“Uniting Matters of Flesh and Matters of Spirit”
Lent is a time for special repentance. Let us dwell on the words of Craig Nessan (Give us this Day) describing how Jesus feeds us, body and spirit:
“By means of bread, Jesus united matters of flesh and matters of spirit. Jesus fed both hungry multitudes and the hunger of the heart. Jesus demonstrated both the dawning of the kingdom as he sat at the table with sinners, and instituted the Lord’s Supper for the forgiveness of sins. For Jesus, there was no division between body and spirit. What Jesus has brought together, however, we have rent asunder. How do we reunite body and spirit as we come together to eat bread in Jesus’ name?”
We have the opportunities for confession and forgiveness at our Sunday worship, and there we can share in the uniting power of the Holy Communion. On Thursdays during Lent, we also have special mid-week services in a series called “Facing the Cross” at St. Paul. These are instances where we can bring a covered dish to share a supper meal with Lutheran brothers and sisters, building bonds of community, then strengthening the unity of the Body of Christ through our shared Vespers worship. I am confident you will be fed in Body and Spirit during these Lenten worship times.
May God bless your Lent,
Pastor Ann Marie Winters
NOTE: The following schedule of mid-week Lenten Potlucks (6:00 pm) and Worship Services (7:00 pm):
Thursday, March 5 – Facing Temptations
Thursday, March 12 – Facing Our Fears
Wednesday, March 18 – Facing Our Worldliness
Thursday, March 26 – Facing One Another
Thursday, April 2 – Facing Suffering
THURSDAYS DURING LENT – FACING THE CROSS: Luke 9:51 says that Jesus “set his face towards Jerusalem”. He did this to encounter the pain of the cross on our behalf, to take away our sins. In our Lenten series this year, just as Christ faced the cross, we set our faces on the cross of Christ as well. During these Lenten days, we also face certain aspects of our lives which are not always in line with the cross. We come to terms with them by “facing the cross”.
Beginning on March 5, our mid-week services will follow on THURSDAY EVENINGS. Note the change from Wednesdays, due to the Celebrate Recovery program which runs on every Wednesday evening at St. Paul. On Thursdays, we will have a potluck supper at 6:00 pm and worship at 7:00 pm.
Thursday, March 5: Facing Temptations – We acknowledge that we give in to temptations at times, but rest on the power of Christ to resist the devil.
Thursday, March 12: Facing Our Fears – Recognizing what strikes fear in our hearts helps us to grab on more tightly to Christ.
Wednesday, March 18 – ON WEDNESDAY THIS WEEK ONLY – Due to the Preschool Art Show on Thursday: Facing Our Worldliness – Accepting we are all too often dependent on worldly goods, opens the door to seeing the value of everlasting blessings.
Thursday, March 26: Facing One Another – Confessing that we have not always treated one another in a Christ-like manner helps to build better relationships.
Thursday, April 2: Facing Suffering – Enduring suffering in this world connects us to Christ, and points us to the joy to come.
MAY THIS BE A GOOD LENT FOR US AT ST. PAUL LUTHERAN CHURCH.
FELLOWSHIP EVENTS THAT STRENGTHEN OUR CHURCH: Pastor Winters is forming a group to plan church events that strengthen our bottom line ($$$). We have thought of doing fundraisers like a pasta dinner, a chili cook-off, a purse bingo, a casino bus trip, a rummage sale, and so on. (This is in addition to our Strawberry Social and Oktoberfest.) This fundraising committee needs about 4 people to work together and schedule events during 2020 – placing them on the church calendar and seeking co-chairs for each event. A meeting of co-chairs is set for Sunday, March 8, after worship in the Parlor. With our growing congregation, there is no shortage of energy and worker-bees. A fundraising committee will do the scheduling and organizing of teams for each event. Otherwise, our good intentions do not seem to get off the ground and on the calendar. See Pastor Winters to join the fundraising committee. Don’t be shy!
CELEBRATE GRAND-FAMILIES: “Celebrate Grand-families” is a support group for grandparents raising their grandchildren. St. Paul is reaching out to support these families with Christian compassion and a place to meet and discuss their needs. We now have 18 families who participate, and more are welcome, if you know of anyone who would fit in. While the grandparents meet, we will have crafts, games, bible stories, snacks, help with homework, tutoring, and a fun social time for children. Sessions in March will be on Saturdays, March 14 and 28, from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm. Please contact Brenda Ceplecci or Pastor Winters to help.
CELEBRATE RECOVERY: We launched a new program at St. Paul to support the healing of “hurts, habits, and hang-ups” which meets every Wednesday at 6:30 pm. On Wednesday, March 18, you are invited to the church’s Potluck supper at 6:00 pm and service at 7:00 pm. We invite you and your family and friends to come if you suffer from abuse, grief, harmful relationships, divorce, co-dependency, depression, guilt, shame, drug and alcohol addiction, gambling, eating disorders, and so on. Celebrate Recovery is a world-wide ministry based on the beatitudes of Jesus that includes a time of worship songs, a testimony or lesson, and small group sharing. We also will have a fellowship time each week following the small group experience. Please consider how you may help to support this outreach into our community. Could you greet people at the door one evening? Make cookies or set up water and coffee? It is a simple program with a big impact for those who participate. Many thanks to our leaders who have been dedicated in preparing for this ministry: Marty Maurice, Nola Bennett, Deb Illencik, Anna Lacy, and Nick Fee.
LARGE CATECHISM: Do you want to brush up on the basics of the Lutheran faith? A small group is meeting on the 3rd Monday of each month at 6:30 pm. Come join us in the Parlor on March 16.