Christ is Risen! Alleluia!

Easter is a time of celebration and indeed it should be. But it is also a reminder that the world’s problems did not all end in that garden in Jerusalem two-thousand years ago when Christ was raised from the dead. 

Throughout Lent we have been journeying together through various wilderness experiences and exploring how we encounter God in the midst of the wilderness. And here on Easter, even as we start to cross the River Jordan into the Promised Land, we acknowledge that we are still very much surrounded by wilderness; in the words of the hymn: “still your children wander homeless; still the hungry cry for bread; still the captives long for freedom; still in grief we mourn our dead.”

But even though we cross the river, wilderness all around, we nevertheless have been given a real glimpse of the far shore. The Resurrection is the sign that the promises we have longed for will be fulfilled, even if they are not here in their fullness.  But in the meantime, we will live into the Promised Land in spite of the wildernesses that still surround us.  

In spite of the brokenness of the world, in spite of the fact that it’s not all “clear sailing” from here on out, we will live lives that testify to powerful presence of the Kingdom already present but not-yet come.  In the midst of a world very often suffering the sufferings of Good Friday, we can loudly proclaim the Easter message: Christ is Risen! Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Rev. Mark Schaefer, Pastor

Special Thanks

Holy Week is enough of a slog without a global pandemic to work around and bringing it all together would not have been possible without a good deal of help.

First, thanks must also go to all of you, for being willing to try something new and out of our comfort zones to help us to continue in worship together during this challenging time. I have been gratified to see the numbers of people joining us in worship and have been pleased to see the community that has been maintained as a result.

Personal thanks go first to Chiara Griffith for her excellent work recording the music for each worship service. It’s one thing to have to record all of the music for Sunday services ahead of time; it’s another to have to record the music for three worship services—often containing extra music—ahead of time and then send them to us with enough time to put it into the worship materials for the day. Thank you, Chiara, for your beautiful playing and for persevering with the technology to record and send.

Thanks also go to Crystal Reed, who helped test every Zoom meeting connection, helped coordinate how the flow of the services would work, and who during worship takes responsibility for admitting guests into the Zoom meeting, monitoring the sound, and pinning the various video streams. Crystal has also been really helpful in promoting our online events via Facebook and in enlisting her daughter Samantha to help monitor the comments during the Facebook live-streaming. Thank you, Crystal, for all you do to help make our online worship work.

Finally, thanks go to my dear wife, Cara Schaefer, for everything that she does behind the scenes to make our worship happen. We are far beyond the time when pastors’ wives have nothing else to do but help their husbands with church stuff, and certainly beyond the time where such volunteer labor is expected rather than acknowledged and appreciated. Cara has help set up our living room with two laptops and an iPad so that we might simultaneously broadcast our services on Zoom and Facebook. We record the livestream on one device and she monitors the comments and shares the event on another, all while helping to place the placards with the prayers, hymns, and scripture lessons in front of the livestream camera so that those joining us without any worship materials can still participate fully. In addition, she's the one who edits the hymn videos, putting together Chiara’s music with the text of the hymns. She helped with the Tenebrae, extinguishing the candles throughout the reading. She spends a great deal of time helping to test the video framing of worship so that things will look just right and reminds me (far more than should be necessary) to stand on my mark, taped on the carpet. She makes the “altar” decorations on our mantlepiece look appropriate for worship and finds flowers in the backyard to adorn the cross. And she walked the dog before Good Friday and Easter services so that he might not whimper all the way through them the way he did during Maundy Thursday. Cara, I literally could not do this without you and am so grateful for all your help and time.


Thanks to everyone who participated in worship services Sunday. Thanks to Crystal Reed and Cara Schaefer for running the Zoom and Facebook livestreams during worship, and to Chiara Griffith for taking the time to record and provide our music. And also to our dog Beny for not misbehaving—especially after having sung a lament on Maundy Thursday.
         Sermon: “The Promised Land,” Rev. Mark Schaefer
         Sunday’s attendance: c. 75
         Collection: $ TBD
Second Sunday in Easter

Sermon: “Faith Questions: Am I Lost If I Have Doubt?” Rev. Mark Schaefer
Scripture Lessons: Acts 2:14a, 22–32; John 20:19–31

To Join Online:
Want to help out in worship? Use our online sign-up to be a greeter, usher, liturgist, lector, or communion server.
If you’re looking to make your contribution of tithes and offerings online, you can do so easily at the following links:

Community Events & Information

April 19–May 24, 2020

Join us for an exploration of some of the more frequently encountered questions of faith that people have. Throughout the Easter season we'll explore questions like: Am I lost if I have doubt? Is the resurrection real? Why does God allow evil? Do non-Christians go to heaven? How is Jesus both human and divine? and Does forgiveness require me to be a victim?

At Grace UMC in Baltimore, in addition to online worship experiences, the church is involved in mission during the pandemic, continuing to collect donations of food for their partners in the Govans Ecumenical Development Corp. They're also involved with sewing masks.
     They share: "Johns Hopkins has a goal of making 50,000 masks. This online document has detailed steps for an approved design. More tips from Johns Hopkins on making the masks include: use 100% pre-washed woven cotton and non-shiny ribbon/fabric head ties; they MUST be made with patterned fabric; no blue/white prints. The wire for the nose strip will be added once Hopkins receives the masks. See a video on mask-making. This very user-friendly site also has information on obtaining materials, donating money to support this effort, and more. For this week, the drop off time at Grace UMC is Friday morning from 10 a.m. to noon. Please call 410-433-6650, Ext. 102, before arriving."
As with all our other programming, Rev. Schaefer’s regular office hours are online. If you cannot make office hours but would like to talk with Rev. Schaefer, you can book a time to do so through a handy online tool called You Can Book Me. You can use this to book time to talk online via chat or by phone. You can also reach him by phone at (202) 486-6061. One final option is to use Google Chat: From your online gmail, initiate a hangout chat and invite him ( to chat. Once you're connected, you can talk online through chat. 

