Alleluia!  Christ is Risen.  The Lord is risen indeed!

Easter is officially here.  Our Alleluia’s are back, our self imposed restrictions lifted! IF we truly followed that path, this day gives us back our “usual” life.  Of course, we can never truly go back.  Every experience, every bit of life, changes us.

Our journey through Lent is designed to help us change course a bit, maybe even jolt us into changing our routines, shifting our focus, helping us alter our course just enough to be, a bit off balance, in hopes that we might find more balance.   I hope, as Easter dawns, you feel that has happened for you.  Some of you joined this diocese in reading People of the Way:Renewing Episcopal Identity by Dwight Zscheile.  I hope it has provided enrichment and even more, ideas and creativity around how we might renew our collective community life as well as our individual lives.

In the course of our time in Lent, I was moved by the book to suggest that every one consider one small thing, one small change you might make, that you could be conscious of, that would move this church toward a new identity, perhaps a rediscovered one.  Many have shared how helpful that challenge was, and some of the “one things” they tried.  As we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, may we celebrate renewal, change, and transformation which at the core of the message and story, is the point.

In the course of Lent we held two Congregational Leader’s Days.  I had quite a few requests for the prayer I read at the end of those days.   And so, it is my very small gift to you, reprinted here.  It comes from a book entitled, “Prayers for the Domestic Church: A Handbook for Worship in the Home” by Edward Hayes.   Blessed Easter to all of you!   +Greg

BLESSED ARE YOU, LORD OUR GOD,
WHO GIVES SPICE TO LIFE WITH CHANGE.

Lord and Source of All Gifts,
we rejoice in the fullness of Your holy generosity.
We thank You especially now
for the gift of change,
that gift of newness
that opens doors closed by habit and routine.
We bless You and thank You as well
for that which is stable and unchanging,
for the ancient and traditional
which give meaning to the new and different.

We thank You, O End of All Longing,
for the capacity for change in our lives,
for without change
there can be no real growth
and no true life.

We are grateful, in this prayer, for those persons
who, through their gifts of excitement and adventure,
have taught us not to fear change,
not to resist the new.
We are thankful for Your Son, Your Sacred Word,
who spoke to us of new wine for new wine skins
and who calls us daily
to a new kingdom
and to a new covenant.

May our hearts be ever-changing,
ever in growth,
as we journey to You, our Mysterious Source,
You who are forever fresh and new
yet forever the same.

Blessed are You, Lord our God,
who gives spice to life with change. Amen

(Composed by Edward Hays. Published in Prayers for the Domestic Church: A Handbook for Worship in the Home)