Season of Lent
Ash Wednesday begins the season of Lent as we journey together in preparation for the paschal celebrations of Easter. During these forty days, we are called to a time of growth through repentance, fellowship, prayer, fasting, and concentration upon our baptismal covenant. We are to be signs of God’s kingdom in this world as we continue in the lifelong process of being transformed into the life and holiness of our Lord. This is a time for putting aside the sins and failures of the past in light of who we are yet to become by the grace of God.
Because Lent is a solemn yet hopeful time when we do things to bring us closer to God, we frequently think in terms of giving up something for Lent. However, I would like to encourage us to take on something for Lent instead. I want to share several ways we may put faith into action during this Lenten season. The first way is to join us for the Ash Wednesday service in the sanctuary the evening of March 2nd, at 5:00 pm. Then, the next morning, Nancy Pugh and I will begin the 6-week Bible study “The Lord’s Prayer” by Adam Hamilton each Thursday morning beginning March 3rd from 10:00-11:30 am in the Sheppard Center. In this study, Hamilton guides us to really know—and really pray—the Lord’s Prayer, exploring each of its rich lines and their meaning in the Bible, and illuminating what we ask of God and what we ask of ourselves through its words.
We also have the opportunity to participate in Communities of Transformation (COT), a wonderful group which gathers each Tuesday evening at Holy Comforter Episcopal Church to meet with members of our community who are struggling to meet some daily challenges. Volunteers come alongside these brothers and sisters to share not only a meal, but their lives with one another, while teaching skills to help with the challenges of life.
River City UMC on Dexter Ave downtown also has several wonderful outreach programs. They are open every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 10-1 pm to hand out clothing, hygiene kits, and food bags, in addition to serving a hot lunch on Mondays and Thursdays. They need volunteers to help with this each week. Additionally, they are open every 4th Saturday from 9-11 am as a hub for those same services and a satellite office for government services from food stamps to mental health. If you are interested in participating in The Lord’s Prayer Bible Study, COT, or River City programs, please talk with Nancy or me about the opportunities available to help.
As we journey through this Lenten season together in study, prayer, sacrifice, and service I urge each of you to make a commitment to adding at least one of the above opportunities to your routine. Whether it is with time, money or prayer, please give.