Dear Congregational Family,

1. Ash Wednesday: Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday which is the beginning of the Lenten Season for the Church. Many will wear the sign of the cross upon their forehead as a sign of our human frailty and repentance of sin. We remember that we are but dust and we repent of sin, and believe in the Gospel unto everlasting life. Tomorrow our services are:
a. 6:30am – Brief Sunrise Service followed by breakfast in the fellowship hall.
b. 2:00pm – Lenten service
c. 7:30pm – Lenten Service
· The imposition of ashes will be offered before all three services and Holy Communion will be offered during all three as well.

2. Lenten Soup & Sandwich Suppers: Each Wednesday we will be having these suppers from 6:00-7:00pm. Please come and enjoy some wonderful fellowship together! (even if you did not raise your hand on Sunday – there will be plenty of food for you and your friends!)

3. United Methodist Church (UMC): Last week the UMC met in St. Louis, MO for a special General Assembly to address issues of human sexuality. This has been decades in the making as the 12 million member international UMC denomination has been struggling internally with this issue. Last week they took a vote and the decision was made (albeit by a rather small majority) to return to and affirm the traditional Biblical teaching on God’s design for marriage being between a man and a woman. This was a historic vote, as the UMC is the only large mainline Protestant denomination that has been able to return to the clear teachings of Scripture after straying far afield. This will also be historic as it is a turning point for the denomination. (Al Mohler gives one of the best summaries of what this means for the church in his February 27th briefing which you can google!)

Schisms, court battles and lawsuits are sure to follow. As I mentioned in Sunday School on Sunday, this is part of the sweeping global dynamic which is presently taking place in the global church, but is unrecognized in the U.S.

Sunday School: I just started a new Sunday School series on “The Church in Mission” where we are looking at a Biblical basis for mission, what is the mission, what does the church around the world look like today, and how does one share the Gospel in our Post-modern culture?

God bless you as we continue,

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

Pastor Carlson