In case you haven't noticed, spring is here -- and I couldn't be happier. Spring signals a new beginning, and after a mild but dreary winter, our preoccupation with war news and a depressed economy, it is most welcome.
Days are getting a little longer; the yellow hues of forsythia and daffodils are perking up the landscape. There's a new spring in the step of friends and neighbors who have emerged from their winter blahs. The Easter bunny arrives Sunday.
Yeah, I'm going to enjoy spring this year. I hope you will too.
Area churches will be concluding Holy Week services this weekend. An ecumenical Good Friday service for the Pasadena community is set for noon to 3 p.m. today at Lake Shore Baptist Church, 4613 Mountain Road.
The service will be divided into 25-minute segments featuring prayers, readings, choirs and performing soloists. Guests are invited to stay for part or all of the service.
Local pastors will be presenting the sermons, based on the last seven words of Christ. The Rev. Boyd Frank, pastor at Lake Shore Baptist, will present the greeting, to be followed by the Rev. Charles Harvey of Community United Methodist Church at 12:10 p.m., the Rev. Jacob Beck from St. Andrew'sEpiscopal at 12:35 p.m., Monsignor Charles Muth of St. Jane Frances at 1 p.m., the Rev. John Douglas from Emmanuel Lutheran at 1:25 p.m.,the Rev. Raymond Simmons of Galilee Lutheran at 1:50 p.m., the Rev. Terry Coffiel from Magothy Church of the Deaf at 2:10 p.m. and the Rev. David Cooney of Mount Carmel United Methodist at 2:35 p.m.
* Lake Shore Baptist will have a sunrise service at 6:30 Sunday in the sanctuary, with special music. Immediately following the service, a pancake and sausage breakfast will be served. The concert choir will present the cantata "Alleluia" at the 8:15 and 11 a.m. services.
* Pasadena United Methodist will join other area churches for a combined Good Friday service from noon to 3 p.m. at Severna Park United Methodist Church, 731 Benfield Road. Pasadena UMC's Easter service will include an outdoor dawn service at 6 and a breakfast, sponsored by the United Methodist Men, at 7.
Festival Easter services will be conducted at 11 a.m.
* Community UMC, 8680 Fort Smallwood Road, will have festival Easter services at 9 and 10:30 a.m., with a full choir at both services.
* Mount Carmel UMC, 5120 Mountain Road, will have asunrise service at 6:30 Sunday, planned by the youth of the congregation. Easter morning services will take place at 9 and 11.
* Services at Magothy UMC, 3703 Mountain Road, are set for 8:30 and 11 a.m. Easter morning.
The adult choir will sing at both services.
* Magothy-Chelsea Community Lutheran Church, on Creek Boulevard in Magothy Beach, has scheduled two services Sunday, a sunrise service at 6:30, to be followed by a pancake breakfast, and a 10:30 a.m. service.
* Our Lady of the Chesapeake Roman Catholic Church, 8325 Ventnor Road, will have stations of the cross today at 3 p.m., and an evening Good Friday service at 7:30 p.m.
On Holy Saturday, traditionalists can have food blessed at noon. The solemn Easter vigil will begin at 8 p.m. Saturday. Masses on Easter are scheduled for 9:30 and 11 a.m.
* St. Jane Frances de Chantal Catholic Church in Riviera Beach will recall the passion and death of Christ at a 3 p.m. service today. Stations of the cross will take place at 7:30 this evening. On Holy Saturday, the Easter vigil service will begin at 7:30 p.m. Masses on Easter are slated for 7:30, 9:30 and 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
* Pasadena Church of God, 7975 Tickneck Road, will celebrate its Easter services at 10:45 a.m. Pastor Glen Morris will bring a special Easter message. The festivities will end with a contemporary Christian concert at 6:30 p.m. performed by Lemuel Miller.
Miller, a third-generationgospel singer and host of the "Miller Brothers Show" on the Christian Television Network, is an ordained minister and has traveled aroundthe world as a missionary evangelist.
In addition to his many talents, he holds a fifth-degree black belt in karate and is founder anddirector of the Christian Karate Association.
Baby-sitting will be provided for infants.
* Pasadena Assembly of God will have its Easter service at 11 a.m. A special Easter celebration, featuring music by Ben Rainey, will take place at 6:30 p.m.
The Northeast Clergy Association invites you to attend Easter sunrise service at 6 in Downs Park.
The sermon will be given by the Rev. Raymond Simmonsof Galilee Lutheran. Other clergy participating will be the Rev. Charles Harvey of Community UMC and the Rev. John Douglas of Emmanuel Lutheran.
John Scripture will be the featured soloist and serve as song leader.
Those attending are reminded to bundle up against waterfront breezes and dress for the weather.
What's Easter without flowers? If you haven't purchased your Easter gift for mom, granny or your ever-loving whoever, check out the annual Easter flower sale at the Dash-In food store, Fort Smallwood Road and Duvall Highway.