On a beautiful day like this it is easy to think about the growth of spring and the coming blessings of Easter, although given the weather forecast, tomorrow may be a different story – sorry!  Even so, with spring springing and Easter on the horizon, this is also such an incredible time of year to see where God has prepared for us both opportunities to grow ourselves and to bless others here at Rock Church Plaistow.

Leading up to Easter, we have several occasions to gather together and to celebrate new life in Christ.  Starting on April 9th at our regular Sunday morning service times in Plaistow at 9:45 and 11:11, we will celebrate Palm Sunday, the day where we remember Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem.  What a joyful picture and an opportunity to rejoice before heading into some of the more somber days of Holy Week. So come, grab a palm branch, wave it high and shout with us, “Hosanna, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Matthew 21:9).

During Holy Week, we will also offer the following worship opportunities:

·         Maundy Thursday April 13th at 6:30 p.m. at St. Matthews, our Sandown Campus

·         Good Friday, April 14th at 7:00 p.m. at Rock Church Amesbury. 

In addition to all regular Sunday morning service times at each of our Rock Church Campuses on Easter Sunday, we will also offer a Saturday evening service, April 15th at 5:00 p.m. in Plaistow as the first of our powerful and joyous Easter worship experiences celebrating the Resurrection of our Lord. We have invitation cards at each of our campuses with information on all Holy Week worship opportunities and activities so grab a handful and spread the blessings over the next couple of weeks leading up to Easter. 

Also included in our Easter festivities are our Egg Hunts, which are great opportunities to invite and bless families.  On Saturday, April 8th St. Matts will be partnering with the Sandown PTA for an Easter breakfast at the Sandown Town Hall from 8:00 a.m. to noon and at the same time, we will offer a continuous Easter Egg Hunt right next door at St. Matts.  Then the next week on Saturday, April 15th Rock Church will be participating with Plaistow Recreation in an Egg Hunt on the Plaistow Town Hall Grounds.  There will be a Pancake Breakfast at Pollard School ahead of time at 8:00 a.m. and then the Easter Egg Hunt and activities will begin at 10:00 a.m. More information about each of these events is available at www.joyfuleaster.org. We hope you’ll join us for one or both!

At the Egg Hunts and throughout our Easter activities we are hoping that we also may be able to share with the families about our Empowered Parenting event the next weekend on April 22nd from 9:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. in Plaistow.  This event is a great opportunity for families to gain better family dynamics through learning about God’s design for raising up the next generation. Feel free to share with any friends or family that may be interested in this event and registration is now open!  [http://www.rock-church.org/register-1/]

Speaking of the new life of spring, can you believe that the time is coming soon for planting flowers and gardens?? Last year, our Rock Church family had a 20’ x 20’ plot at the first Plaistow Community Garden located at Terra Farms on Main Street in Plaistow.  Although the well ran dry in the middle of the season due to the extreme drought conditions, the fruits of our labors were many fresh tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and a variety of squashes that we donated to local food pantries and blessed many families. If we are to do this again this year we would need an expanded team of volunteers to plant, maintain, prune, weed and harvest on a rotating basis. If you are interested in being a part of this gardening ministry, please contact me ASAP at either jon@rock-church.org or 603-234-4721 so that we may decide whether we as a church family want to commit to a garden plot at the Plaistow Community Garden again this year.

Lastly, you may have heard that this past weekend we held a Honduras mission update.  There we shared the work that we have recently completed and the next projects and needs we are currently working on. Being part of the mission team is an awesome opportunity to grow together and to grow together and encourage one another and those we go to serve. This year, our mission team includes not only those who are called to go and join an “AWAY TEAM,” but we also have created a Honduras Mission “HOME TEAM” as well.  This Home Team will work on the ground here to assist with logistics, help develop teachings and programs for the kids, organize projects and just generally support, encourage and pray with and for our Away Team members to make our mission trips as effective and impactful as possible. If you are interested in joining either our Home Team or just finding out more about how you can support our Honduras Mission, please don’t hesitate to contact me or Pastor Rachel at rachel@rock-church.org.  

I look forward to seeing you this weekend as we wrap up our real and raw teaching series on the Book of James.  I hope you are as excited as I am to celebrate and share the story of Easter with each other and our community. Let's go, grow & bless!