Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors
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The 40 Days of Lent
The season of Lent is upon us. Lent is a period of 40 days* leading up to the Easter celebration. It is a time set aside for spiritual preparation and renewed commitment to following God through Jesus Christ. Most often we consider Lent to be a time when we focus on our inward, spiritual lives. But, what if the best way to understand our inner selves is to look outward instead?
Dan Barker is the founder of a give-away Garden Project. With financial and volunteer support, he builds vegetable gardens for inner-city families--soil frames, weed-free organic soil, seeds, starts, fertilizer, instructions and all. Over the years Barker and his foundation have built and given away hundreds of gardens. In an article on his work published in the book Food and Faith, Barker writes these words: “Some nationally syndicated columnist recently opined that we live in a world that no longer rewards virtue. No reward, indeed…The reward for doing virtuous work is the same as it has always been: You grow out of your own abyss, dissolving the existential distance betwixt I and thou.”
In our modern, increasingly disconnected lives, an important part of looking inward and evaluating our spiritual health is realizing that we are intimately connected to God and our fellow human beings. As Barker found out for himself, we realize our connectedness best when we serve one another. This Sunday, and throughout the Lenten season, we have the opportunity to bridge the gap between ourselves and others by making a “Lenten Pledge of Service,” a pledge to serve our neighbors in need in one or more concrete, hands-on ways. Join me as we look inward by focusing outward for the next 40 days. As Dan Baker will tell you, you’ll be glad you did.
*Sundays don’t “count” as part of Lent’s 40 days. We celebrate Christ’s resurrection on Sunday (The Lord’s Day), so every Sunday is a “mini-Easter” and is a time of celebration
Services during Lent
• Weekly Lenten Communion Service – Wednesdays beginning March 12, at 12:15 p.m. in the Chapel.
• Lenten Bible Study – Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. from March 12 to April 9 in Room 114. Barbara Keyser will facilitate a small group discussion on the book The Way: Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus, by Adam Hamilton.
Contact Rev. Christian White at firstname.lastname@example.org to enroll.
• Sermon Series: A Season of Hungering – Sundays, 9:30 and 11:00 a.m. Pastor Greg says, “These messages will focus on four themes that surface from the temptation story in Matthew 4:1-4. They raise questions appropriate for all our human hungers, including our appetite for food, body, and spirit and how we go to great lengths to satisfy them.”
March 9 – Wilderness – Who will give us bread in the wilderness?
March 16 – Fasting – What are seasons of self-denial of the “flesh”?
March 30 – Temptation – When are we vulnerable to abusing power?
April 6 – Word - How does God’s word feed us in all the seasons of life?
• Lenten Communion Service- March 19 at 6:30 p.m. following Family Dinner Night we will have a service in the chapel designed especially for children and their families that will last about twenty minutes. Like all our services, everyone is welcome to attend.
• Adam’s Apple – March 23, 9:30 and 11:00 a.m. worship– The message of the morning will take the form of a presentation by our children in the Chapel and Cherub Choirs under the title of “Adam’s Apple”. Watch out for the snakes in church
• Lenten Hunger Offering – Our Lenten/Easter offering this year will enable Fairlington UMC to follow Christ’s call to feed the hungry and serve our neighbors in need. Your generous gifts toward our goal of $25,000 will help support organizations that ease the burdens and provide support to individuals and families in our area.
Go to the Audio Player below to listen to sermons
from previous worship services.