Blooms for Easter: Apr 10th - 16th

This Week & Beyond...

Hey Everyone, happy Easter!!

Exciting stuff this week!  We are preparing to celebrate the death & resurrection of our Saviour and, thanks to Lisa, will be having a couple different things happening on Sunday morning.

In addition to the regular worship team, a group of about 25 children will be joining us as a choir! I'm really looking forward to this!  The children have been practicing at home for that last couple weeks, and, the plan is to have them join us in choruses and whatever else make come up during our practice this Thursday.  If you think about it, please remember to pray for us and them as we come together to prepare for Sunday.  

As well, a small drama team will be performing a skit of which I know absolutely nothing about! lol  In any case, I'm super pumped that drama will be a part of Sunday.  Like music and the art ministry, the Lord has gifted us with arts to glorify his name.  It will be great to see this come to life on Sunday.

April Team Event
Just a quick reminder about our team event coming up on April 30th @ 7pm.  This month we will be returning to our worship night at the Calvary House.  A couple things I'd like you to think about:
1)  Are you coming!?  Please make sure to save the date and respond on planning centre accordingly.
2)  Is there someone you think would like to come?  I know it's a small place, however, it would be great to have it packed, and, even have people in the hallway and eating area.  Worshipping, praying, pressing into the Lord!

The Lord has been impressing on me a need for us to pray and praise!  This is an invitation to stoke the fire, fan the flame, and trust the Lord to ignite a deeper passion for Jesus at Calvary!  We won't grow without Him, we won't be changed without Him, we won't see healing without Him, we won't 'anything' without Him.

Calvary is blessed!!
I've heard it said many times, "Calvary is blessed with great P&W!!".  Well firstly, if you haven't heard this, please know, it's been said many times!!  Why do I emphasize that?  Because you're a part of it!  You're serving, you're giving back to the Lord what He's so graciously given you, contributing to Spirit led worship in which many are blessed.  Secondly, as I pondered this today, I was amazed to realize what we all have!
- 4 anointed worship leaders
- 5 gifted piano players (Michelle, Elleah, Cassie, Corinne, Lindsay)
- 4 guys capable of drumming the daylights out of our small chapel (Jerms, Greg, Owen, Darian)
- 6 groovy bass players (Darian, Andrew, Sheldon, Eryn, myself, Tim)
- 2 highly smooth electrical guitars masters (Nyk, Kelsey)
- 1 amazing violinist (Brenda B)
- more than a handful of soulful singers (Lisa, Michelle, Corinne, Roxy, Brenda, Ton-Loc, etc....)
- 2 technical sound wizards (Steven, Tim)
- 4 lyrical projection technicians (Adam, Ken, Ezra, Julianna)
- organ, stand-up bass, harmonica, etc.... :)

And it really doesn't just stop there!  Some of you could still be put in other categories than I mentioned.  I mean, wow, just wow!  From the bottom of my heart, until you get sick of hearing it, thank you for serving at Calvary!!  It is more than a pleasure to go into battle with each and every one of you on a weekly basis!!

Blessings!!
Gregory...

Devotional...

Blooms for Easter
by Carlene Archer, Chatsworth, Georgia

Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. (1 Corinthians 12:27)

Back in the season of my life when a thick, cream-colored invitation in the mail meant friends getting married (not their offspring graduating high school!), I received a wedding invitation with an unusual note at the bottom: "Kelly and Steve have requested that each of their wedding guests bring a single flower to the ceremony."

A single flower? Were they that strapped for money? How could you make bouquets out of mismatched flowers, anyway? What was up with this? I read and re-read the unusual request.

With much anticipation I walked up to the sanctuary door that beautiful late-spring day. I carried both my bright pink carnation and my husband's choice of a white carnation in hand. The usher said, "Oh, I'll take those," as he met us at the door.

When we walked into the sanctuary, the huge circle of flowers that surrounded the center of the platform almost took my breath away with its beauty: daisies, roses, birds of paradise, gladiolas, carnations. It was a floral rainbow; fuschia, crimson, canary yellow, all offset by the white flowers sprinkled among the crayon box of colored ones, and all of them set against a background of green stems and leaves.

The ceremony began, and the pastor led Kelly and Steve carefully to the center of the circle of flowers. There they pledged their love and vows before God and all present.

But why perform this most important part of the ceremony standing in the midst of that beautiful circle of blooms? It was pretty, yes... but I knew Kelly and Steve. Those flowers were not simply to make the setting prettier.

At the end of the ceremony, the pastor paused then explained, "Kelly and Steve asked each of you to bring a single flower to symbolize the effect your love and relationship with them has had on their lives. The flowers surrounding them represent each of you. Each flower's beauty shines individually, but shines much brighter together as a whole. They wanted to thank you for being a part of their lives."

Wow! It amazed me how much beauty there was in that circle of flowers. Just as the circle wouldn't be the same if any particular flower were left out, Kelly and Steve wouldn't have been the same without the love and relationship they shared with each unique individual that contributed flowers to the ring.

If you're involved in music ministry, you bring your own unique beauty to your church's Easter gathering. Your single voice, leadership, or sounds from your instrument -- or however you contribute -- brings a beauty to the whole that is singularly, you. And when all the individual "blooms" of gifts come together, the resulting Easter music and pageantry bring forth a custom-made bouquet designed just for your gathering, just for this particular day.

In my days as a Music/Worship Director, I have spent many Easter services physically exhausted from all the preparation; preparation of family as well as of music for that one special day. But the beauty of gathering our gifts together means that, if one bloom is a little wilted, or another a bit faded, it's not easily noticed when all are presented on this most holy day. If we just lay down our best, in the moment, as those dozens of blooms on that long-ago wedding day, our differences enhance the beauty of our worship offerings.

This year, let's celebrate with passion the individuality of each fearfully and wonderfully made participant in our Easter gathering. Take joy in knowing that, when God shows up at your service on Easter Sunday, He will be presented with a beautiful bouquet of precious souls that He loves so much; souls sending the sweet aroma of worship to Heaven. The Easter celebration won't be the same without you... or your neighbor on the platform.

GOING DEEPER:
1. Take a few moments to share with one another the gifts that you see in each other.
2. According to 1 Corinthians 12, each part of the Body is necessary, just like those flowers at the wedding, and just like each person in the worship ministry of your church. Take another brief moment and thank God for the variety of gifts He has placed in your midst.