Sunday, March 27, 2016

Taking flight

Our Easter celebration started early today.

Cooper, Katie and Tyra on Steve's bench at Holy Covenant UMC, after the sunrise service
Cooper played the part of Jesus in our youth-led sunrise service in Carrollton. We shared a potluck breakfast at church. We rested at home for about an hour. Then we drove to North Dallas to celebrate with Jim and Betty.

It was a bittersweet Easter service at Schreiber Memorial United Methodist Church. Easter is the most joyous of Sundays for Christians. The very day and the belief in the Resurrection define our faith. And yet this Sunday was the final worship service for the Schreiber congregation. After years of declining membership, the church was forced to make the difficult decision to close.

Highland Park UMC is taking over the campus and will eventually reopen the church as a satellite ministry.

Schreiber Memorial is the church that Jim, Betty, Jimmy and Steve attended during the 1980s. When Jim and Betty returned to the Dallas area in the early '90s (after a few years in Miami), they rejoined the church.

Steve and I were married in the sanctuary there in July 1994.

It was tough to say goodbye today.

At the end of the service, congregants were invited to join the choir to sing the Hallelujah Chorus. Cooper left the pew and sang next to Grandma -- a bass and soprano, side by side.

Cooper is the tall guy in the front.
As we left the sanctuary, we were given the opportunity to take a small paper package. Inside each package was a monarch butterfly. When we stepped into the sunshine, we were asked to gently open the package and to allow the butterfly to acclimate to the outdoors. Each beautiful insect would spread its wings and take flight.
Katie and her monarch 
Cooper and Betty (in her choir robe) coax their butterflies to freedom.
We all gingerly opened our packages and peeked inside, hoping that our butterflies would still be alive and eager to fly.

My package contained not one but two butterflies.

They each warmed in the sunlight. They each began to flutter their wings. One took flight about two minutes before the other. And I thanked God for transformation and comfort in times of distress and tiny miracles.

Tyra and two butterflies
Later we enjoyed an egg hunt at Jim and Betty's house. We ate a delicious lunch. And Jim allowed Katie to dress him up in her handmade rabbit ears.

Katie and her patient Papa
Happy Easter!

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