EasterWilliamAll the planning, all the shopping, and all the cooking and it’s now the week following Resurrection Sunday. Though I am wired to begin planning for the next big thing, it is most healthy and helpful to evaluate all that led up to and including Resurrection Sunday. These will be quite random…

  1. After several years renting a tent for the Sunrise service, we bit the bullet and took advantage of the spring sales at Tractor Supply by purchasing two outdoor carports with side panels. Total cost was less than two year’s rental and now we have some space coverage for more outdoor activities. Makes this KidMin chick very happy and the creativity is burning rubber in my head!
  2. Even one of my regular volunteers never saw the Sunday school special announcement for Easter Sunday morning I’ve been running for months in the bulletin, the newsletter, the weekly Mailchimp announcements, nor the multiple emails or facebook posts. (Insert a heavy sigh here.)
  3. Glad I kept a list of the numbers and kinds of palms and flowers to order from the local floral distributor for Palm Sunday and the Easter Sunday flower cross.  Making the updates from this year and writing in the handy address book. I use an address book because it is laid out in alphabetical order to keep these numbers. Everything having to do with Easter is under E. Everything about Christmas is under C, banking under B, funerals under F.
  4. Easter Egg hunt happens on Palm Sunday and down to a science. The January meeting of CLUB345 has the students putting the eggs together and filling paper bags with a baker’s dozen for the congregation to begin to take on Ash Wednesday (Ash Wednesday was the plan, but the first Sunday in Lent was the reality this year with Easter coming so early) and the following Sundays in Lent to fill with wrapped candy, stickers, toys, (no chocolate, please) and return before Palm Sunday. Pour eggs into sealed storage bins and fold up bags for next year (this lets me easily count how many eggs we have, too, to tease the kids).  Awesome youth take the bins and hide the eggs during Sunday school hour of Palm Sunday. Little people hunt for eggs after the 11 am service. Attending the Missions Lunch, little people take the goodies from the eggs and return the eggs to the storage bins for the next year’s CLUB345 January meeting.
  5. Worship Committee Team, the Worship Leader, and our Senior Pastor rocked the lily pickup and delivery, the flower cross flowers were clipped and put in water, the furniture was moved, the outdoor space was readied and packed up with awning, chairs, keyboard, music stands, and technical equipment; frilled out Palm Sunday to bare Maundy Thursday to uber-frilled out Easter Sunday. This made for multiple lay people visits during Holy Week.  Note to team: Gotta order the ferns and the palms weeks before Holy Week when they cost only $10 at the local WalMart.
  6. Anticipating multiple lay folk visits during Holy Week in the office, it was wise to prepare bulletins and other timely items in the weeks prior so to be the hostess-with-the-mostest and ready to assist as needed.
  7. Even Easter banana pudding has enough sugar in it to bring back sciatic nerve pain. Step away from the banana pudding, DeDe. No dessert is worth it anymore! Well, maybe a petit four.
  8. Sunrise Services continues to increase in number so it’s helpful to have little people show hospitality by handing out the hot chocolate.  No need to plan for this, just see who is there and grab ’em. Quick Trip will fill a standard coffee pumper for around a $1 with the best hot chocolate ever. Two coffee pumpers can fill a sleeve of Styrofoam cups for about 50 folks.
  9. Glad that everything is prepped and laid out for the morning, so I could engage in face-time conversations with youth and adults I don’t usually get to chat with.
  10. Palm Sunday bulletin was focused on ‘in-house’ marketing of events and news. Easter Sunday bulletin was focused on ‘guest’ marketing of events and news.  That way, the Easter Sunday bulletin is not filled with insider jargon, but easy items of intentional first entry into the family of faith with larger fonts and intentionally invitational.
  11. When we promoted the services on social media, we made sure we included the address to make it easy to GPS. We can’t assume everyone knows, especially new folks, where we are exactly located.  Aha moment: Even though I posted the times for Easter Sunday services on the church Facebook pages and groups the week before, I got an ask for them again at 9pm the night before on my personal page.  Easy enough then to ‘share’ it on my personal page the evening before.  In the words of Donald Miller in the 5 Minute Marketing Makeover, I can’t expect people to burn a lot of calories to find the basics of info.
  12. We had one child in Sunday School, but a bunch in every worship service. We had one child in Sunday School on Easter last year, too.  I won’t be discouraged with all the planning and prep that goes into it, because we are a family of faith that worships together and I am so proud of that.  It’s not just what we do, it’s who we are. Just know that the multiple bags of skittles will probably be showing up through the summer until Trunk or Treat. There were multiple ways the children were part of the services and it works for us.My families love each other, enjoy each other’s company, share life as one, and what we do together makes for family traditions and memories that make sacred celebrations sticky…I couldn’t be more thrilled.

What are some of your ‘notes to self’ for next Easter?

“This is my command: Love each other.” John 15:17