Pastor’s Ponderings

I find it hard to believe that I am now talking to you about Lent which begins in the middle of February and takes us into April when we will celebrate Easter. It seems like just yesterday we completed the Advent season and the celebration of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. Advent and Lent are times that we, as a church and individuals, commit to enriching our relationship with God the Father, Jesus the Son, and look for  the guidance of the Holy Spirit who following Lent will take us beyond to Pentecost Sunday in May.

The Claybanks United Methodist Church will recognize the beginning of Lent with an Ash Wednesday service on February 22, at 7:00 p.m., with imposition of ashes. The following Sunday, February 26, the Adult Sunday school class will begin a six-week study for Lent using a study series developed by Adam Hamilton entitled “Luke, Jesus and the Outsiders, Outcasts and Outlaws.” The series focuses on Jesus’s ministry ,to ordinary and imperfect people who struggle to hear the “Good News” in their lives. Our study will include a DVD video session each Sunday with discussion of the video and readings from our study aid. During Lent, we will have our traditional devotional, “The Upper Room”, available and a special devotional developed for Lent, “Redeemed”, by the Society of St. Andrew.                          .

As we continue through Lent and we enter Holy Week which begins on Palm Sunday, April 2, when we will gather and celebrate, with palms, Jesus’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem. On Holy Thursday, we will be able to attend a number of different worship services at area churches. On Good Friday, April 7, we will gather in our sanctuary at 2:00 p.m. to witness at the cross of Jesus. On Sunday, April 9, we will begin our Easter Sunday celebration at 9:30 a.m. with a visit to the empty tomb followed by a continental breakfast in Fellowship Hall provided by the Worship Design Team. Following our meal, we will gather together as we enter our sanctuary to celebrate Easter and the joy of resurrection.

Following Easter, Reba and I will be gone for three weeks. We will be visiting our family in Colorado and her brother in Missouri with a little sightseeing in-between. Our worship service on April 16 will be led by Jim Tanis and on April 23 by Edie Bogart. On Sunday, April 30, Adult and Teen Challenge will be with us to witness and lead us in worship with their choir.

During these special times on our church calendar, our Worship Design Team will be changing the look of our sanctuary to enhance our worship experience and we will also be using our projection system to assist us and bring to you a very meaningful worship experience.

It is our prayer that during Lent we will have an opportunity to experience a closer walk with our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ, as he continues to be the focus of our spiritual enrichment in prayer, thanksgiving, song, and praise at our Claybanks United Methodist Church.

Pastor Gary

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