As we saw last Sunday, there is change in the air for Jesus. From the mountain top of the Transfiguration, we will begin the journey of Lent to the Cross.
March 2, at 7 pm is our Ash Wednesday service, the start of Lent. Ashes and Communion will be the focus. We know in this life we have both the Ashes and Tastes of Heaven.
One of my mother’s favorite phrases is: “This too shall pass.” She used it during the tough times of her life and mine. Like when I was in my senior year of High School and broke my leg skiing. I was still in a cast on graduation day. But she was right, time did pass, and the cast came off. Recently, 52 years later I was in a walking boot, which also came off.
The bad times do pass, but so do the good times. The people of Ukraine until recently experienced a level of freedom, unknown to them before. They had come through some truly horrendous times as part of the Soviet Union including the Holodomor, which is the Ukrainian term for death by hunger. Joseph Stalin attempted to bring the rebellious Soviet republic to heel by engineering a famine that killed nearly 4 million people between 1932-33. It was one of the greatest crimes against humanity of the 20th century. Now their hard-won freedom is endangered as Russia invades and deaths mount.
We pray each Sunday for peace among nations and peace with our natural world. We pray for our members, both in their joys and sorrows. There are ashes and feasts in our world and so on Wednesday we will experience both Ashes and a foretaste of the Feast of Heaven.
The text for Sunday, deals with the three temptations of Jesus. He was in the desert for 40 days and the jest of the temptations was to give into Satan and see only Ashes in the world. Jesus repealed these temptations by seeing the Feast that awaits him at the journey’s end, just beyond the ashes of the cross.
The next 40 days we have been invited to decide with Jesus to have Faith that we are able to rise with him from the Ashes like a Phoenix. Each Wednesday following Ash Wednesday, beginning March 9, we will reflect upon our Faith that allows us to move beyond ashes to feasts. What are the creeds we live by and how do they relate to the Apostle’s Creed?
Philipp Nicolai was a Lutheran pastor in difficult times in Germany. In 1599 he wrote these words of hope:
Zion hears the watchmen singing,
And all her heart with joy is springing;
She wakes, she rises from her gloom;
For her Lord comes down all glorious,
The strong in grace, in truth victorious.
Her Star is risen, her Light is come.
Ah come, Thou blessed One,
God’s own beloved Son:
Alleluia! We follow till the halls we see
Where Thou hast bid us sup with Thee.
PRAYER in the words of Catherine of Siena, who lived in difficult times as well.
Power of the eternal Father, help me. Wisdom of the Son, enlighten the eye of my understanding. Tender mercy of the Holy Spirit, unite my heart to Yourself. Eternal God, restore health to the sick and life to the dead. Give us a voice, your own voice, to cry out to you for mercy for the world. You, light, give us light. You, wisdom, give us wisdom. You, supreme strength, strengthen us.
Grace and Peace,
Lent begins March 2 with our Ash Wednesday worship at 7 pm.
Soup Suppers will follow Wednesdays March 9 – April 6. Plans have changed to have the Soup/Study in the Fireside room. Please sign up to bring soup, salad or bread each week. There is a signup list in the Fireside room or call Carol Jensen.
YOUTH Confirmation Class continues this week. There are lessons to take home if you miss a week. Children’s Church continues. Are you interested in assisting? Let us know at the church office or give Robyn Blue a call.
WELCA – Next gathering will be March 5.
Pantry – March 12 and 26. Spaghetti sauce is needed.
Choice Dollars with Thrivent.
Did you know that eligible members of Thrivent Financial have been able to designate over $55 million to charities by directing Choice Dollars? Such funding can help support our church – $526 has come in thus far. Don’t let Choice Dollars expire. Eligible Thrivent Financial members who have Choice Dollars available from 2021 have until March 31, 2022, to direct them. Go to Thrivent.com/ thriventchoice to learn more. Or call 800-847-4836 and say “Thrivent Choice” after the prompt.
MEMBER UPDATES AND PRAYERS
- Continued prayers for Jeanne Koenig has a sinus infection still lingering despite antibiotics. Joe has been ill as well.
- Pat Motschall burned her hands on a stove and George is recovering from a blood infection.
- Kim Guevara is back in Canada visiting her mother who is still in the hospital.
- Steve Cady is recovering, but able to join us again on church
- Bill and Judy Martin’s daughter, Laura, continues her chemo treatments by pill until June and is back working parttime.
- Eleanor Diaz’a friend Christina Delgado, who is on Hospice and her sister Sandra Reyes who has COVID and Septis.
Continued Prayers for:
- Geri Witwer who is still retaining water and still having trouble breathing.
- Continued Godly journey for Brendan Simms, son of Bonnie Strack and Rebecca, daughter of Michael and Ann Shea.
- erwin for strength and Lynda for healing.
- Heather, our preschool director, is having some health issues which have been postponed.
- Judy Mishoe’s sister, Jayne, was diagnosed with cancer, had surgery, and has a 90% chance of recovery. Nice to have Judy in church with us.
PRAYER & CELEBRATION TEAM Jeanne & Connie have agreed to make calls to our members and friends. They will be calling to get prayer concerns, updates on health and other issues. We are also going to be adding a Celebration section. So, think of all your good news and we will share it as well.
SUNDAY WORSHIP @ 10 am. live stream and recording available on our website. Refreshments after services now.
- March 2 – Ash Wednesday, 7 pm service will be in the sanctuary. The other five Wednesdays of Lent, we will have soup suppers with an Adult Bible Study on our personal Spirituality and the Apostle’s Creed, in the Fireside room.
- March 3 – The Concordia Choir of Fargo, ND will be in Redlands, California this Thursday night @ 7 pm. @ Trinity Episcopal Church 419 S. 4th St. tickets available online. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-concordia-choir-in-redlands-ca-tickets-239313612457
- March 13 – Bishop Andy Taylor will be with us.