Dear Congregational Family,

1. Marti Gras: Today is known as Marti Gras which is French for “Fat Tuesday” as it is the last day for feasting before the Lenten Season which starts tomorrow on Ash Wednesday. In many areas, today is a day of feasting on pancakes, donuts and other sweet treats and high carb meals. In some circles Marti Gras has turned into a day of unbridled sinful activities (New Orleans might come quickly to mind here). It was almost as if this was the last day to “sin heartily” before focusing on “dying to self” which Lent focuses upon. Today is also called Shrove Tuesday as it was to be a day of “shriving” which meant to purify oneself through confession, before Ash Wednesday.

2. Lenten Season:

a. This year our Lenten Theme is “Living the New Life in the Light of the Shadow of the Cross.” We will be going through the book of I Peter as the Apostle calls Christians who are “scattered abroad” and facing persecution to reflect on their new life in Christ as they live in a world of darkness and death. They are to live out that new life as a witness to a watching world. To do this, they must live in the shadow of the cross, which now transforms every aspect of their life.

b. Kathryn Carr has created a beautiful bulletin cover for us again this year to help us reflect upon aspects of our theme. I can’t wait for you to see it!

c. Lenten Suppers: We are having “Soup and Sandwich Suppers” again this year. Come and enjoy a wonderful meal and the warmth of fellowship. We have plenty of room!

d. Ashes: We will again for having the “imposition of ashes” before the beginning of each service. The ashes remind us that because of sin, we die and return to dust, but through repentance and belief in the Gospel, we are resurrected to new life, which was made possible for us by Jesus’ death on the cross for us. The ashes will be offered for those who desire, at the back of the sanctuary near the center aisle as you enter. They will be applied by an individual Q-tip this year.

e. Service details: We will have three services at 6:30am, 2:00pm, and 7:30pm. Holy Communion will be served at all services. The 6:30am will be a brief service with a continental breakfast to follow at 7:00am.

3. Contemporary Liturgical Service: This service will be held this Saturday at 5:00pm.

Sunday Sermon: Text: I Samuel 20:1-4, 14-17, 30-42; John 15:12-19
Title: “The Love of a Friend”

God bless you as we continue,

“Growing Together in our Faith as the Family of God!”

Pastor Carlson