Sunday, March 9, the First Sunday in Lent! Good afternoon, everyone!
Lent and Easter are later than usual this year, and the First Sunday in Lent happens to coincide with the start of Daylight Saving Time -- so you know what that means! It will take a little extra effort to get to church this Sunday, but I promise it will be worth it! :-) Please remind your friends who may not have e-mail and may be more isolated. If you don't set your clocks before you go to bed on Saturday night, you may be arriving when the service is almost over. And the kids involved in Godly Play may be disappointed if that happens!
Our Shrove Tuesday gathering was great fun, and I want to thank everyone who helped -- especially Helen, who purchased the food, and Dick, Perry, and Sandy, who cooked for all of us! We also had kids who helped to make an "Alleluia" banner to hide until the Easter egg hunt. Until then, in the more solemn season of Lent, that word of celebration and praise will stay hidden!
Have you started the Bishop's 2014 Bible and Book of Common Prayer Challenge yet? The readings are in this folder -- feel free to take it home and make the readings and prayers an important part of your personal discipline this Lenten season.
Starting this Sunday, we will be using a new Kyrie throughout the season of Lent that is very plaintive and moving. It is easy to learn -- even for children -- and is called, "Hold Us in Your Mercy." We'll also sing a simple fraction anthem at the breaking of the bread called, "O Lamb of God."
Here are the hymns for Sunday:
Processional: The Glory of These 40 Days
Sequence: Tree of Life and Awesome Mystery
Offertory: O Lord, Throughout These 40 Days
Communion: When Peace, Like a River ("It is Well with My Soul")
Recessional: Now Let Us All with One Accord
The Socks Project (through the School for Deacons ) is underway, and donations of new, white socks are much appreciated and can be placed in the labeled box in the narthex. For more information, please ask Mara.
We also have some prayer requests for this week. Please continue to keep Harry (Fran's son), Anne, and Nancy and John's daughter Kathy in your prayers for healing and safety in travel.
The big news is, it seems that the ecumenical group (CLEM, at this point -- Catholic, Lutheran, Episcopal, Methodist -- and I don't know if the Presbyterians will participate) is reviving for the season of Lent. A woman from the Roman Catholic church called us and said that several of them are missing gathering together for the soup suppers. What we found out is that the Lutherans and Methodists have planned soup suppers on March 12 (at Christ Lutheran Church) and April 9 (at Fortuna United Methodist). For the three Wednesdays in between, each congregation will have its own study. I spoke with the secretaries at both churches this morning, and the suppers, with a short worship, will last from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. Everyone is welcome, and they would be glad to see us. I'm sure a soup or two would be welcome as well!
I looked at the study that they will use in their individual congregations (one that focuses on Jesus' last 24 hours before the crucifixion) and I prefer to use something else. So for our St. Francis' soup supper gatherings at 6:00 p.m. in the parish hall on March 19, March 26, and April 2, we'll be using a DVD adult study called, "Animate: Faith." There are seven sessions, but we'll use the three pertaining to Jesus for those Wednesdays: "Jesus, the Revolution of Love," with Mark Scandrette; "Salvation: Abundant Life Now," with Shane Hipps, and "Cross: Where God Is," with Nadia Bolz-Weber. I'm excited about using this great ecumenical resource!
I propose that we view and discuss the remaining four sessions on Sunday mornings or Wednesday evenings between Easter and Pentecost. Bishop Beisner will be at St. Francis' on Saturday, June 7, and we will have a deanery-wide Confirmation/Reaffirmation of Baptism/Reception into the Episcopal Church on that day. If you would like to reaffirm your baptismal vows and/or officially become a part of the Episcopal church and a member-on-the-rolls of St. Francis', I encourage you to speak with me about it, and attend these video-discussions. The four remaining sessions are about God, Religion, the Bible, and Church.
We will continue with adult education after that -- at some point, it would be nice to use the resource we received from St. Alban's by N.T. Wright about the book of Mark. Stay tuned for updates!
We will also be doing a Mutual Ministry Review with Canon Britt (who is the assistant to Bishop Barry Beisner) the weekend of April 5 and 6 (and remember, our last Mutual Ministry Review jump-started the Accessibility Project!). More information will be coming shortly.
I hope to see you all in church this Sunday, and again, remember to set your clocks an hour ahead on Saturday night!
Love in Christ, Jeri+