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Friday, March 21, 2008

 

Maundy Thursday 2008

Maundy Thursday, March 20, was quite a day here at Trinity, Lansdale! Earlier this week, two young boys (about age 10, not members) came into our gym and took two Easter baskets that were on a table ready for distribution to our shut-ins next Monday. Someone saw them leave the church building with these baskets and called the police. The police were waiting for the boys when they opened the baskets and were (probably) surprised to find that they were not filled with candy but with items that shut-ins adults might find useful! (tooth paste, tooth brushes, etc.) Our Buildings and Grounds manager made it clear to the police that we did NOT want to press charges against these boys but the police DID want to press charges and took the boys away.

We thought that was all to this unfortunate incident, but, apparently, several news organizations saw the police blotter with "Easter baskets stolen from church" and thought that was a story! So, as we were worshipping at noon on Maundy Thursday, news crews arrived from two Philadelphia TV stations. My colleague, Pastor Dayle Malloy, spoke with the NBC crew and I spoke with the ABC crew. We both emphasized that these boys were welcome to have a good Easter basket, that the "theft" would not deprive any shut-in of an Easter basket and that this week is about God's forgiveness and love for humankind.

The irony, of course, is that we have been trying, without success, to break into the Philadelphia news media and let them know that our large congregation sits out here in Lansdale.

We ended up with news coverage of this "theft" in at least four places:

KYW News Radio 1060AM -
www.kyw1060.com/pages/1865143.php?contentType=4&contentId=1758032

The "Morning Call" (Allentown) newspaper -
www.mcall.com/news/local/police/all-2easter.6324365mar21,0,4019630.story

The Lansdale "Reporter" newspaper carried the same short item that was in the "Morning Call." It is online at www.thereporteronline.com/WebApp/appmanager/JRC/Daily?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=pg_article&r21.pgpath=%2FTRO%2FHome&r21.content=%2FTRO%2FHome%2FFeaturedArticle_Story_1775162

NBC TV Channel 10 - www.nbc10.com/news/15652276/detail.html .

This last piece (NBC 10) is the text of what they broadcast during their 6:00 and 11:00 p.m. newscasts. I'm told they used other tape from their time at Trinity 2 or 3 times before 6:00 p.m. and showed the noon service and footwashing and more and did not even mention the Easter Baskets! Their crew spent most of the afternoon out front of our church and introduced their afternoon and 6:00 p.m. pieces live from out front.

ABC TV Channel 6 also spent time here during the luncheon following the noon service. I was interviewed as were a number of our members who were eating lunch. The reporter, David Henry, told me that he did not think this was really a story (and, of course, he was correct!) so he was not sure it would be used. And, it appears that he was correct and it was not used.

We had a record attendance here for Maundy Thursday: 692 at 7:30 p.m. after 106 at noon for a day total of 798! This is probably the best attendance for a Maundy Thursday in Trinity's 126 year history! Thank you to everyone who helped make this day a wonderful experience for Trinity members and their guests!

Holy week blessings to all,

Eric

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