(Scripture notes from Season of the Spirit and Pulpit Resource)
LENT BEGINS ON WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 26 We will have services at noon each Wednesday from February 26 – April 8
Sunday, March 1 First Sunday in Lent
Genesis 2:15–17; 3:1–7, taken from the older of the two creation narratives in Genesis, tells the story of human choices and consequences. God tells the first human beings not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Matthew 4:1–11 tells of Jesus’ 40 days of temptation in the wilderness. As with the Israelites who wandered in the wilderness for 40 years after the exodus from Egypt, Jesus too is faced with the temptation to satisfy hunger, and to seek fame and political power. This is a test of Jesus’ commitment to God’s ways. Jesus places his trust in God.
We will be sharing communion this morning at the chancel rail. The Senior Choir will be singing. The Rev. Suzanne Morris will be leading worship.
Sunday, March 8 Second Sunday in Lent
The story of the people of Israel begins with a call and a promise, with an individual chosen and blessed boldly by God as we read in Genesis 12: 1-4a. That story includes his family, then a whole people, and finally all the world. Abram’s family are nomads settled in Haran, a major caravan city in northwestern Mesopotamia. God calls Abram and Sarai to leave home and country and go to a new land. John 3:1–17 tells of Nicodemus, who comes at night to talk with Jesus. Jesus tells him that new life – the opportunity for a fresh beginning – is a gift from God, not attained by our efforts. We are called to believe and trust in God.
Spirit and Young Spirit will be singing in worship today. We will also be celebrating Girl Scout Sunday. The Rev. Richard Leslie will be leading worship.
Sunday, March 15 Third Sunday in Lent
“Is God among us or not?” is a question running through this Season of Lent. When trouble comes on their journey, the thirsty people quarrel with Moses and question God’s presence in Exodus 17:1-7. John 4:5–42 tells a story about another thirsty voice and life-giving water. It is a story about broken relationships – those between Jews and Samaritans, between men and women, between community members. Jesus speaks to the Samaritan woman about living water and she recognizes the presence of the Messiah in this conversation. Water gives both physical and spiritual life. Still today, Jesus’ words give life to our spirits. They restore and heal. The Senior Choir will be singing.
The Rev. Carolyn Roberts will be leading worship.
Sunday, March 22 Fourth Sunday in Lent
— One Great Hour of Sharing In the church, we often talk about the virtues of “servant leadership.” At its best, that term encourages church leaders to model their ministry after Jesus, who stooped to wash the feet of his disciples, who served them at the table, and who prayed for them faithfully even in his final hours. God invites each of us to lead by serving, to share freely of our gifts so that God may work through us. Indeed, the word translated as “servant” in 1 Cor. 3:5 in the NIV is diakonos, the root of the term “deacon.” Our lessons today will be from Luke 10: 25-28, the Parable of the Good Samaritan. We’ll also read from I Corinthians 3: 5-9 .
We are honored to welcome The Rev. John Dorhauer, General Minister and President of the UCC, as our preacher for the morning. He is present to join us in celebrating 275 years of ministry. The Senior Choir will be singing.
Sunday, March 29 Fifth Sunday in Lent
When we find ourselves in the depths of trouble, it can be difficult to imagine how we might ever feel alive again. Today’s readings remind us that God’s Spirit gives life and hope. Ezekiel 37: 1-14 tells the story of dry bones coming to life again. We trust in God’s power to forgive and restore, to breathe new hope into our dry bones. We will be sharing in chancel communion and dedicating a new communion table and cloths.
The Senior Choir will be presenting their Cantata this morning – “A Little Jazz Mass” by Bob Chilcott.
MID- WEEK LENTEN SERVICES
Wednesdays, March 4, 11, 18, 25 April 1, 8
Noon–12:15 p.m. – Service of Prayer in Trinity Chapel
12:15–1 p.m. – Lunch and Bible Study Reflection
Theme: One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are
Just like you, Ann Voskamp hungers to live her one life well. Forget the bucket lists that have us escaping our everyday lives for exotic experiences. ‘How,’ Ann wondered, ‘do we find joy in the midst of deadlines, debt, drama, and daily duties? What does the Christ-life really look like when your days are gritty, long —and sometimes even dark? How is God even here?’ In One Thousand Gifts, Ann invites you to embrace everyday blessings and embark on the transformative spiritual discipline of chronicling God’s gifts. It’s only in expressing of gratitude for the life we already have, that we discover the life we’ve always wanted…a life we can take, give thanks for, and break for others. We come to feel and know the impossible right down in our bones: we are wildly loved—by God. Let Ann’s beautiful, heart-aching stories of the everyday give you a way of seeing that opens your eyes to ordinary amazing grace, a way of being present to God that makes you deeply happy, and a way of living that is finally fully alive.
March 4 Attitude of Gratitude
March 11 Grace in the Moment
March 18 All is Grace
March 25 Trust: The Bridge to Joy
April 1 Empty to Fill
April 8 Connecting with Art (This week we will take a look at various artist’s depictions of the crucifixion of Jesus and have a conversation about what we see and how we experience them.)