Dear Congregational Family,

1. Lenten Poem:
“Come , my Light, and illumine my darkness.
Come, my Life, and raise me from death.
Come, my Physician, and heal my wounds.
Come, Flame of divine Love, and burn up my sins.
Come, my King, sit upon the throne of my heart and reign there.
For you alone are my King and my Lord.
(Dimitri of Rostov – 1651-1709)

2. Purim: Last night at sundown marked the beginning of Purim, the Jewish holiday celebrating God’s preserving the Jewish people from destruction at the hands of Haman in ancient Persia. We find the story in the book of Esther in the Bible. Jewish people today might celebrate by reading the scroll of Esther at home or in synagogue, dressing up in costumes, giving gifts to the poor, and eating cookies called “hamantaschen.” (You can find the cookies at Giant Eagle this week.) Most importantly, the story is a sign of God’s providence and faithfulness. Even when we do not see it or understand it, God is working His purposes in the world.

3. Farewell: These weeks are passing quickly for me. Thank you all for your prayers, cards, and words of encouragement to me and my family. I am a “keeper of cards” so please know that your notes are treasured! As I reflect, I am overwhelmed with thankfulness for all our times of ministry shared together over these years. Our last services with you will be Saturday, March 18th, and Sunday March 19th. May the Lord bless you on our behalf!

4. CONVIVIUM Concert: Today at 7:30 p.m. there will be a concert at Ruthfred which will be held in the adult Sunday school classroom. One of the group’s members got to know Pastor McMinn during his seminary time. The vocal quintet, formed in the fall of 2022, comprises five singers who met at Wheaton College, a Christian college in Illinois. The ensemble takes its name from the Latin word for “feast” or “banquet.” Their repertoire spans a wide range, including Renaissance polyphony, jazz standards, contemporary church works, and hymnody.

5. Asbury Revival: Many of you have been following the “Asbury Revival” which was ongoing on the Asbury University Campus. The public gatherings seem to have concluded now, but over these past weeks, over 50,000 people came at one point or another and experienced this. It also spread to other college campuses, even in other states. We have yet to see just what the long-term results will be, but many lives were definitely touched by God through this.

It is noteworthy that the famous “Cain Ridge Revival” of the spring of 1801 also started in Kentucky not far from Wilmore, where Asbury is located. At that time 25,000 people gathered, drawn by the Spirit of God, and it became known as “the most significant religious gathering in the United States” as it went on to impact our entire nation during a very dark time spiritually when many believed that Christianity was almost extinguished in our land.

May the Lord be pleased to do His good and gracious work among us by His Spirit!

6. Lenten Soup & Sandwich Supper: Remember our Lenten Supper tomorrow! This is a great time for fellowship. Also, if you come to the afternoon service, be encouraged to return for supper together if you are able!

7. Wednesday Sermon: Title: “Psalm of Rescue”
(I am looking forward to preaching on this psalm as it has really ministered to me this week!)
Text: Psalm 121

8. Sunday Sermon: Title: “Peace with God, Through Jesus’ Death”
Text: Romans 5:1-8

God bless you with His Grace & Peace,

Pastor Carlson