A part-time local pastor on a three-point charge has plenty to do on any week, especially before Easter. But the week preceding Easter isn’t just any week, and this year Pati Tynes expanded the sacred beyond Sunday morning and offered a four-day holy experience at her three rural churches.
On Maundy Thursday at Steedman UMC, Rev. Tynes, the local pastor who serves “The (Missouri) River Circuit” in the Mid-State District, portrayed Mary when Jesus came to visit and was anointed with her oil of nard. She began with a footwashing, sang the song “Alabaster Box”, moved into the skit from Mary’s ‘perspective’ about it all, and then went into the Last Supper and served communion. She left them with the thought from Mary ‘… that was Thursday, I don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow.’
“This was open to the whole circuit, and I was warned that only 10-12 would come, but there were 21 in attendance,” Tynes said. The Good Friday service was at Mokane UMC. There Kay Hord portrayed Pilate (about how his hands were clean ... or were they?) and then went into the Book of Worship’s Tenebrae Service. This service had an attendance of 25.
On Holy Saturday, Tynes conducted an eight-hour prayer vigil at Mokane UMC. She used the “Journey to the Cross” interactive walk. She had a protestant version of the stations of the cross displayed in an interactive journey for anyone who wanted to go through the walk with Christ. Each person was given a booklet and a ‘Journey Box’ and they either did an activity or collected an item at each ‘Journey Stop,’ depending on the stop. At the fourth ‘Journey Stop’ they had to write their sin on a white fabric square with a water soluble pen (carrying their sin with them) and then at the 13th ‘Stop’ they put their square into a bowl of water that represented their baptismal water and they watched as the water washed away their sin. Tynes then took that fabric, dried it and ‘transformed’ it into a flower for the altar, that they could take home and add to their ‘Journey box’ Easter morning.
“I was so spiritually fulfilled from this event, because I had people come to me to pray afterward and told me that were so moved and inspired, many left weeping,” Tynes said. “I was definatly fed by our journey together.”
A steady stream of people came and went through the day, for a total participation of 19.
Sunday started with a Sunrise Service at Tebbetts UMC at 6 a.m. There Tynes had baptized an infant and served 92 people communion. Afterward 76 stayed for breakfast.
At 7:45 a.m. Steedman UMC had 42 in attendance and also served breakfast afterward. At 9 a.m. Mokane UMC had 72 in attendance. The choir there had a small Easter Cantata.
“I also got to stay and go to their Sunday School since they were the last church that morning instead of the first one. They had an Easter egg hunt afterward for the kids,” Tynes said. Following church, Tynes had lunch at one family’s house, “seconds” at another family and later dinner with a third family.
“I got to fellowship with a group of families from all three churches,” she said. “My family’s Easter get-together was on April 14, so I was totally free to visit with all the churches this weekend. I was exhausted each night when I hit the pillow, but very renewed, revived, and I feel closer to all my congregations.”
Following Holy Week, Tynes went on a mission trip.