March 5 2023

We’ve had a number of meaningful times together recently as Epiphany came to a close and Lent began.

The children provided much of the leadership on Transfiguration Sunday. Even the littlest ones helped with prayers and readings. It is so good to be part of a church that attempts to embrace all generations. We strive to affirm the work of the Spirit through every person.

On Shrove Tuesday (February 21st), we tried something new. That afternoon, Pastor Cheryl had games set out and planned activity tables for children around the themes of Lent. At other tables, games were set out for adults and there was time to chat. After all of this, we sat down for a pancake supper. Around fifty came out for the meal and activities. The children all went home with materials for daily prayers.

With school out that week, Cheryl saw this as a chance to try another way of providing teaching and fellowship for all generations. She was also interested in an event where we could welcome families in our circles who are uncertain about starting to attend Sunday morning services. We will be planning another of these events later this year.

The next evening, we returned for a meaningful (and quieter!) evening service for Ash Wednesday. Rev Ron Phillips renewed our faith with a clear summary of salvation and some counsel for our Lenten journey. He encouraged us to “travel light.”

We can find ourselves carrying lots of baggage around, things such as sin, failure, or shame, or activities or possessions we think we need to get through the days but increasing influence how we spend our time and dominate our thoughts. Historically, where Pancake or Shrove Tuesdays were observed, what they had in mind was physically using up all the rich and heavy foods in the home before Lent, such as the sugar and butter. Spiritually, it was a day to get rid of any sin you were carrying through confession and forgiveness. (Shrove is past tense of shrive, an old word that means to confess and be forgiven.)

The goal is always to draw nearer to Jesus. He is Lord. Again and again, we need these reminders that he must be the one to direct us and the one to feed us.

May you find that Jesus is with you.

Yours with love,

Pastor Joel



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