By Dave Hendrickson, Lead Pastor
“The First Recipient of Easter”
Of all the people in scripture we read about, study, and try to emulate, I wonder how many of us look to the first person to experience the fullness of Easter. Maybe you have no idea who the first person to experience Easter was. If you had to guess, who would you choose; Peter, John, Mary (Jesus’ mother), or one of the other disciples? (Take a second and have a think about it and consider a guess.)
Who chose a woman, that had seven demons, was healed by Jesus, walked with Jesus, was at the crucifixion of Jesus, escorted the body to the tomb, was up at daybreak to prepare the body properly for burial after the sabbath? Mary Magdalene might be a name familiar to some of us, but do you realize she was the first recipient of the Easter message? No, it was not Peter, James, John, the mother of Jesus, or any of the other of the twelve disciples.
So, what can we learn from Mary Magdalene as the first recipient of Easter? Well, let us look at the Gospel of John, chapter 20. “But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept, she stooped to look into the tomb…Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you seeking?’” As you go on to read the rest of the account, Mary does not realize the one for whom she is weeping and seeking is the one who has posed the question to her. Mary was expecting to find Jesus just like she left him just a few hours earlier after his horrific death by Roman crucifixion. She was saddened because the one person who healed her physically, mentally, spiritually, and restored dignity to her was no longer there. She felt abandoned, lost, forgotten! But in actuality, Jesus never left her side. He was there with her the whole time as she experienced those feelings, but she did not realize it.
Are there times you feel abandoned, lost, forgotten like Mary? Look for Jesus to be with you in ways which you do not expect or have experienced in the past.
When Mary realizes Jesus was with her, notice what she does. She grabs onto him. Quite literally she grasps on to/clings to him. As she is doing this, Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me…” What would cause Jesus to react in such a way? As one commentator suggests, “Jesus’ response, however, let’s her know there has been a radical change in him and consequently in his relationship with his followers.”
Do we do the same as Mary? Do we “cling” to Jesus trying to hold on to what we know and feel comfortable with? Or are we willing to go on the adventure of a lifetime? Because after Mary lets go of Jesus, his command to her is, “go to my brothers…Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord’…”
Jesus invites us to be part of his journey! He wants people to be the recipients of Easter, just like Mary Magdalene! Jesus is with us and wants to use us to share with people the message, “I have seen the Lord!” rather than just clinging to him for ourselves! Let’s be encouraged and released to be Mary Magdalenes so others can be recipients of the Easter message!
Elder Meeting Highlights
At the Elders’ business meeting on March 16, the Elders discussed a Donor Report that was submitted by Bob Gaston. This is an annual report that Bob puts together that shows giving trends at LvCC. There was discussion about the giving patterns of different age groups and also about our changing demographics.
The Elders voted to hold the 2021 Annual Business Meeting after church on May 2. It was also decided to move ahead with returning to weekly in-person worship beginning March 28. Per a plan that Dave shared by Interim Children’s Director, Mary Gronseth, classes will be provided during the service for children in Nursery through Kindergarten.
LvCC was approached by Love, Inc. to financially help Four Square Church with a project to improve the structural stability of the church. The total cost of the project will be $17,000 but a donor has offered to match up to half the amount. Dave suggested setting up a designated one-time fund for contributions toward this project. There will also be a fund set up in the online giving platform.
Weekly In-Person Worship Returns!
Beginning March 28, we returned to meeting weekly in-person and online! On Easter, in order to accommodate more people, there will be two identical services, one at 9:30 a.m. and the other at 11:30 a.m. This allows time between services to disinfect the space and restock the individual communion supplies. There will also be classes provided during the 9:30 service for children from Nursery through Kindergarten. Both services will also be available online. If you have flowers blooming already, please bring a few to add to the floral cross that will be by the grass courtyard area. Additional flowers will be available also.
Even though the COVID-19 state guidelines now allow for more people to attend (50% of our capacity), we are still asking that you sign up by noon on the Friday prior to attend the Sunday in-person worship. You may do so on the homepage of the church website at https://longviewcommunitychurch.org or by calling the Church Office.
The format for the continuing 9:30 Sunday service will be similar to what it has been for the past year. We will continue to offer the online worship via YouTube for those who are not yet comfortable returning to in-person worship.
