It is hard to believe that Lent is approaching so quickly. As this is being published, we are only one week away from Ash Wednesday. As busy as Lent can be in the life of the church, it is a great opportunity to experience and draw closer to the Living God we know through Jesus the Christ. I hope you will take advantage of this season by reflecting on God’s call on your life. And, I hope you will participate in our devotionals and engage the special worship opportunities in the coming weeks.
This year we are working to publish our own devotional guides for Lent. These guides will help you think deeply about the scriptures we will be covering during our Sunday morning worship times through a process known as Lectio Divina or Divine Reading. By combining this ancient practice with journaling (and some opportunities for which we are still ironing out the details) we will have the chance to listen intentionally to what God is saying to us, both as individuals and as a community of faith. These booklets will be available at the church by February 14th, or I will gladly deliver, mail, or email one to you!
We will have a virtual Ash Wednesday service this year. Exact details are still in the works, but there will be some meaningful opportunities for you to participate in the worship service. One of those will be the opportunity for you to have an imposition of ashes at home. One meaningful part of Dr. Sarah Cook’s commencement service was to see her receive her doctoral hood from her grandmother, Geraldine. That special opportunity made me think about how it might be to receive the ashes from our family or friends. Since the world is changing, this is a prime opportunity to try something new and different. In order to make this a reality (and give you some other elements which will help with our worship on Ash Wednesday and throughout Lent) we will have “worship packets” available at the church by February 14th. Again, if you’d like me to drop the materials off with you, please let me know. (Sorry, I don’t think I can mail everything this time, but I can send most of the materials if you live too far away for a personal delivery.)
I am working with Pastor Robert from Marshfield United Methodist on our joint Maundy Thursday service. At this point I think it will be a virtual format. We will send out more information (hopefully in the March newsletter.
Good Friday will offer the opportunity to worship by traveling through the Stations of the Cross. I will have the church open through most of the day and into the evening for you to come when it is best for you and to experience this powerful worship opportunity. The stations will be self-guided and allow you to spend as much time as you would like in reflection and worship at each of the stations.
Because of the ever-changing nature of the COVID-19 situation, I don’t want to speculate as to what Easter morning worship will look like. However, I can commit to there being at least two worship opportunities that morning. There will be some kind of a “sunrise worship” and a “traditional” worship experience at 10:30am. I am hopeful that we will be able to gather in person for at least one of those experiences, hopefully both!
My prayer for each of us is that we draw closer to God during this time of reflection. And, that we may draw closer to one another as a community of faith, and to our larger community as we journey together with God this Lent.