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The Last Epiphany – Preparing for Lent

…suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!’Matthew 17:5

I remember commenting on how long the season of Epiphany was this year, as Easter is so late this year, it means that Lent doesn’t start until Wednesday: the beginning of March. Still, if the season of Epiphany is experiencing and understanding God in new ways, then I hope that our exploration of prayer has broadened our horizons a little bit.

Lent, on the other hand, is more of a hands-on approach. For some, Lent is often about self-denial, whether fasting for a period of time, or abstaining from certain foods as a reminder of what Christ gave up for us. For others, it is a time of intentional time of prayerful reflection, or it could even be a time where people undertake a new project in relation to their faith. There’s no one way to “do” Lent.

As a time of preparation for Easter, it might be helpful to consider this: while one can “prepare” a meal by thinking about it, it doesn’t really happen without some hands-on work. For the next several weeks, my intention is to provide some resources for prayer that goes one step further than simply me talking about it in a sermon. Instead, sermons for Lent may feel more like short how-to workshops, complete with some take-home resources for you to try on your own, plus some additional ones to try that we simply will not be able to get to. While Lent itself spans a total of the six Sundays before Easter, only four of them will feature sermons that may take on this workshop style format. I will be away for study leave on one of them, and the sixth Sunday of Lent is Palm/Passion Sunday.

I am looking forward to this time of preparation with you. As we begin this journey through Lent, may we be open to the path that Jesus walked, and that we might be open to learning and experiencing something new as we explore our faith together.

Yours in Christ,

John

Upcoming Events

  • Pancake Supper! – February 28, 6pm.
    • Lent is coming, and with it “Pancake Tuesday” on February 28th. As with last year, we will book a section at the Smitty’s at Westbrook Mall for people to come, gather, eat pancakes (or whatever you like from the menu) and to share in conversation.
  • Brenda’s House – March 8, 6:30pm.
    • Our team returns to the monthly Treasure Trunk program at Brenda’s House on Wednesday March 8th. Please pray for our team, as we seek to connect with the families in need and their children.
  • Lenten Service of Communion – Sunday, March 12
    • While we normally celebrate communion on the first Sunday in Lent, we will be observing this meal together on the second.
  • Congregational Membership Classes
    • If you or someone you know would like to formalize membership with St. Matthew’s, I am hoping to run a membership class in the next few months. If you are interested, please email me, call me at the church, or speak with me directly on Sunday mornings.

Church Office Hours

  • Wendy’s is off for the next two weeks. Sarah Fanning will be taking her office hours during this time: Monday from 11:00am – 3:00pm, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:00am to 3:00pm.
  • I hold regular office hours this week: Sunday through Thursdays from 9:00am to 3:00pm. Pastoral care visits and community meetings sometimes require that I be out of the office from time to time during those hours.

 

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