The beginning of Lent is Ash Wednesday – February 14th and ending of Lent is on Pentecost, Sunday May 20th.
This year our church is hosting the weekly “20 Minutes with God” Wednesday services offered by the Ministerial Association. This is a great honor and opportunity to serve our community! Pastor Sally will offer the meditation on the first Wednesday, February 21st. The messages the following 4 weeks will be offered by area ministers.
One of the best ways to deepen discipleship during Lent is to add something to your faith life. How about a Bible Study? Pastor Sally is offering the first of three Bible studies on the book of Acts beginning Monday, February 19th at 7 pm. This first study will last nine weeks. The Second Acts Study (featuring Paul’s mission work) will take place next fall after Pastor Sally returns from visiting many of the sights of the early church on her sabbatical. Acts Three is slated for Lent 2019.
Acts is the story of the early church. It begins with the dramatic events of Pentecost and then follows the missionary work for Peter, Stephen, Philip, James, John, Paul, Tabitha, Pricilla, Aquilla and many others. The things these early disciples did to share the message of Jesus and demonstrate Christ’s compassion are remarkable. At the same time, they were very human, falling asleep during sermons, hording belongings and arguing over their purpose! This book is so contemporary to the church today!
This class is open to high school students and above. No prior know-ledge of the Bible is required!
Pastor Sally will be preaching on the promises of God during Lent. The Old Testament walks through a series of promise stories called Covenants. These were promise agreements made between God and God’s people that were intended to provide strength and guidance to the relationship. Most of the agreements were promises God made to the people that finally led to a new covenant created through Jesus.
What a strange coincidence that Ash Wednesday is on Valentine’s Day this year. I actually believe it is quite appropriate. The story of St. Valentine is actually a mixture of legends about a Christian priest named Valentine in the 3rd century at a time when Christianity was still a persecuted religion. The emperor Claudius had issued an edict forbidding young people to marry at the time because he believed single young men would fight better in battle if they were not attached to a wife back home. Valentine, however, wanted to help young people wishing to marry and so married them in secret in the church. Valentine was caught, imprisoned and tortured for his actions.
I recently attended a great Seminar with the Center for Congregations, called “Growing Young”, with Dr. Kara Powell of Fuller Theological Seminary, who is also the director of the Fuller Institute. Kara has been involved in a large research project funded by the Lilly Foundation to study churches that are engaged in effective ministry with young people ages 15 – 29. These churches are not only growing, but they are growing young. The statistics about church growth in the United States are not encouraging these days. The number of people who identify themselves as Christians has fallen from 78 – 71 percent recently. Kara says no major denomination is growing right now. So, Kara and her two colleagues embarked on a study of churches that are growing young.
To:The Church Mouse (ick!) and others.
From:The one and only Calvin the Church Cat.
OK Church Mouse, I’ve had about enough of your silly ramblings in the newsletter. And, furthermore, I do not smell as you insinuated.EVERYONE knows that mice smell -ALL THE TIME!Enuf. I am looking forward to all the upcoming Advent events (more cookie crumbs for me). Presbies are always eating and I need to keep up my healthy frame. Sitting on the shelf above the oven is my favorite spot. It is nice and warm.