Pastor Jeff announced plans for marking the holiest week of the church year.
The Palm Sunday worship service (March 20) will begin on the patio, and will include a parade with singing (led by the choir). Once inside the sanctuary, the service will continue the celebration of Palm Sunday (and could include the reception of new members; talk to Pastor Jeff if you’re interested in joining) before shifting to a remembrance of Holy Week in music. The choir will present the cantata, Calvary’s Mountain, by John Leavitt. Consisting of five anthems and the passion story from John’s gospel, the cantata moves us through the drama of Holy Week to the crucifixion.
There will be an inter-church potluck followed by a formal worship service on Maundy Thursday, March 24, in the social hall and sanctuary of Fremont Congregational Church, 38255 Blacow Rd., Fremont. People from Niles Discovery Church, Filipino-America UCC, Little Brown Church of Sunol, Fremont Congregational Church, and Filipino-America Evangelical UCC, will begin arriving at 6:00 and setting up the buffet line for the pot-luck dinner. The dinner will begin with a prayer at 6:30 and will be a relaxed time for people from the various congregations to meet one another and learn about each other’s congregations.
At 7:30, with the bulk of the post-dinner cleanup completed, the gathered people will move into the sanctuary for the celebration of Communion and a service of Tenebrae. Latin for “shadows” or “darkness,” the Tenebrae service recounts Christ’s passion. A distinctive element of the service is the gradual extinguishing of candles.
On Good Friday, March 25, the same churches will gather at 7:30 p.m. at Filipino-American UCC, 4587 Peralta Blvd., for a contemplative worship service based on “the seven last words of Christ” that will include songs from the Taizé community in France.
There will be two Easter services on March 27. The sunrise service will be held at the Niles Town Plaza at 6:45. The service will include singing, story, and communion. Please bring your own chair. As we have in the past couple years, we will head over to the Nile Café after the service for breakfast.
The celebration of the resurrection will continue at the 10:00 festival Easter service, held in the sanctuary. Joy abounds with choruses of “Alleluia,” special anthems from the choir, and communion.