that service on our youtube channel). We then shared in a wonderful meal provided by Maranatha. Resurrection Sunday was lovely as we celebrated the risen Christ with one service in our sanctuary. He IS risen!
The last weekend of the month brought Touch a Truck – an awesome experience for all ages as we got “up close” to big trucks and equipment! This is becoming one of the most popular spring events in Culpeper. We also held our 2nd concert of our 2019 series with the Rapidan Orchestra and the Madison Choral Society. It was great to hear from local voices and musicians!
At our March Leadership Council meeting, we had a “God moment” during our mission minute when we heard about our free tutoring and praying together. From that moment, we have widened the discussion to our building and community partners, and we are excitedly working together to create “PACT” night starting in August. We will share more details in the coming months – keep praying.