Pastor’s Message

February 27th, 2014

Lent: A 40 Day Challenge

This year as we embark together on the journey called Lent, the six-week church season before Easter, I invite you into a 40 Day Challenge of spiritual renewal. Lent is an opportunity for each of us, with the support of one another, to deepen our faith through spiritual practices such as worship, learning, service, prayer and fasting (see details below). The real goal however, is not just to engage in these disciplines for a brief period, but to build a Lent that becomes a life. This is what Jesus asks his disciples to do at the climax in the Sermon on the Mount, when he tells them to “…store up…treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt. 6:20-21). As we hear those words at our Ash Wednesday worship on March 5th, please join me by committing yourself to those practices which will help you build a Lent that becomes a life.

On the journey with you,

Pastor Gretchen Bingea

“MAKING CHANGE”

As you read through the following spiritual disciplines, prayerfully discern where you, or you and your family, will either re-commit yourselves or begin a new practice that will deepen your discipleship as a follower of Jesus. Then use the purple bookmarks available at church to check off those practices, keeping it as a daily reminder.These habits are not meant as good works we do to try to earn God’s love—that has already been given to us by grace through Christ’s death and resurrection. Rather we engage in such practices to better see how God comes to us and is with us, daily creating  new hearts within us.

 

I.                    WORSHIP

A.      Sunday mornings at 10am.

The gospel readings for the Sundays in Lent are filled with stories where Jesus creates the possibility of change and new life.

B.      Wednesday evenings at 7:30pm.

Quiet worship with candlelight, readings and the music from “Holden Evening Prayer” as we reflect on the many changes in life: seasons, habits, circumstances, heart and plans.

C.      Holy Week

Maundy Thursday April 17 with First Communion

Good Friday April 18 The Passion of Jesus

II.                  LEARNING

Small group discussion using “Animate,” a resource that brings together leading voices to create an accessible, captivating exploration of big questions of the Christian faith, designed to spark conversation.

Choose between the weekly day and time that works best for you:

A.      Wednesdays 6-7:20pm: Soup supper and conversation

B.      Sundays 11:30-12:30pm: Snacks and conversation

III.               SERVICE

“Baskets of Promise” personal care kits

Each Sunday in Lent worshipers are asked to bring one item that will be included in personal care kits distributed through Lutheran World Relief (LWR). When LWR distributes Personal Care Kits, it’s often to people who have lost everything. In the wake of an earthquake, or having fled from violence as their homes were overtaken, they clasp a towel from a faraway place, with a bar of soap, a toothbrush…and washing up, they know that they have not been forsaken by the world.

IV.                PRAYER AND MEDITATION

Lent is a good time to begin or continue the daily practice of prayer and meditation. Booklets will be available at church to take home which include a Scripture passage, a reflection and a prayer for each day during Lent. There are options for adults, teens, and families.

V.                  FASTING

Giving up something for Lent comes from the traditional Lenten discipline of fasting—removing things from our life to make room for others. Knowing that our bodies are “temples of the Lord,” we might also fast from unhealthy foods in order to be good stewards of the bodies we have been given.

Sunday morning refreshments during Lent will be a fast from sugary foods and drinks, substituting healthier foods such as nuts, fruits and veggies.