Wednesday, January 31, 2018

An Explanation about this year's Lenten Series

During the season of Lent, the 40 Days leading up to Easter (not counting Sundays), we will be starting a new series, beginning on Ash Wednesday at 5:00pm, February 14 through Palm/Passion Sunday, which will be March 25. 

Starting on Monday, February 19 at 10am and Wednesday, February 21 at 4:30pm, we will be offering a Lenten study around Rev. Dr. Eric Elnes’ book, Gifts of the Dark Wood, which offers some different insights around the sometimes dark places in our lives and how they can end up being a blessing in disguise.  To reserve a copy of the book, please contact the church office.  You are welcome to donate $10 to the book fund when you pick your book up. 

Our worship services, starting with Ash Wednesday on February 14 will touch on the theme of rehabilitation.  According to the team at Discipleship Ministries in Nashville (Dawn Chesser, Taylor Burton-Edwards, & Jackson Henry),

There is much to mine from considering our Lenten journey this year within the frame of rehab, much to explore, much to learn. But the core of the learning in rehab, like the core of the learning in Lent, isn’t cognitive. It’s behavioral. In rehab, we learn how to live differently, to set a “new normal” for ourselves and our relationships after a period of time or perhaps a crisis has made it clear to us it is impossible to live as we had before.  Likewise, in Lent, we focus on helping those coming to faith in Christ for the first time, as well as those making their way back to Christ and the fellowship of the church after a period of absence or neglect, primarily in concrete, behavioral ways. Our goal for all who engage this period of time is that the way of Jesus becomes either the “new normal,” or, for those who have been consistent in the journey over time, is strengthened as our normal.[i]

We are fully aware that just mention of the word ‘rehab’ and themes each week of Lent might be a trigger that conjures up some negative feelings, bad memories, unease, or touch a nerve.  If that is the case, please feel free to share your story and speak with Pastor Andrew if you find yourself in need of pastoral care or to process through anything you are struggling with in the series.  You will also be invited to seek out prayer partners during Lent, someone you can confide in and check-in with throughout each week, as there will be a time of response called ‘Living the Call’ right after the sermon, or use the season of Lent for journaling. 

As we journey through the season of Lent and examine our bodies, minds, and souls from the inside out, here are the themes and scriptural focus we will be touching on:

February 14, Ash Wednesday: Mortality
Joel 2: 1-2, 12-17, Psalm 51: 1-17, 2 Corinthians 5: 20b-6:10, Matthew 6: 1-6, 16-21

February 18: Wilderness, Mark 1: 9-15

February 25: Intervention, Mark 8: 31-38

March 4: Program, Exodus 20: 1-17

March 11: Recovery, John 3: 14-18

March 18: Promise, Jeremiah 31: 31-34

March 25: Palm/Passion Sunday, “The Cry of the Whole Congregation” (No Sunday School)

We hope that this Lent will be a time of deep spiritual growth and that it will lead to restoration, wholeness, and new life that is possible.  We look forward to seeing you Sunday morning or in the small group studies. 

[i] 2018. Gbod-Assets.S3.Amazonaws.Com. Accessed January 19 2018.

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