I greet you in the name and spirit of Christ! As I write this, the February chill is hanging on but March–that “hinge” month that can go either way, in like a lion and out like a lamb–is almost here. The season of Lent is upon us as well and, along with it, many opportunities for deepening of faith. Lent is a good time for self-reflection and asking ourselves the big questions of our faith: What is it I believe, how does it sustain me, and how am I going to put it into practice? Those are very important questions and are similar to the ones Jesus asked as he journeyed in his ministry toward the cross. We, as a church, have been asking those kinds of questions about who we are, what is our purpose, and what sustains us, in many different ways. We spent a lot of time discerning these things in the Fall months–through a Small Church Leadership community, a Paul Nickerson (UCC pastor/consultant) workshop, and in our own retreat. And, from that time, new possibilities have emerged. We are trying new things. We are attempting to go out into the community and meet people where they are. We are choosing life and vitality rather than death and stagnation. These are some of the new things happening:
● Creative forms of worship like our breakfast church service in January.
● A new model for youth ministry and the formation of a regular, ongoing Middle
School Youth Group which will focus on arts and music (including the return of a
youth bell choir) and service projects.
● A possible new weekly teen drop-in center.
● Helping to provide food at the “Wednesday night lights” family skiing event.
A new members’ group with new members being welcomed this spring. As we go on this Lenten journey, we continue to look to God for guidance and inspiration. We find it in different Lenten worship services and activities such as:
● The return of the ecumenical Lenten lunches starting March 2nd (12-1 PM)
and each Thursday in March.
● A Maundy Thursday Seder meal and Foot Washing service on April 6th.
● Worship each Sunday when we come together to share in Communion,
incredible music, and overhear the encounters of Jesus and others engaging in
“Heart to Heart Talks” (a Lenten sermon series).
May God bless and be with you on your own Lenten journey. Whether you are practicing a Lenten discipline of some kind (prayer, fasting, or almsgiving) or taking on some new practice for Lent…join us on the journey!