Regular Weekly Calendar

  • Monday
    • Monday Methodists, 9 a.m. (ONLINE)
      • Using Zoom on a smartphone, computer, or other device
      • Calling in on your telephone
        • Dial  +1 (301) 715 8592
        • Enter meeting ID: 306 194 066#
        • Enter password: 001873
    • Knitting Circle, 10 a.m. (ONLINE)
      • Using Zoom on a smartphone, computer, or other device
      • Calling in on your telephone
        • Dial  +1 (301) 715 8592
        • Enter meeting ID: 306 194 066#
        • Enter password: 001873
  • Tuesday
    • Cheltenham Academy, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
    • Pastor’s Bible Study, 9:30 a.m. (ONLINE)
      • Using Zoom on a smartphone, computer, or other device
      • Calling in on your telephone
        • Dial  +1 (301) 715 8592
        • Enter meeting ID: 456 431 396#
        • Enter password: 001873
    • Pastor’s Office Hours, 11 a.m.–1 p.m. (ONLINE)
      • Using Zoom on a smartphone, computer, or other device
      • Calling in on your telephone
        • Dial  +1 (301) 715 8592
        • Enter meeting ID: 173 570 837#
        • Enter password: 001873
    • AA and Al-Anon, 8 p.m.
  • Wednesday
    • SLOGGS Meeting, 11:30 a.m. (2nd Wed of month)
    • Pastor’s “Office” Hours, 2–4 p.m. (ONLINE)
      • Using Zoom on a smartphone, computer, or other device Calling in on your telephone
        • Dial  +1 (301) 715 8592
        • Enter meeting ID: 493 671 679#
        • Enter password: 001873
    • Book Club, 6 p.m.
    • Band, 6 p.m.
    • Choir Rehearsal, 7 p.m.
  • Friday
    • Pastor’s Sabbath
  • Sunday
    • Sunday School, 9 a.m.
    • Sunday Worship, 10 a.m. (ONLINE)
    • Fellowship, 11 a.m.
The COVID-19 outbreak has been a challenge to so many of us, and yet, in our responses offers us some real reasons for hope. Read Rev. Schaefer’s reflection entitled: Solidarity, the Coronavirus, and Salvation.

Prayer List

Family, friends, and all those mourning the deaths of
     Terry Putnam
     Dave Dargo
     Irene, mother of Lydia Gladstone
     The brother of Janice
     Judy Stone
     The son and grandson of Rev. Warren
     Judy’s son
     Amy Mackey

     Bradley Brown
     Ginny Lang
the brother of Connie
     Chris' friend and co-worker
IT Professionals, helping to keep us all connected
Barbara Chase, battling cancer
Billy, recovering from COVID-19
Governor Hogan and all those in leadership during this crisis
Steven Banks, diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia
Phoebe, in a custody struggle, hoping to return to the US with her children
Sy, tested positive for Coronavirus
Annie, ill with autoimmune encephalitis
Robin, working to provide comfort to patients and families 
Cristina, returning to work as an RN to treat COVID-19 patients
For artists left unemployed without income
For students whose education has been interrupted
For parents, providing safe, happy, educational and nurturing environments for their kids
Meredith, for healing for her foot
Meredith's daughter, weeks from delivering a baby
Pets left worried and confused while owners suffer from COVID-19 in hospitals
Dan, called back into service with the army
Maria del Mar, comfort after losing her job of 10 years this week
Porters, doormen, and staff working in apartment buildings to keep conditions safe and clean for residents
Kendra’s friend’s father, elderly and hospitalized with presumed COVID-19 complications
Kris, with a serious illness
Susie, whose son-in-law Steven is a first responder in DC and daughter Brooke, a nurse
Jonas Brachfield, 95, loving in locked down independent living home, struggling with loss of sight
Connie House’s mother and family, mourning death of her brother Steve as her mother’s dementia continues to progress
Sarah, distressed and looking for a job
Ellie, recovering from hip surgery, suffering from COVID-19
Sarah, furloughed from her job
Betty McDermott, dying from COVID-19 and her daughter Martha, quarantined with her
First responders, providing urgent medical care during this pandemic
Doug House, the homeless ministry, and those he serves
Connie, and all those working in nursing homes during the pandemic
Indigo, traveling mercies and all those concerned with job insecurity and finding employment
Joanne and Bill, with health issues
Leonard B., for quick recovery and good test results following recent surgery
The son of Pastor Denise Millett, at high risk for infection, seeking excused absence from work
Clayton, with ongoing health problems
Miriam, with back problems
Eddie, with lung problems
Lucien, with foot sprain
Becky, with a back injury
Jaime, with difficulties in pregnancy
Landon, with a broken arm
Derek, deployed to Bahrain
Jenn, going through a difficult time
Leora, with increasing memory problems
Becky Flade, recovering from a stroke and going through a difficult time
Crystal’s friend, diagnosed with Parkinson's
Elsie and Chuck Tyler, in the hospital

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