News & Messages

Easter Message 2020

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Dear Friends in Christ,

I find myself drawn this week to stories of Jesus and his disciples in the Upper Room. One image is, of course, that of Maundy Thursday — Jesus’ last meal with them when he took and broke the bread and blessed the cup and gave it his disciples. Like many of you, I have a longing to gather at the Lord’s table and receive the blessed sacrament. There is a hunger inside me to eat the bread and drink the cup.

Coupled with that image is the image of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples and the new commandment he gives, which gives the day its name. “A new mandate I give you, that you love one another as I have loved you.” Across America we see this commandment being lived out in new ways — with acts of social distancing and self-quarantine, the wearing of face masks in public, and countless acts of kindness and graciousness and hospitality. All this reminds us that, for Christians, love is action, love is lived. As the apostle James reminds us, “faith without works is dead.”

But it is the scene in the Upper Room on Easter evening recorded in John’s Gospel that draws me most. “On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you." (John 20:19)

As we stay safer at home, I suspect many of us are wrestling with fear and anxiety as we wonder what might happen next and what the future will look like. There is a desire for things to return to the way they were, but also a knowledge that it will never be the same again. There is a deep feeling of loss and grief as planned events are canceled or changed.

I am sure the disciples were feeling much the same way. They had gone from witnessing miracles and shouts of Hosanna to cries of rejection, Jesus’ crucifixion and death. They were looking for a kingdom, for freedom and liberation, and their hopes were dashed in what could only be viewed as a disaster.

And then into their midst comes Jesus standing among them and saying to them, “Peace be with you.” You know the rest of the story. Their lives were changed. They saw the truth about God, love, and the world clearly. They were given new life. Peter, reflecting on what happened many years later, wrote, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy, we have been born anew by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”

It was not only the disciples who were changed. The whole world was changed as well. It was changed because the disciples having received Christ’s peace heard and heeded his words, “as the Father has sent me, so I send you. Go and make disciples.”

This Easter Jesus comes to us as we are behind doors. My prayer is that each of you will hear his greeting, “Peace be with you,” and that his peace will abide in you as we move through the days and months ahead. May his peace give you grace and confidence to face whatever challenges may come your way.

The Rt. Rev. Steven Andrew Miller

All Diocese Online Worship for Easter Day

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We enjoy seeing all the comments in our livestream worship service, especially comments telling us where you were joining us from! We look forward to seeing you again this week for our special Easter Day worship.

We again invite you to come together as a diocese, as one part of the body of Christ, to worship with us. At 10 am, we will live stream a Liturgy of the Word with a special sermon from Bishop Miller via YouTube and Facebook Live. All of our all diocese liturgies feature officiants, preachers, readers, and musicians from throughout the diocese.

We have scheduled the service to run on both YouTube and Facebook. People report that the picture is clearer when viewed on YouTube.

Please note: These are different links from last week.

We have made a service bulletin for you to follow along at home. Here is the link to the bulletin:

Bulletin for Easter Day

On Sunday morning, click here to view our service via YouTube:

Or you can watch the livestream on our Facebook page:

Parish website administrators, you may embed this link on your websites to directly stream our service there:

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

We look forward to coming together as a diocese to worship and pray with you and celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Please join us. Share these links widely!

For updated information, click here:

Resources for Holy Week at Home

Dear Friends in Christ,

Our Lent like no other now moves this week into a Holy Week like no other. In this issue of E-News, you will find a number of resources to aid in your observance of these most important days in our faith. One of my hopes is that families that are safer at home together will use these as new ways to give depth and meaning to family celebrations. I hope others will use them in part of the many virtual gatherings.

These resources invite us to reflect on the story of God's love poured out in Jesus in new ways. My hope is that a result will be new insights into the depth, meaning, and power of God's love for us shown in the death and resurrection of Jesus.

Please know of my prayers for you at this most challenging time.

Yours in Easter Hope,

The Rt. Rev. Steven Andrew Miller

Resources for holy week at home


Worship & Formation Resource List from The Episcopal Church

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s Word to the Church on Our Theology of Worship

Holy Week at Home from the Episcopal Diocese of Eau Claire

The Triduum Under Quarantine from Virginia Theological Seminary:

    Link to all their resources

Making an Altar at Home

Good Friday Contemplative Service of Scripture and Song from enfleshed

Resources for Families

Godly Play videos:

    The Mystery of Easter

    The Faces of Easter

A Lego Journey through Holy Week from Building Faith

Holy Week at Home Family Practices from Building Faith

Keeping Faith at Home with Children

Stations of the Cross

Stations of the Cross
with Woodcut Images

Stations of the Cross from Episcopal Migration Ministries

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