In 2022 we decided to bring our Easter celebration beyond our walls to the residents at Harrison Bay, the new senior living facility in town. The plan was for our congregation to join together with any residents who chose to attend, but Covid restrictions left us scrambling last minute.
In the end, we ended up doing the service for the Harrison Bay folks, hoping some would attend but expecting only a few. A main desire was to bless our dear Bonnie Blair who is a resident there. We ended up with a packed room of nearly 30 people attending the service!
Meanwhile, the other MainStreeters gathered in our living room for a yummy Easter breakfast and a “living room liturgy”, i.e., video service and message I put together for them. All in all, this was a very special Easter and just felt so right in so many ways.
MainStreet Covenant was born a dozen years ago with one of our main hopes being finding creative ways to shine the light of Christ beyond the church walls and into the community. At one of our early rallies in 2010 at the Mound High School auditorium, I riffed on Jesus’ “light under a bowl” image and suggested that the number one bowl that our light gets trapped under is our own church buildings and programs and “come to us” approach.
I think Jesus was beaming with delight this Easter as MainStreet brought a message of hope and songs of praise to a place filled with people in need of reminders of God’s love and His gift of eternal life.
Tears welled up in weary eyes and weeping could be heard in that room as we sang some favorite hymns such as “In the Garden,” “Because He Lives,” and “Amazing Grace.” Bonnie Blair was able to read the Gospel Lesson in the service, which made her day (and ours). I brought a message from Luke 24:1-12 on the role of angels in the Easter story and their role in our lives still today.
Meanwhile at our house on Applegarden Road, kids squirmed and played games and collected candy while parents relaxed on couches and took in my message on the TV. They prayed for the Spirit move through those of us at Harrison Bay and they lived out one of our favorite verses from Acts 2 as “they broke bread in their homes and ate with glad and sincere hearts.” A special shout out to my amazing wife for her gift of hospitality and the yummy breakfast she served.
It was a strange yet beautiful Easter we will not soon forget. Our enthusiastic reception at Harrison Bay has us praying about doing more gatherings there in the future. In a season where fewer people are showing up at MainStreet on Sundays, we’re bringing the gospel of the Kingdom wherever the fish are biting. Our net was full this Easter at Harrison Bay, and so were our hearts.
Watch highlights from my video message and our service at Harrison Bay. And a clip from our Good Friday service at St. Martins.