As I begin this post it is still the afternoon of what I, as a child, used to refer to as “Palm Saturday”.
This was the day on which we ALWAYS went over to Church and made hundreds of Palm Crosses from the exotic branches, which had been sitting, for the past week, in the Parish Hall fridge in a long, narrow brown paper package covered in stamps all the way from Africa! We literally made several hundred, since everyone at Church the next day would want to take a few home for shut-ins and other family members.
Palm Saturday was special. One of the ladies would make tea and there would be cookies or Hot Cross Buns and we would sit around a long table; people of all ages working together talking and laughing and discussing all the other exciting events of the Holy Week ahead.
Sadly, the making of Palm Crosses is not a custom at St. Stephen’s, however, I have been asked to lead the Children’s Ministry time tomorrow so we will be making some Palm Branches (albeit from Bristol Board) as one of our activities.
But I have been getting ahead of myself……..
The past week has been quite productive on the Day Camp front. Monday saw us at our monthly committee meeting and we had quite a good turnout with all but two of our members present. I was pleased to report that I think we have overcome the difficulties around recording the Liturgical Dance DVD, that Arnee has almost got the Manual into a single document (YAY ARNEE!!), that we now have a few actual Church Applications on file, and that a few more Young People are making noises about applying for Travelling Team!
We have a lot of events coming up in April: - The Team Gathering being the first. It will be taking place on April 13th, only 3 weeks away. AGH!!!
As always, after a Committee meeting, I spent the subsequent days following up on a number of suggestions made by the members and answering a gazillion emails.
Tuesday also brought a wicked blizzard which dumped about 30cms. of snow on the city so that Wednesday I actually forgot to post this month’s “Wednesday Words” because I was trying to cope with a lot of shovelling! (CTM also had to postpone our AGM, as people simply couldn’t make it to a meeting on Tuesday evening). However I remedied the Post situation first thing Thursday morning, and hope that our Readers took the time to check it out!
At home I have welcomed a number of visitors throughout the week and have been beavering away at Easter gifts, especially the second dozen Pysanky which are, as I write, sitting in a low oven to melt off the wax. The Chubby Chirps are coming along and I now have 8 complete Team Crosses. Today I started sewing the fabric baskets in which I will present my Easter gifts to some special friends. I’m quite excited about making them and can think of all sorts of uses for more of the same. The pattern also has 4 different sizes.
So things are pretty much in hand for Church. Tomorrow,I shall give a brief resumé of what we did and let you know how things turned out!
Earlier this afternoon I baked some Meringues, which I plan to serve over the Holiday. They are delicious topped with Crème Fraîche and Berries!
Easter Egg Meringues
4 egg whites
pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract.
Place egg whites, sugar and salt in a heat proof bowl, set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk continuously until sugar is dissolved and mixture is warm (about 2 mins.)
Remove from heat. With an electric mixer beat at high speed until stiff peaks form. Beat in vanilla.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 200F.
With a large spoon scoop the meringue into 8 large ovals spaced well apart on the baking sheet.
Bake for approx. 2 ½ hours until crisp but NOT browned.
Meringues will keep, stored in an airtight container, for several days or can be frozen. Do not refrigerate.
The Children’s Ministry program went really well this morning. There were only 5 of us-2 little ones, 2 teen helpers and me, but “where two or three are gathered together….we had a good time!
We began by watching this short video of the Palm Sunday Gospel.
After that we talked a bit about the story and then we played “hunt the donkey” ( I confess I used a stuffed Eyeore, with a pink bow on his tail!). We then sat on the floor and played “Kim’s Game”. I had chosen 7 small objects which were symbolic of various aspects of Holy Week. I spoke briefly about each one, then we covered the tray and the little ones had to remember all the items. Malachi(age 6) asked if he could write down 7 numbers (this took a while) and then I filled in the name of each object as they took turns naming them.
Next we had a “Bible times” (organic) snack-figs, dates, goat cheese, matzos and grape juice.
After snack time we made the “Palm Branches” of green Bristol Board. Then, lastly we learned a simple Liturgical Dance to this version of the Lord’s Prayer.
I think they would have liked to do more dance but by then Church was over. I understand from their regular leader that she has been teaching the Lord’s Prayer so maybe I will visit again soon and we can practice some more and then dance it at a Sunday Service!
I walked home in glorious sunshine, ate asparagus on toast for lunch (ah Spring!), took Wil for his walk and then worked on sewing some of the fabric Easter baskets.
Before I make my High Tea I hope to put in a few moments on my 1000 piece Spring Flowers jigsaw puzzle, sadly only the border has been done, but Janice is coming on a break between classes tomorrow so I hope we can make a bit more progress as she is an expert puzzler!
And so Holy Week begins …….