We are now in the Lenten season and the tone and focus on our worship and faith-building tends to shift into something of a more contemplative mood. This Lenten season we will be engaging with a sermon series created by Matthew L. Kelley of MinistryMatters.com called, “Giving It Up: A Sermon Series for Lent.” This series will follow the lectionary Scripture selections for this year and take us from the first Sunday in Lent through Easter Sunday. Kelley writes: “Many of us give up certain things for the forty days or Lent, and doing so can be a very beneficial thing for us. This seven-week series takes that idea one step further and talking each week about things that God wants us to give up, not just for forty days, but forever.”
I also wanted to take a moment to update you on some of the things that we have been discussing as a congregation over the last few months, including our all-church meeting. We have established a new worship committee to work alongside me in planning our worship services to help ensure a voice for all in that process. We had our first meeting on February 15th, with another meeting scheduled on the 27th. The committee is working with me to choose songs, liturgy, and shape the order of worship into experiences that we hope will enrich and reach all those who attend. If you would like to join us in this work, we are happy to welcome additional members to the committee, or if you would just like to offer some input or feedback, we welcome that as well.
I am also beginning to work with our Stephens Friends group on visitations for our homebound members and friends. As many of you know I have been ill for much of my time with you so far but am now turning a corner and feel confident in being able to visit without infecting anyone. I will be working closely with the Stephens Friends visitation teams for scheduling visits, bringing communion, and hopefully acting as a conduit and messenger between our homebound friends and the rest of the congregation. If you would like to help in these efforts, please let me or Diane Rangler know and to get more information.
I will continue to work with our Staff-Parish Relations Committee (SPRC) to address other concerns and ideas as we go along. As we continue to grow together, I am hopeful that we can get to know each other more, have many joyful memories together, and continue to be strengthened together in our faith and the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ.