Gospel Gazette: April 2022

A Seat at the Table: Connecting Passover and Easter

This month:

  • Pastor David Averill explores the relationship between Passover and Easter, and Jesus’ role in bridging the gap between the two.
  • Introducing the Amy M. Bolt Memorial Grant
  • Living Love 2022—Thank you to all who participated!
  • Enjoy a new book study of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families
  • Join us throughout Holy Week and invite someone in your life to one of these services
  • And more!

Read the digital flipbook »

Letter from the pastor

I do not agree with T.S. Eliot’s assertion in his magnum opus, The Wasteland, that “April is the cruelest month.” However, it is typically the most vibrant and active month in the church year. Most of the time, Easter falls in April unless it falls in late March. Easter is a moveable feast on the church calendar because it is calculated to fall on the first Sunday during the first full moon that occurs following the vernal equinox (signifying the beginning of spring, typically March 21). Phew! That is always a mouthful to explain. It gets even more complicated to try to explain why churches in the West and churches in the East usually celebrate Easter at different times about 1 – 3 weeks apart. Another mind-bender is to explain Passover’s connection to Easter, and why it rarely lines up on the calendar with Easter. I will save that mind-bender for another time.

Nonetheless, I am so grateful that as a church, we have had the chance to explore the spiritual connection between Holy Week and Passover by exploring Exodus in our Lenten sermon series. Scripturally, many of you know that the Last Supper was a Passover meal. As such on April 3, during our observance of Holy Eucharist at all three services, we will pay closer attention in the liturgy to Christ as “the Passover Lamb”. 

Additionally, in reference to this experience of Passover, I highly recommend a new book published 2015 by Abingdon Press, What Every Christian Needs to Know About Passover by Rabbi Evan Moffic that delves further into this subject. It is available from Amazon or Cokesbury if you would like to order a copy for yourself. I also recommend that you view Rev. Lenora Rousseau’s wonderful sermon on this subject from March 9, 2015, available online and entitled “Bread of Heaven, Wine of Promise” (click here to view the video »).

Lenora is an ordained Elder in the Florida Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, and was raised in the Messianic Jewish tradition. I had the privilege to work with Lenora at First United Methodist Church of Gainesville from 2014 – 2015.

Other aspects of Holy Week that you will not want to miss include the following: Maundy Thursday prayer service on April 14th at 7:00 p.m.; and the  chancel choir’s Good Friday concert, directed by our beloved music director, Scott Spradlin, on April 15 at 7:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary. On Easter Sunday, we will have four services at 6:30 a.m., 8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 am. The sunrise option at 6:30 a.m. on our front lawn is a new addition this year.

Let us celebrate the joy of Easter in April for “We are Easter people, and Hallelujah is our song” (attributed to Pope John Paul II).

With Joy on the Journey,

Pastor David Averill

Support for Ukraine through UMC Advance Funds

United Methodist Global Ministries’ Advance #14053A supports pastors in Ukraine and Moldova. advance.umcmission.org

Donations labeled “Ukraine” will be split 50/50 between UMCOR and those pastors.

Holy Week Services

Palm Sunday Services

April 10, 8am, 9:30am, & 11am / During each of our service times, participate in our waving of the palm branches during musical worship.

Maundy Thursday: A Service of Prayer and Remembrance

April 14, 7pm / Commemorating the Washing of the Feet and the Last Supper. Includes Prayer Centers & Holy Communion

Candles of Grace: A Tenebrae Service

Good Friday, April 15, 7pm / Featuring our Celebration Choir, a Drama, and music from the Barron String Quartet of Stetson University.

Easter Sunrise Service

Sunday, April 17, 6:30am / Join us on the front lawn for a special sunrise service. We will have extra chairs, but we ask that members bring their own chair so we have enough for visitors. We will also have our usual three services.

Order Your Cookbook Today

A limited print run of cookbooks is available in the church office and Thrift Shoppe for $15 each. Proceeds go toward outreach missions. (Cash or checks only please.)

New Book Study

Pastor David Averill will lead a study of the book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families, over four Wednesdays beginning April 20 at 6:30 pm. Reserve a book by contacting the church office.

In his first major work since The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey presents a practical and philosophical guide to solving the problems—large and small, mundane and extraordinary—that confront all families and strong communities. By offering revealing anecdotes about ordinary people as well as helpful suggestions about changing everyday behavior, this book shows the importance of keeping promises, how to balance individual and family needs, and how to move from dependence to interdependence.

VBS 2022: Jerusalem Marketplace

Our Jerusalem Marketplace Vacation Bible School is July 18 to 22 from 9am to Noon. Participants include children ages 3 through fifth grade. Older students and adults are encouraged to volunteer. Visit our website to register a participant or volunteer.

Living Love 2022—Thank you!

Thank you to everyone who participated in our Living Love event on April 2! Our community experienced the love of Jesus, and we experienced the grace that comes when we serve our community.

We met that morning in Friendship Hall to receive our assigned worksites. After serving and loving our neighbors, we returned to Friendship Hall for lunch together.

We LOVE GOD, and we LOVE OTHERS! A recap video of the event will be available on our YouTube channel later this month.

Lenten Devotional

If you’ve missed our Devotional, “Walking With Jesus Through Lent,” with daily devotionals from members of our church, you can still find it here »

Amy M. Bolt Memorial Grant 

I. PURPOSE: To bring glory to God by providing grants to active and deserving individuals connected to First United Methodist Church of Mount Dora. The grants are to help recipients continue to bring glory to God by living a Christ filled and successful personal, business and community life as Amy did. 

II. BACKGROUND: From an early age Amy was active in her church, school and work. Although she did not attend college, she excelled in service to others through a solid work ethic at The First National Bank of Mount Dora where she became a dedicated, responsible and successful lending officer. She lived her faith in God at work, in the community and at home. 


  • a. Age not a requirement 
  • b. Participation in church and community service is of utmost importance 
  • c. Financial need is a primary consideration 
  • d. GPA or class standing not primary 
  • e. Available for: Vocational / technical training and/or certification; Online training; On the job training; Business or life start-up 
  • f. Uses of grant: Tuition or training costs; Fees; Books; Technical / electronic equipment; Living expenses; Uniforms; Tools; Childcare; Travel / transportation; Business Inventory 

IV. Grant Distributions: Interested persons shall complete a grant application outlining their goals and needs. All requests shall be reviewed by a Grant Distribution Team that has the responsibility to review applications and determine the recipients and amounts. Once awarded, the Team shall meet as determined for each grant recipient, to review progress and subsequent needs so that success of the grant is most likely achieved. Subsequent grant distributions to current recipients may be considered. 

V. Questions: Questions should be directed to the Grant team consisting of Tracy Berry, Roy Hamlin, Peggy Herbst, Wendy Simpson, or Janet Westlake, Minister of Discipleship.

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone especially to those in the family of faith. 

—Galatians 6: 9-10