50 Days of Easter 2021

A Season of Mourning & Hope

In recent history, the origami crane has become a symbol of healing and hope. In the 50 days of Easter, Salem

will borrow this symbol from our Japanese siblings and make as many folded paper cranes as we are able.

Could we make 1,000? As we fold, we will multiply hope and pray for healing. Healing from this pandemic in

all the ways we need: physically, socially, emotionally, communally, economically. So much has been broken

in this unforgiving year, let us walk into the hope of Christ this Easter season.

In the gospel of Mark...the women walked into the garden of Jesus’ tomb mourning and ran out holding a hope

they never could have imagined. Mark’s telling of the story leaves us wondering what happened next. So much

so that historically, scribes have added two different endings to the original abrupt one, seemingly

uncomfortable with the inevitable conclusion of the abrupt ending: that the running women didn’t tell anyone,

so we must. We find ourselves holding mourning in one hand and hope in the other.

As we begin to emerge from our year-long winter, the green shoots are just visible above last year’s grass. We

are simultaneously grateful for the privilege of so many vulnerable folks in our community who have received

the vaccination, while holding, still, to the reality that so many of us under 65 are still unvaccinated and will

need more outreach now than we may have ever done before.

Along with the obvious prayers for COVID suffering, during this season where Asian-Americans are suffering

from a 150% increase in hate crimes, let our crane-making be an act of solidarity with them and healing and

hope for them as well.

During this time when cancer diagnoses just seem to pour in, let this be our prayer for them. When we are

beginning to see the gimmer of economic recovery that will bring back jobs and financial stability to so many,

let our prayers for healing be expansive. The world is in need of healing and hope.

As we see Christ, the green blade, rise from death, we are seeing our community rise from a death of our own.

The death of people we know and love, the death of so many familiar ways of doing things, the death of many

months when we could not gather or connect in ways we wished.

We see the green blades, we see the buds sprouting on the tips of the branches, we see the world becoming new

again, for resurrection is here.

Let us be resurrection people. Those who mourn our losses honestly and embrace the hope that loss is the

beginning of something new. Ministry will look different this year; we are different than we were, death

changes us. And resurrection has the last word.

Escape from the grave will embody itself in the cranes we make and display around the church. Make cranes at

home and drop them off, or use one of the stations we will have set up at church before and after worship.

There will also be different opportunities for you to reflect on what you mourn and what gives you hope.

We start with the Holy Saturday Worship Service of Mourning & Hope at 10:00am April 3rd. We mourn and

hope in death the day before we give ourselves fully to the celebration of the Resurrection. Our theme will be:

Unfinished. We are an unfinished people in an unfinished world, mourning even as we live in the hope of the


In the famous story about a child with cancer making 1,000 cranes, she died with only 641 made. But what

happened next was the punchline. Cranes poured in from every corner of the world and were sent to her family

as a show of solidarity, a gift of hope for healing for them. Like the senbazuru of the little girl, we too are

Unfinished. But as it turns out, even in this reality, God’s love pours out through and to the neighbor. We may

be unfinished, our congregation may be unfinished, but in the resurrection, God makes us complete. Join us in

worship to share the ways you are mourning and are given hope, in visualizing hope with cranes, and in all the

ways we are re-emerging out of the tomb this season.

God bless you in your mourning with healing and hope.

Pastor Kirsten & Pastor Tim

You Tube Video about Cranes in Japan - Paper Cranes Inspire At Twin Cities Hospital - YouTube

Origami Crane Directions