The season of Church life we find ourselves in right now is considered Ordinary Time. I find that worth a church because we’ve learned in the last couple of years that there’s no such thing as “ordinary time,” haven’t we?!
As we make our way through the after-Epiphany Sundays toward the Transfiguration of Jesus, the Worship Planning Team has been praying over and working toward a meaningful Lenten Season. Lent is, literally, the 40 days (not including Sundays) leading to Easter. Early Church history shows that this period was used by the Orthodox Church to prepare converts for baptism and welcome to the Body of Christ. The 40 days begins with Ash Wednesday; it’s called that because of the practice of imposing ashes on those who wish to observe a meaningful season. Sackcloth and ashes have been a part of showing repentance of the heart and mind since the beginning of God’s people; taking on the discomfort and dirt of such material is a reminder of the mess we get ourselves into when we go our own way. An additional practice many choose during the season of Lent is the practice of fasting something of the world in their lives in order to have more time, more attention, more intention, and a greater practice of the things of God. Often, the fast is of food items or drink. Can I encourage you to think about giving up something that can be even more devastating to your health than Cheetos, chocolate, or excess coffee? What if you were to spend 40 without complaining? Without denigrating yourself? Without gossip? Whether your battle is with craving chocolate or the ease of complaint, fill those moments with a simple prayer for forgiveness, trust, and transformation and watch what your journey will become!
There are many other experiences during this holy season that will encourage you along the way. We hope to see you as we journey toward the Cross together.
February 22 – Ash Wednesday, 6:00 PM, Sanctuary
February 22 – April 6 – Morning Devotionals, Monday thru Thursday each week, via the Cook’s Facebook page, 8:00am Livestream (Lent only)
February 26, March 5, 12, 19, 26 & April 2 – Six Sundays of Lent/Sermon Series on Forgiveness (Marjorie Thompson’s book, Forgiveness: A Lenten Study is a good companion through this season.) 8:45am and 11:00am.
April 2 – Cantata, Joint Choirs from Grace UMC and Cook’s UMC, during 11:00am Worship, Friendship Hall
April 6 – Maundy Thursday Meal and Worship; 6:00 pm in Friendship Hall, Including Holy Communion
April 7 – Good Friday, Interactive Stations of the Cross, Friendship Hall from 7am until 7pm *
April 9 – Sonrise Worship, 6:30 am at Cook’s UMC Pavilion Easter Morning Worship, 8:45 am in the Sanctuary
* If you would be willing to serve as a host/hostess for 1-2 hours during Good Friday, we welcome you volunteering for such. You would simply be responsible for welcoming folks in the space, inviting them to start at Station 1, and, if needed, respond to any need expressed (directions to restroom, request for prayer, a necessary reminder to keep quiet for the sake of others’ experience, etc.) You may volunteer by emailing or calling the Church Office.