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St. Francis Church

Sunday, April 6 was the Fifth Sunday in Lent, commonly called Passion Sunday.  Bishop Hartley explained that Passiontide is a short season, ending in Holy Saturday, in which our scripture lessons are selected to make us more aware of Christ’s life on Earth.  We once more began the service with chanting the Litany for God’s mercy.  I look forward every year to this ancient form of Christian worship, which lifts us out of everyday reality and connects with divinity in a very unique way.

Bishop Hartley based his sermon on the Epistle for the day, Hebrews 9:2, in which Christ is called the high priest of good things to come.  This passage discusses Christ’s mission on Earth and explains that He is the mediator of the New Testament or covenant established by God through Him and compares Jesus’ sacrifice with the blood offerings of the Old Testament.  Sacrificial blood is the theme of Old Testament worship and Jesus’ blood symbolically seals our covenant with God and a new era in human life began with Him.

After worship we had a lunch of sandwiches and salads then held another work day as we do twice a year, in which participating members of the congregation did a lot of cleaning inside the church building, as well as, raking and cleaning up outside on the grounds and our flowerbeds.

I was saddened to hear of the death of long-time family friend, Margaret Kottmeier Brill.  I first remember Margaret in the 1940’s when as Margaret Rhodes she was County Registered Nurse and rented a room in the home of my grandmother, Lilly Kester.  She was a nurse during the polio epidemic in the summer of 1949 and when my father’s sister, Zella Atteberry, came down with the disease it was Margaret who recognized the symptoms and took Zella to Burge Hospital (now Cox North) in her (Margaret’s) own car.  I can well remember that when we visited Aunt Zella in the polio ward we had to stand outside and visit through an open window as we were not allowed inside for fear of contagion.  Margaret was a fine nurse and a good friend.

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