Dear church family,
Today I met Danny and Ana. Ana is a mid-30s mom of 3 children from Sioux City; she has received cancer treatment for leukemia every weekday for 12 weeks. On Tuesday, I met a gentleman who has had four brain tumor removal surgeries–the most recent, this past Monday. For the past week, I’ve been with my mom at an American Cancer Society house. Everyone carries their pill box to breakfast. We see each other at our hospital doctor appointments. Most aren’t going home this month. Some may not make it home.
Our world pushes the sick and suffering into the shadows. No one gets cancer on sitcoms. I think this is why we read in Ecclesiastes that there is more wisdom in the house of mourning than in the house of feasting. The house of mourning exposes our mortality and fragility. The house of mourning cries out for Someone who can conquer the grave and provide bodies that don’t bruise or break. Being in this place excites me to preach the Resurrected Christ! Christ tasted death so Christians will taste resurrection life. Oh praise the one who paid my debt and will raise this life up from the grave!

Upcoming Events:
Special Good Friday Service, 7PM: On March 29, we will join 3 other churches (Northbrook Baptist, Trinity Presbyterian, and Risen Hope) to focus on the beautiful, scandalous death of Jesus Christ. The service will be unique for some of you. We will walk through the different stages of Christ’s arrest, trial, death and burial. The room will grow darker, candles will be blown out, and we’ll end the service in silence. Because of the gravity of the service, we will have a pre-service dessert reception with one another. Show up anytime between 6-6:45PM to grab a cookie and greet a guest. 
BTW: If you plan to bring Easter Lilies for Resurrection Sunday, please drop them off to the church by 6:30pm on Good Friday.
We will regather for our 3/31 Resurrection Sunday for one service at 9:25AM. Please be considerate to extra guests and a larger service by parking in the back lot and taking seats closer to the front and toward the far wall. (Save the back row and entrance for younger families and guests.) 
If there is anything I can pray for you about, please let me know. It’s a great privilege to serve y’all in prayer. (Speaking of prayer…Pray for Risen Hope Church; they are hosting their own 10AM Resurrection Sunday service. If you know anyone in the Jones County area, let them know about Risen Hope.)
Take heart my friends; Christ has overcome the world.
Under grace, longing for glory,
Pastor Matt
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