Changing seasons
Have you stored all of your Christmas decorations? Many of us take down our trees early in January but other items such as wreaths, snowmen, angels and other knick-knacks remain on tables, mantles, or doors well into the first couple months of the new year.
That said, most of us aren’t ready for the next season on the Christian calendar, the season of Lent. Lent is a season of soul-searching and repentance. It is a season for reflection and taking stock. Lent originated in the very earliest days of the Church as a preparatory time for Easter, when the faithful rededicated themselves and when converts were instructed in the faith and prepared for baptism. By observing the forty days of Lent, the individual Christian imitates Jesus’ forty days in the wilderness.
So, to help prepare our minds and hearts, on the seven Wednesdays of Lent, beginning with February 26th, I will lead a Lenten study titled “Encounters on the Road to the Cross: A Lenten Study for Adults.” This Lenten study, explores seven Gospel characters' encounters with Jesus-one for each week in Lent. Each character tells his or her own story, enabling the reader to see Jesus more clearly. A prayer, discussion questions, and suggested ways to deepen the Lenten journey are included in each chapter. We will meet at 6:30pm at LeValley. Each session should last no more than an hour. Characters and themes include:* the rich young man (self-denial); * the woman caught in adultery (forgiveness); * the woman at the well (new life); * the mother of James and John (ambition); * Caiaphas the High Priest (jealousy); * Simon of Cyrene (crossbearing); and *Nicodemus (new birth). Please let me know if you want to participate, so I have enough books.

Another Lenten tradition is to prepare interested persons to join the church. I will be meeting with interested people for three sessions to be determined by availability. We will be using the book What It Means to Be United Methodist. Please let me know if you will be participating. Again, after assessing availability, new members will be brought into the Body of Christ on either Palm Sunday or Easter.

Confirmation class is a program for middle and high school students interested in joining the church. I will also begin a Confirmation group after finding out who is interested. Class times will again be determined by availability. Please let me know if you are interested.

Palm Sunday is on April 1st in 2020 and Easter is on April 8th. I will put additional Lenten information in the March newsletter.

Pastor Nancy
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