By Marge Ofstun
The Memorial Committee, consisting of Claire Hauge, Elizabeth Jacobsen, Janet Freece and myself, has successfully resolved several Memorial gifts of funds which have been lovingly given in memory of some of our former church members. In each case we have worked with the recipient’s family in helping them choose a gift that is in harmony with the church’s mission and ministries.
Henry Futrell: tower bells
John Grubb: food outreach
Neal Kirkpatrick: television ministry
Charlene Krause: library
Helen and Luther McHattie: special Youth ministry
Velma Noteboom: portable hand washing station
Marian Thuma: food outreach
Youth: “Plugged In”
By Kyle Beasley, Interim Director of Youth
Last month, God provided a beautiful day for our Ski and Snowboard Trip. This month we are looking forward to a day at Camp Attitude to serve and enjoy the beautiful outdoors. See details below.
All of the programs and activities listed below are for anyone in middle school or high school (grades 6-12). The best way to stay informed with what is happening in our youth group is to sign up for our weekly email. Just fill out the form below to get signed up.
ZOOM Youth Group—Wednesday, 7:00pm
We are starting a new series called Canceled. Cancel culture is real. It happens when people (usually online) attack or dismiss people they disagree with. In Jesus’ time, people were often “canceled” by society because they sinned, got sick, were poor or disabled, or because they were from a different country or culture. Jesus challenges our tendency to ignore, exclude, or despise people who are different from us by often making outcasts the center of His ministry. Through the teachings of Jesus and the story of Saul you get to help students love others.
Youth Group LIVE—Sunday, 6:00pm-7:30pm
We are meeting in person, but we still need to follow the COVID-19 guidelines. We’ll be starting a new series called Sincerely God. We all know reading the Bible is important (or at least that’s what we’ve been told), but if we’re being honest, we probably don’t give it the time or attention we know we should. Sometimes we avoid Scripture because it seems boring or irrelevant. Other times we avoid it because it’s too time-consuming, inconvenient, or maybe even convicting. So how do we change that? In this series, we will help students to discover that the Bible is a love letter, a guide, an invitation, and something that’s meant to be lived (not just read).
Attitude Day—Saturday, April 24, 8:00am-9:00pm
We will be going to Camp Attitude in Foster, OR for a day of serving and fellowship. No cost for this day. Just bring money (at least $15) for a dinner stop on the way home. Lunch will be provided. Bring work gloves, work clothes, and a water bottle. Use this link to sign up:
SUMMER CAMP @ THE DUNES
We are going to The Dunes in Long Beach, WA this summer for both our middle school and high school camps. The youth groups from Calvary, Father’s House, and Northlake will also be joining us. Here are the dates and costs:
Middle School Camp
Saturday, July 10-Tuesday, July 13
Cost – $170
Registration link: https://www.dunesbiblecamp.com/middle-school-camp-
High School Camp
Wednesday, July 14-Saturday, July 17
Cost – $175
Registration link: https://www.dunesbiblecamp.com/highschool-camp
By Mary Gronseth, Interim Children’s Ministry Director
The exciting news is we are serving Nursery through Kindergarten children on Sunday Mornings! I have been waiting for this day for a year. Our first Sunday will be on Easter Sunday. I am so excited to have children in our classrooms again! We are always excited to have more helpers to work with our kids. If you would be interested in helping one Sunday a month with 2/3 year olds or 4/5 year olds, let me know. I would love to talk to you about what an amazing opportunity this is. I am looking for volunteers of all ages. We love having grandparents love on our kids.
It has been a year since I did my first porch drop. I had some Easter activities last March I had planned for the kids and decided to deliver them to their homes since we were going to be closed for Easter. Little did I know that this would become a monthly activity and also one of my favorite things to do! It has allowed me to stay connected with families and see them on a regular basis. I have loved every porch visit, wave through the window and air hug.
As we begin the process of getting back to in-person worship, I know we have families that are not quite ready to return and that is okay. I am going to continue porch drops, but maybe not quite as often. Thank you to our families for making this a time I look forward to every month.
