This year we take up the theme of Holy Baptism. We will be talking about how we live out our baptism daily. The question Luther asked was, “What does baptism mean for daily life?”
We will continue our focus on Luther’s Small Catechism.
On Sunday mornings in worship we will be talking to members of our congregation about how they live out their baptism in life’s ordinary circumstances. The themes for our discussion will come straight from the assigned Lenten Scriptures. We will discover how people respond with faith when challenges happen in our lives.
Each Sunday we will take the Gospel we hear in worship and look at how it intersects with our daily life. We will ask the quintessential Lutheran question of it, What does this mean for me? Be ready to engage the scripture on a very personal level.
Wednesday Night Soup Supper and Worship
After we share a meal, we will be looking at each of the 5 aspects of our Baptismal Affirmation:
As in past Advents and Lents, you will have daily devotional cards to mark the 40 days of Lent and the days of Holy Week.
A Congregational Service Project
To emphasize the watery part of our baptismal theme, we will be collecting loose change for Lutheran World Relief, to fund a $500 water system that provides clean water for drinking and bathing.
Our Objectives for our Lenten Season for every worshiper:
Pastor Lori A. Cornell
“All go to one place; all are from the dust, and all turn to dust again.” Ecclesiastes 3:20
It is quite unbelievable to me that it is already February. Time seems to be flying faster than I am accustomed to these days.
When I think of February, I think of calendars made of construction paper hung up with masking tape on the walls of elementary school teacher’s walls, dressed in bright pinks and reds and decorated with hearts.
Our culture has declared February to be love month. We center it on Valentine’s Day. We buy chalky heart-shaped candy to share, or give out valentines; we bring flowers to our significant other, or surprise a new love interest in our life with a box of chocolates. The world seems focused on the sugary love that is shared in sweet kisses with our sweethearts.
But the church will celebrate February in a way that is much less sweet and cute. February 10 marks Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the season of Lent.
Ash Wednesday is my absolute favorite day of the church year. Part of this is because it reminds me of dark evenings spent at church growing up that had a special holiness to them. I remember sitting as a kid, feeling the oddity of worshipping at night and reveling in the experience. There’s just something holy and wonderful in coming together at night to worship God with your community, to sing songs and pray together around candlelight. It’s beautiful.
But the best part of Ash Wednesday was when I would go to the pastor, feel the grit of ashes being pressed onto my forehead and hearing the words, “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
Because those words have done two major things for me at various points in my life. When I was a boisterous, obnoxious, middle-school aged girl who thought she was invincible, those words reminded me that one day, I will return to dust. And there’s nothing I can do to change that.
But in years that were plagued with self-doubt, these words reminded me that I am nothing but dust, and yet I am part of the humanity whom Christ lived and died to save from the very things that were causing me to have self-doubt. I am made of merely dust, and yet God charges me and allows me to live a life freely given and inspired by the fact that I have been saved by grace through faith.
Ash Wednesday reminds us of the love that is far deeper than the sticky-sweet love of Valentine’s Day. Ash Wednesday reminds us of the cutting love that God has for us, the love that sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross for us. The love that tells us that though one day, we will face our own deaths, Christ conquered it for us first.
And so, let us be reminded that we are merely dust, and that God is so much greater than us.
And let us be reminded that we are merely dust, and that God has done so much for us unworthy creatures.
Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.
Grace and peace,
Intern Pastor Carrie Smisek