I have so many things to share with you that I think this letter should be one of my “Pastor’s Potpourri.”

LENT

First of all, something I totally neglected to write about in February, is that we are in the season of Lent in the church. Lent began on Ash Wednesday, February 17th. I tell you this every year, and I’m sure previous pastors have as well, but I believe it is worth repeating. Lent is a season of forty days, not counting Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday. Lent comes from the Anglo Saxon word lencten, meaning “lengthen” and refers to the lengthening days of spring. The forty days represents the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, enduring the temptation of Satan and preparing to begin his ministry. Lent is a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter. It is a time of self-examination and reflection. In the early church, Lent began as a period of fasting and preparation for baptism by new converts and then became a time of penance by all Christians. Today, Christians focus on relationship with God, growing as disciples and extending ourselves, often choosing to give up something or to volunteer and give of ourselves for others. Sundays in Lent are not counted in the forty days because each Sunday represents a “mini-Easter.” This is why you will see the designation “Sunday in Lent” rather than “Sunday of Lent” in the naming of these Sundays. On each Lord’s Day in Lent, while Lenten fasts continue, the reverent spirit of Lent is tempered with joyful anticipation of the Resurrection.

Yes, Lent was a time of preparation for baptism in the early church, but I continue the tradition in the churches I pastor to this day. We have a couple, Don and Bobbi Lukens, who have asked to transfer their church membership to LeValley and I will recognize them on Easter Sunday. I know of others who have shown an interest in joining LeValley, so, if they are still interested and will feel comfortable being in church by April 5th, we will have a service of reception into the church on Easter Sunday, as well.

I do know of one possible baptism that I will follow-up on, but if there are others of which I may not be aware, please let me know.

For those who I have mentioned confirmation class, 6th graders and older, I have decided to begin preparation for confirmation in September, following the school year.

BIBLE STUDY

I am continuing the study on the Book of Revelation. We completed chapter 13 last evening and will look at chapters 14-16 next week. I am pleased at how many have joined us either on Zoom(https://(https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8743311457? pwd=N1Vubmt2WVl4OTNxR3labXh4TitRZz09) or on Facebook Live. You are still welcome to come in person at LeValley at 7:00pm on Wednesdays or on one of the two electronic sites.

Because of the season of Lent, I have discontinued my sermon series on Revelation and am preaching a series on the journey to the cross.

BOOK CLUB

Our Thursday morning book club has just started a new 7-book series called The Yada Yada Prayer Group. What do an ex-con, a former drug addict, a real estate broker, a college student and a married mother of two have in common? Nothing, or so I thought. Who would have imagined that God would make a prayer group as mismatched as ours the closest of friends? I almost didn’t even go to the Chicago Women’s Conference—after all, being thrown together with five hundred strangers wasn’t exactly my “comfort zone.” But something happened that weekend to make us realize we had to hang together, and the Yada Yada Prayer Group” was born! When I faced the biggest crisis of my life, God used my newfound Sisters to show me what it means to be just a sinner saved by grace.

We would love to have you join us at 10:30am Thursday mornings either in person at LeValley or electronically. Ths Zoom link is https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83528726005? pwd=Ly9McFJqYldlN3ZnUDBxUHVWYmZDUT09 I have extra books that I can deliver or that can be picked up at the church.

THE WAVE

Many of you are aware, but if you didn’t know, Berlin Center has been letting the Wave Church use its building for worship on Sunday mornings. They were worshiping at 11:00am following the Berlin Center 9:00 service. The Wave has disbanded and a new church has asked to use the facility beginning on Sunday, March 7th. I will let you know more details next month.

TIDBITS

I have two other tidbits to share with you. Our trustees at LeValley continue to maintain the church building and grounds. Brent Pisselli and Max did some outdoor painting before the weather turned cold. Just recently, Brent did some necessary painting in the elevator shaft. A short time ago, he repaired the toilet in the upstairs women’s bathroom. Thank you, Brent and Max! The members at Berlin Center care for their building, usually doing the work themselves. Thank you, all!

Secondly, have you noticed how the buildings sparkle and smell so good when you come in on Sunday morning? That is because Kathy Pinkston has been hired to clean at LeValley. She does get some help from her husband, Craig. Thank you, Kathy and Craig. Penny Rust continues to clean at Berlin Center. Thank you, Penny!

Last but not least, for those of you who weren’t in church last Sunday, you missed something. Connie Nash reinstated after worship coffee fellowship at LeValley. She served pre-wrapped homemade cookies, coffee, and lemonade. She will continue serving every Sunday. Thank you, Connie!

I am so grateful that even though worship and fellowship aren’t “normal” at our churches, we are able to share in worship, study, and food. I thank God for his care of these two church families.

Pastor Nancy

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