Next Wednesday, we will enter the season of Lent with the observance of Ash Wednesday. Each year we come together to receive ashes in the form of a cross and turn our attention to the creative power of God and God’s ability to heal the brokenness in our lives. Ashes are an ancient sign of repentance. Since the Middle Ages, it became the custom to begin Lent by being marked in ash with the sign of the cross. It is a sign that grounds us. Through it we remember:

·         People suffering around the world.

·         That we all fall short, sin, and need repentance and reconciliation.

·         That in the passage of time, we will all die someday.

·         Of Jesus’ ministry in broken places, shared suffering with the most oppressed, death, and resurrection.

·         That in the midst of this, we are still loved children of God!

We view Lent as a time for getting ready. A time to stop, reset, and recharge so that we can intentionally turn to God and prepare for Easter’s celebration of resurrection. But how do we get ready? The best we can do is to engage in things that bring us renewal, joy, and connection to the Spirit. This includes whatever helps you clear out the clutter and refocus. You can make time for fun, try different forms of prayer or meditation, reach out to people that encourage you, or follow a devotional. We will provide a devotional booklet this year you can access as a download to print or in a printed form we will hand out at worship on Sunday, March 6. The resource was created by A Sanctified Art.

For seven years, we offered ashes in our parking lot to those passing by, because God meets us where we are. After a break due to the pandemic, we are grateful to be able to offer ashes again this year. On March 2, through our Ashes-to-Go event, we encourage our members and those stopping by to remain attentive to the ways God seeks to meet us. You are invited to be an ambassador of God’s presence by volunteering to administer ashes, hold signs and direct guests, or hand out brochures any time between 7am-7pm. Information on how to sign up is in this email. Additionally, you are invited to our Zoom worship service on Ash Wednesday at 7:00pm via Zoom.