Westminster Presbyterian Church

Westminster Presbyterian Church, 17 William St., Auburn.

Happy Easter! Today’s the big day when Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus and its power on our lives as Easter people.

Easter is more than an anniversary of an historic event. It encompasses the core of Christian faith: That God is greater than anything we can imagine, and that even death can’t separate us from God. It also reminds us that God is closer than we can imagine, alive in us, as God was embodied in the person of Jesus.

Jim Friedrich, in an article in Christian Century magazine, wrote, “Easter isn’t something we remember. It’s something we live and breathe.”

But what does that mean, day in and day out? How does today shape every day?

To me, it means a life of service. It means being the hands and feet of Christ. One of my favorite quotes is by St. Teresa of Avila, a 16th century Spanish mystic and Carmelite nun. She wrote, “Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”

If you look around, there are many ways to put your faith into action. Reach out to someone who is lonely. Reduce your consumption of “stuff.” Share some time with family, friends and neighbors. Challenge hatred and bigotry when you see it. Donate your time to helping others.

Here’s a specific invitation to get started! On Saturday, May 18, I invite you to participate in a day of service in Auburn, helping several organizations make our community better and sharing in a free picnic lunch, too. Watch for Westminster church members to be out in full force! Here are some of the options:

• Spring planting day at Auburn’s Permaculture Park: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 53 Garrow St. (Lepak Memorial Park)

Auburn’s Permaculture Park is an “edible forest garden,” as well as a serene gathering place and educational space to learn about sustainable foods and regenerating urban lands. A variety of fruit trees, herbs, nuts and plants make it a perennial community garden. On May 18, children and adults are welcome to help plant hundreds of flowers and shrubs. Bring gardening gloves, planting or gardening tools you like to work with, work clothes, snacks and water bottle. Contact Erin Humphrey at (315) 246-8302.

• Auburn Downtown Business Improvement District “Flower Power” Spring Planting Day: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting at Exchange Street for instructions

Downtown Auburn is brightened by colorful flowers throughout the summer growing in huge self-watering planters on city sidewalks. Help is needed to plant flowers on May 18. Bring gardening gloves and any gardening tools you like to work with. Contact Stephanie DeVito at (315) 252-7874 or stephanie@auburndowntown.org for more information.

• Habitat for Humanity’s Women Build: 8 a.m. to noon and/or noon to 3 p.m. at 108 Standart Ave.

Habitat for Humanity’s mission is to put God’s love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope. The Cayuga County chapter is rehabilitating a home at 108 Standart Ave. for a new family, and welcomes volunteers ages 18 and up (teens 16-17 with a legally responsible adult) to work on May 18. Wear work clothes and close-toed shoes. Volunteers will work under supervision of a team leader on a variety of inside and outdoor projects. A $20 donation is requested to support Habitat’s mission to build homes and hope. Preregistration is required by emailing cayugahabitat@cayugahabitat.org.

• Westminster Presbyterian Church property workday: 9 a.m. to noon at 17 William St.

This historic downtown church has a variety of tasks and chores for all ages and skills both inside and outside the building. The church’s property committee maintains the property, and welcomes volunteers of all skill levels to keep the church safe, clean and in good repair. Wear work clothes and close-toed shoes.

From noon to 2 p.m., Westminster invites everyone to take a break from their chores to share a free picnic lunch of hot dogs, sides, drinks and cake (with some vegetarian options, too) on the church’s front lawn. It’ll be a community celebration of everyone who is putting their love into action on May 18.

Again, happy Easter! Today, tomorrow, May 18 and every day!

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Jill Fandrich is a ruling elder and clerk of session at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 17 William St., Auburn, where she edits the newsletter, church website (westminsterauburn.org) and Facebook and Twitter pages.