As we follow Jesus Christ we seek to grow both individually and communally as believers. We gather for prayer and study, service and fellowship. New groups are being formed. So let us know if you have an idea for a group of gathered disciples.
This year, Lent begins on Valentine’s Day – the day set aside for observing and celebrating love. What better way to celebrate God’s love for us and for all the world? Throughout Lent this year, we will be thinking about love – about the way God loves us and how we are called to love others. Sometimes themes of Lent can be depressing. We contemplate our own sin. We remember the suffering of Jesus. We study the challenges of the world. We explore disciplines to help us grow in our faith and in our awareness of God’s will for our lives. Sometimes these themes of Lent can pull us into darkness and away from the glorious light of Christ. On the other hand, I firmly believe God wants joy for us. God loves us. God wants us to feel blessed. God calls us to respond to God’s grace with thanksgiving. In that light, this Lent we will be exploring the theme of Loving Life. God wants us to love life, to rejoice in all God has given us, and to respond with generosity and joy. Jesus lived such a life of love. Jesus experienced joy and shared it with others. Jesus appreciated little moments when everything was as it should be. Jesus celebrated with friends and called us to rejoice in God’s goodness. Jesus loved life, and demonstrated what a loving life looks like. As we seek to follow Jesus, we will share God’s love freely and fully. We will love life as we lead a loving life. Each week we will explore an element of loving life. February 18 – Find Joy; February 25 – Seek God; March 4 – Share Gifts; March 11 – Spend Time; March 18 – Practice Care; March 25 – Celebrate Life.
This year, we have a couple of extra experiences in which we can explore our Lenten theme. In addition to regular Sunday morning worship, we will be offering a 6 week Sunday evening worship and fellowship experience which will delve into the theme of “Loving Life.” We will also explore the theme of “Loving Life” in the women’s Thursday Bible study. See the articles below for details about these opportunities. You will be invited to think about “Loving Life” in many ways throughout this season. And of course it all leads to our celebration of life on Easter Sunday morning, April 1, this year. (no fooling.) May God’s love surround you each day of this season ahead, and may you experience the grace of “loving life” every step of the way.
We have two daily devotion books available for use during Lent which corresponds to our theme of “Loving Life.” These are in the narthex on the counter and may be picked up at any time.
“Practicing Love: Family Devotions” is a resource for families to share together at home.
“Wondrous Love” by Henri Nouwen and C.S. Lewis is for individual youth or adult reading.
For the Six weeks of Lent: Loving Life
Starting February 18 at 6:30 p.m.
Soup Supper Preceding at 6 p.m.
The Worship Pillar is trying a short term experiment with an extra worship experience on the Sunday evenings of Lent. The idea is to draw in new people with a new experience. The gathering will be casual and flexible. Music style and format will vary. We may include movement or interaction, discussion or silence, Bible study or creativity, art or action. Children, youth, young adults, families, singles, older adults – ALL are all welcome. This will not be a traditional Lenten worship experience. Development of this experience is still in process. If this excites you and you would like to help make it happen, please volunteer to Pastor Kimby. If you have questions about faith or life, come ask them. If you are seeking God, come explore. If you don’t know what you are seeking, come share fellowship. If you want to experience the presence of God, come help us SEE. Join us any or every Sunday in Lent at 6:30 p.m. from February 18 to March 25. Let us SEE what great things God will do among us!
Just before worship you are also welcome to gather for a light soup supper in fellowship hall.
February 22 – March 22 at 7 p.m.
Pastor Kimby will teach a five week Bible study for Lent for women. This study will extend the Lenten theme from worship to daily life and explore weekly themes on a deeper level. There is no book required beyond your own Bible. You may miss weeks and not be lost in the study. Guests are welcome. Invite a friend.
February 22 – Lent: Denial vs Abundance – Psalm 51; Matthew 6:25-34
March 1 – Loving Life and Loving God – Deuteronomy 6:4-13
March 8 – Balance and Sacrifice – Mark 8:34-38
March 15 – Time and Purpose – Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
March 22 – Suffering and Loving Life – Mark 14:32-42
The Boy Scouts of America designates the Sunday that falls before February 8 (Scouting Anniversary Day) as Scout Sunday, which is the primary date to recognize the contributions of young people and adults to Scouting. This year representatives of Troop 88 which meets at our church every Tuesday will join us for worship. They will offer an opening flag ceremony and will offer donuts and fellowship after the service. All current or past Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts or Girl Scouts are invited to come in uniform to celebrate the day and to acknowledge the gifts of Scouting.
Our youth will join millions of young people from all across the nation in support of this fundraiser to end hunger. Started by a Presbyterian youth group in 1990, Souper Bowl of Caring has since grown all over the world, collecting more than $100 million donated back into their own communities. “Souper Bowl of Caring” works to mobilize those looking to fight hunger and poverty around the time of the Super Bowl football game.
Bring non-perishable food items on or before Sunday, February 4. Make a financial contribution designated to “Souper Bowl of Caring.” Our youth will have soup pots ready to collect money at each door on Sunday, February 4. Donations will go to the Multi-Service Center of Gardner.
All youth and adults are welcome to join us in Westminster room each Sunday at 10 a.m. After the annual meeting in February, Pastor Kimby will begin a series on “Faith Questions” – important issues that many people struggle with about our faith. Heaven and Hell, Life and Death, Suffering and Evil, Sin and Salvation, the End of the World and the Rapture. What exactly do Presbyterians believe? What do you believe? What are your important faith questions and struggles? Come talk it out and listen to other members of our community as we share what we believe. Guests are always welcome.
The Discipleship Pillar will offer a confirmation class for students 6th to 12th grades. Confirmation is a chance for young people to explore their faith and make decisions about church commitments. If you wish to participate, or if you would like more information, please contact Pastor Kimby email@example.com or Connie in the church office. We will define the time to meet based on availability of those interested. A full schedule with topics will be mailed or emailed to all students who sign up to attend, or for any who are interested in knowing more. Topics will include: who are we, who is God, who are God’s people, worship, prayer, spiritual disciplines, Presbyterian government, policies and processes, creeds and confessions, and writing your own statement of faith – what do you believe? We hope you will consider participating in this important class. Contact Pastor Kimby Young or PYF leader Dave Rollf with any questions.