Welcome to Lent

Welcome to the season of Lent!

Wednesday, March 1, is Ash Wednesday. We will worship God with the imposition of ashes and Holy Communion at both our 12 p.m. and 7 p.m. services. Our hope is that you will take time, not find time, to let the world know that for just a moment on Wednesday night, March 1, you will come before your God and bow down and worship and praise to honor the One who has given you life in this world and promises you eternal life in the world to come.

I am always grateful to God for the change in rhythms during the season of Lent. Wednesday night gatherings for soup suppers and worship are a gift to my heart. God provides an opportunity to share in this journey of faith in different ways from Sunday mornings at  Ascension. On Wednesday nights, I have more time to simply sit and enjoy conversation with friends in the congregation. Worship is intended to be brief but meaningful. Music orients our focus to the worship of God. Sermons are exchanged for brief meditations. In the dark of night – the candles shine brighter. There is a beautiful quiet that hovers in the sanctuary even with the joyous sounds of children squealing with delight over the little things in their lives that we so often miss. On Wednesday nights in Lent, this year, Pastor Angela, Tony, and I will all be taking different aspects of our worship. Children’s messages will be a part of each Wednesday night and music will guide our steps in worship into the way of peace. I hope you will consider joining us for a time of refreshment…one night a week – you can skip cooking and the dishes (unless you sign up for either one at church). What a wonderful gift to come share in the joy of gathering together to the glory of God.

We will gather for soup suppers at 6 p.m. on March 8, March 15, March 22, March 29, and April 5.  March 8 will be hosted by JOLT; March 15 will be hosted by our Tuesday Morning Bible Studies; and April 5 will be hosted by CRASH. Congregational sign-ups will be available to help with soup and bread for both March 15 and March 29. Check the narthex/lobby for the posters. We need about 18 soups each week to provide for the 100-150 who attend. Our Wednesday night gatherings will center on some wonderful reflections offered to provide us with directions to wander while we find ourselves in the wilderness of Lent.

Wednesday Worship Themes
March 8
Discovering the Spirit
March 15
Renewing My Mind
March 22
Redeeming My Time
March 29
Deepening My Relationships
April 5
Transforming My Experience

I am grateful to the psalmist who wrote these words for us, “How very good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” Come and join us on the journey. I wonder – how could your life be different if you made the conscious decision to gather with fellow believers for fellowship and worship on the Wednesday nights in Lent? What would change in your life? Would you be happier? More content? Would you discover new things about God? Would you find your mind renewed? Would you find your time better spent? Would your relationship with God and other believers go deeper? Would you find your life transformed? My guess is that your answer would be yes!  I know, for me, year after year, my answer is always, always…yes!
Peace be with you. See you in church.
Rev. Christian Marien

(This article was first published in the March 2017 newsletter).