By Patty Howland, Women’s Team Leader
The Women’s Ministry Team met recently and gave updates about the various women’s group that continue to meet. The Mary Martha circle has been meeting via Zoom; Louise Arnett circle meets monthly in the Journey Room; the Ruth circle members have not resumed meeting but stay in contact with each other. Women’s Fellowship President, Elizabeth Jacobsen has been sending out a monthly communication to all women associated with Women’s Fellowship.
The Thursday Community Bible Study is meeting in the Chapel to watch and discuss the video series “The Life and Ministry of the Messiah” by Ray Vander Laan. The Monday Evening Bible Study is meeting via Zoom and using the book and study guide for “Jesus in Me”, about the work of the Holy Spirit, by Anne Graham Lotz. A group called “Tuesday Sisters” continues to meet at Cec Conner’s home. The MOPS Moms have been meeting via Zoom on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month, and meet for in-person fellowship in the Chapel on the 4th Tuesday. Please contact the Church Office for more information about any of these groups.
Plans continue for the Fall Women’s Retreat at Black Lake Bible Camp, Sept. 17-19! We will be using a “retreat in a box” called “Café Chocolat”, with the theme of experiencing God’s extravagant grace (includes chocolate-related activities and decorations!). The cost (still to be determined) will include 2 nights lodging, 4 meals, a participant’s guide and other goodies. There will also be a Saturday-only option. More info about registration will be available in April. Be watching Facebook and the Women’s page of the church website for more details!
By Dee Dalgarno, Library Director
In October, Julie O’Conner began helping in the Church Library on Tuesday mornings. We have been able to inventory the entire Library and are now working on updating the collection. Julie has written the Book Review for this issue of the Church Newsletter:
“Finding Anna” by Christine Schaub–The lyrics to the beloved song, “It Is Well With My Soul” were written by Horatio G. Spafford. While reading the featured book of the month, I realized that this historical novel is based on the Spafford’s lives. It explores the friendship between them and D. L. Moody and others. Although the Spaffords faced many tragedies, beginning with the Great Chicago Fire in 1871, God gave them insight and strength. As a result of turning to God, their love for each other was restored.
While working on the Inventory, it occurred to me that folks that are younger than 50 may never have learned how to use a Card Catalog to find books in a library. Detailed directions are now displayed on top of the Card Catalog Cabinet.
Remember the Library is open for self-checkout the same hours as the Church Office.
This and That
Applications are available in the Church office for
several Longview Community Church scholarships for our Church’s graduating seniors. The Francis and Helen Hoffman Memorial Scholarship and the Longview Community Church Memorial Scholarship are awarded annually to graduating seniors who have been active in the life of our Church. Each are financial assistance for additional education or training.
Every high school senior is strongly encouraged to apply using the single application form common to both scholarships. Two seniors will be selected from those applications. Consideration will be given to those who prepare the proper application and participate in the selection process. Applications are due in the Church office no later than April 30, 2021. 2021 Fillable Form_Memorial_Hoffman Scholarship Application
The Trustees Scholarship is available for undergraduates and graduates who want to educate themselves for Christian work. Applications are available online or in the Church Office and are due June 30, 2021. Trustees Scholarship Application
We enjoy the online service each week and miss being there in person. We send our greeting to all. ~Love in Christ, Kari and Larry Arlint
Thank you to the many workers who helped me move from Toledo to Longview! I appreciate you giving up part of a Saturday to help me. Thanks also to Kyle for coordinating the volunteers. I am so thankful to be part of such a wonderful church family! ~Blessings to you, Patty Howland
Our Daily Bread large-print edition for April/May/June is now available (also the regular print for March/April/May). Please stop by or call the Church Office to get a copy.
Medical Equipment Available
If you or someone you knows needs medical equipment, i.e. walker, wheelchair, commode, etc, please contact Roberta Baird at 360-636-3848.
April Missions Focus: Milky Cow Month
Here’s your chance to be a missionary without leaving town! During the month of April, LvCC provides the milk needed, 3 gallons of any percent, at Community House on Broadway. https://www.choblv.org/ You may drop off milk directly to CHOB or bring it to the church and Paul will take it there. Questions? Call Roberta Baird at 360-636-3848.
YTD INCOME: $81,958
TRUSTEES VISION: $8,000
YTD EXPENSE: $89,137