I wanted to take a minute to write and say what a blessing this past Easter weekend was for me, and I hope and pray it was for you as well. I’ll be honest and tell you I didn’t quite know what to expect in terms of the crowd because Easter fell on one of the two weekends that bookended Spring Break. I’ve never seen anything like Spring Break in Central Indiana (I hope many of you were able to get away and experience a time of refreshment and renewal). But the end result was an attendance of 4,385, which is the second highest weekend attendance in the history of the church. What makes that even more amazing was that Saturday night’s service was far from full (not sure why…maybe it had something to do with the 6pm tip-off of the National Semi-Final game involving a certain Indianapolis area team). If you were at one of our Sunday morning services, you know that the Worship Center was packed. And each Sunday service included more than 100 people in the overflow area. Our Video Venue also had a record crowd of 125. In the end it was simply a powerful weekend. I’m very thankful for all the efforts from our Worship and Arts staff as well as the entire church staff who demonstrated a willingness to serve in whatever capacity they were needed.
On April 17-18 we’ll begin a new verse-by-verse study of the Book of I Peter entitled, “Where is the Hope?” The apostle Peter wrote this letter to believers scattered throughout the regions of Asia Minor because of increasing hardship and persecution that was causing some of them to wonder if God had abandoned them. He wrote to let them know it was possible to find hope and meaning in the midst of their suffering. This series (with a few breaks for holiday weekends) will take us through the summer and provide a great opportunity for growth for all of us. I hope you will pray for me in my preparation, and then plan on being present for each study.
Finally, on a lighter note, I can’t tell you how blessed I feel to have a freezer full of Blue Bell ice cream. I hope you did not miss the April 5th introduction of Blue Bell into the Indianapolis market. I also hope you are doing your part to make sure Blue Bell stays around. Let your local Meijer store know how much you appreciate them for carrying Blue Bell, and fill out a product request form at your local Kroger or Marsh or wherever you shop. There’s an important reason for this that will become clear when I get to share my latest Blue Bell story with you at church. I’m hoping that will be soon. In the meantime, keep buying. My newest recommendation is a flavor called “Butter Crunch.” It’s vanilla ice cream with chunks of Butterfinger candy bars. (I know…I know…this is a little over the top).