Mid-week, I went looking on-line to see what some of the other churches I've attended in the not-too-distant past are up to these days and found some innovative programming — including a meme-worthy "He has risen!" and some meditative "Amen"s intoned by women.
Before a more serious discussion about the risen Christ, we're treated to the visual of a toy Jesus launching himself from the hard surface of a wooden table; real-time was good, slow-mo was even better. (Perhaps He will appear again next month for the ascension.)
Pastor Arte at First Lutheran in Red Wing, sporting a beard similar to the little icon, talked about Christ's oft-repeated greeting of "Peace be with you," wondering out loud "what does that even mean?" The disciples were behind locked doors hiding from real danger when Jesus appeared among them. They had abandoned, denied and betrayed him. Christ offered those words by way of greeting and perhaps forgiveness —"giving them what they need" in a time of great anxiety. The Wednesday evening service on April 15 then continued with lyrics about milk, and prayers for "creativity and comfort." The little surprise at First on the 22nd, in addition to the great music, beautiful stained glass and a fun skit, was a tiny dog in the background during the Bible reading. While the scripture was being opened up the curtains in the background parted slightly.
Christ Episcopal church is just down the street. At their website wise women read the evening compline on Thursdays from "The Book of Common Prayer," calmly conveying a sense of peacefulness from their homes with words such as "guide" and "guard" so that those "wearied by the changes and chances of this life may rest." Although I don't have that book at home, the announcement of page numbers and the slightly rustling of sheets of paper along with multiple "Amen"s in less than 10 minutes helped put me at ease.
Yet another find, was a little old church of which I was completely unaware until it appeared on the actual horizon — still standing tall.