Beloved Messiah Family, CHRIST IS RISEN! HE IS RISEN INDEED! ALLELUIA! AMEN! With this Blessed News echoing through all of creation, we look to today, and all days ahead, with hope, trust, praise, thanksgiving, joy, faith-all rooted in what we heard on Easter Sunday: "But the angel said to the women, 'Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he Jay.111 Matthew 28:5-6 Happy Easter! In Jesus, God has shown us that He is with us, and for us, by becoming human and taking on all that life has to offer-even to the point of dying on a cross. And not even that could separate God from us! This past Sunday we again celebrated that Christ is Risen for YOU-and for all people. And while this current reality of social distancing is truly needful to diminish the spread of COVID-19, we were truly "together" in our Celebration of Easter! And we will continue to be together, as the Body of the Risen Christ, for one another in the days ahead through phone calls, texts, emails, Zoom, and many other creative ways of being in contact! For truly Christ is Risen for you, and me, and all people! And surely no social distancing can ever prevent us from praying and praising and celebrating and giving thanks to God for the Easter Victory over sin and death! So, Sisters and Brothers, how will we go forward with our lives knowing that death has been defeated? How will we regard one another, and even regard ourselves, after witnessing God's Great Love for each one of us in the death and resurrection of Jesus? (Over Please!)

Empowered by the Easter Good News, how do we discover what the gifts are of this current reality of COVID-19 we find ourselves in-such as being in contact with one another in creative ways-and then build on these gifts to grow as God's people and as a congregation?

Many of you know that this coming Sunday, April 19, will be Pr. Louise's final Sunday as a Co-Pastor here at Messiah. She has been our dear pastor for five and one-half years, and a member here for seven and one-half years before that. She is a dear friend and mentor for

many of us. I am so grateful that she will continue at Messiah as "Pastor Emerita" and will be involved in various ministries of the congregation, including preaching monthly. However, she will be concentrating on her Hospice Chaplain vocation. She will preach here on Sunday, April 26, which we are calling "Pr. Louise Recognition Sunday". Unfortunately, at this time, we cannot gather in-person for a "Thank You Party" for her, but cards, emails, texts, Facebook posts, Zoom, or however you can be in contact will be appreciated! The "Party" will come later! Thank you, Pr. Louise, for all you have done and have meant to us at Messiah! God Bless and Keep you always!

People of Messiah! Even though the doors of our church are closed for now-to keep us all healthy-Messiah continues to be here for you! And we will continue to stay in contact with you through various methods of communication! God is very much active in and through Messiah! Thank you for your gifts and offerings! We continue to need them to keep vibrant and moving forward! These are tough times for sure. Your prayers are also wonderful offerings!

Also, the Food Pantry is delivering food Monday through Friday via Metro Mobility. Please contact Claudette at 612-814-2213 if you or someone you know is in need of a food delivery!

And-we continue to invite everyone to a time of "Virtual Prayer" at 1:00PM each day. Wherever you are, we invite you to join in prayer for our homes, our families, our church, our nation, and our world-and whatever else may be on your mind!

May God continue to Bless us all as we move forward through this Wonderful Easter Season and beyond!

Pr. Tom Gustafson

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