Looking for Hope on Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday is a day of hope, on the eve of the drama of Holy Week. Jesus comes into Jerusalem, and the people line the streets with the hope that this man, Jesus, would bring justice and restoration to his people. This Palm Sunday, we’ll have an opportunity to participate in a tangible act of bringing a moment of restoration to people looking for hope. The Free Minds Book Club connects people who are incarcerated with people “on the outside” through writing literature and poetry. For the (mostly) young men in prison, writing poetry and receiving correspondence with people like you and me is an affirmation of our common humanity, and a reminder of a community that awaits them after their release. Free Minds continues to support these “returning citizens” after their release through a continuing supportive community, right here in DC.

On Sunday, please come to the Washington Room for Adult Education at 9:45 a.m. to learn more, and then stay after worship to participate in a hands-on activity to bring hope and healing from the “outside” to the “inside,” reminding ourselves that God’s love knows no bounds.

Peace,

Chris

Born. United. Sent. Series Finale: “The First Lord’s Supper”

Throughout the Middle ages, Renaissance and Baroque periods, churches were the primary means of support for composers. The support structure diversified somewhat through the Classical period, as an emerging audience for secular concert and opera music began to emerge. But churches remained an important component in the flowering of art and culture. One of the primary ways they served this role is through the commissioning of new works of sacred music.

Georgetown Presbyterian Church has been a part of this flowering of the arts by commissioning many pieces of music through the years. On Sunday, we will experience the latest of these commissions in a fresh new piece of choral music commissioned by this congregation and completed about one month ago. Back in the Fall, when planning the music that would accompany the “Born. United. Sent.” series, I contacted a young composer named Zachary Wadsworth. I’d become aware of his works while editing a choral recording a couple of years ago. I liked the style of his music, incorporating elements of the old and the new. He was wonderful to work with and accepted the challenge of writing a piece on the scripture of the day for April 7.

The resulting piece is titled “The First Lord’s Supper” and it sets a text from Matthew 26:26-30, when Jesus first points to the passover meal as symbols of his body and blood, soon to be shed for the salvation of humankind. Zachary’s music is contemporary but accessible, and incorporates a melody and text called “Adoro te devote” from Gregorian plainchant by Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274). It will be a privilege to experience this music for the first time on Sunday as the distribution anthem for the last service in our “Born. United. Sent.” series.

Peace,

Mark