Pastor’s Pen

In mid-January we began the newest sermon series, called “Seeing 20/20 in 2020”.  We began by looking at the Old Testament covenants, laws, and expectations.  We then explored the new covenant and next began to build our understanding of how to faithfully live as a Christian and as a United Methodist as we move forward into 2020.  The series will wrap up on February 16 and in March we will begin a new series for Lent called “Boot Camp for the Soul”.

Lent is a season where we traditionally look within and seek to repent of all that separates us from God.  In this year’s Lenten series we will focus on looking within, on spending time in some personal investigation, and on seeking a change of heart or actions.  Like any other boot camp, we will be challenged to demand the best of ourselves, to support one another, and to see truths that might just alter our self-understanding.  During the season of Lent we will again offer a time of prayer and silence on Sunday evenings.  You are invited to come to the church anytime between 7:00 and 8:00 p.m. to spend some time in the darkened sanctuary — praying, reading scripture, or simply begin present to the quiet.

The season of Lent will begin on Wednesday, February 26, with a traditional Ash Wednesday Service at 6:30 p.m.  This service includes the imposition of ashes in the shape of a cross, symbolizing our commitment to walk as a faithful disciple during the holy season of Lent.  We will be reminded of our mortality and of our need to repent of our sins.  Lent is traditionally a season when many choose to “give up” or abstain from something.  While this is well and good, I would encourage you to instead think about adding something in during Lent.  It may be to join a small group or class for Lent or it may be to add a special devotional or Lenten prayer practice to your daily spiritual disciplines.

There will be a Lenten study again this year and you are encouraged to participate.  You can do so by joining a class or small group or by working through the study yourself.  As has been my habit for each Advent and Lent during my time here, the Sunday messages will tie in with the study.

May the Lord our God bless you and your family!!  God bless!!

– Pastor John

—-

Scripture to read and consider:

 Is this not the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke”?  — Isaiah 58:6

Questions to ponder and to go deep with:

1) How can you loose the bonds of injustice?  For whom would you do so?

2) What oppresses people in our communities?

3) What are the “yokes” that keep people bound up or stuck or feeling helpless?  How can the church help?