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Life in Greencastle

My senior year at DePauw Polly Elizabeth Marchese was diagnosed with Leukemia on the very first day of Fall classes. For a bunch of seniors arriving after one final summer of freedom, the news hit all of us hard, awakening us to the reality of danger in the midst of life. For the next several months, Polly battled the disease, but - eventually - she died. She died around this time of year - in the spring of her life.

Not long after she died, the annual Relay for Life was held to celebrate not just Polly but the many others that faced this disease - some of whom died, some of whom continued their struggle, and some of whom could gratefully call themselves "survivors". I will never forget that night as the bags were set aglow all over Blackstock Stadium. It was and is incredible to see: all of the bags a story of one of God's children. And together they make a whole litany of lives - glowing in the dark night, some of them shining for the message "Hope."

We all of us know someone who has heard the diagnosis: "Cancer." Some of us have received it personally. And, so we all now that life is not just a gift. It is something to treasure, to fight for.

The Relay for Life is coming to us again. A week from this Saturday, on April 25th, people from across this county will gather to walk, to live, to laugh. We have participated and joined in this relay before, and we will do so again. I encourage you to get involved, which you can begin doing this Sunday.

In worship this Sunday you will hear more about how we - as a church and individuals - can help support this year's Relay. Carolyn McKee has already provided a lot of good information about what we can do (see the bulletin board in the fellowship hall). And, thankfully, we'll be able to begin giving to this year's Relay through a bake sale on Sunday.

And, we can do more for another cause. Pat Modlin has done some good work to help us realize another opportunity to serve our community. Through an initiative called "Rebuilding Together" we can join with other churches and individuals to help build or enhance homes or other shelter. I believe there will be people working both the last weekend in April and the first weekend in May. If you can help either of those weekends and enjoy constructing for the welfare of others, please do let Pat Modlin know.

Now that we are in the season of Easter, it is appropriate that we get out into our community - seeking to stand with our community as we celebrate God's gift of life and battle with those whose lives are threatened physically, financially, emotionally or spiritually.

And, yes, we will gather ourselves this coming Sunday as well to worship as a community - remembering that without Jesus Christ we would have neither life nor community. And we'll be able to stand with Thomas - seeing him in a new light - and join him in saying, "My Lord and my God!"

I look forward to seeing you Sunday.



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