From Pastor Kathy…

I share a reflection with you about the Season of Lent from Steve Garnaas-Holmes (He has a daily blog which can be found at Unfoldinglight.net)

Jesus was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. — Luke 4.1-2

In Lent we enter The Forty Days. We are not walking a new path; we walk Jesus’ forty days in the wilderness. And in doing so we enter into the forty-day path of all the holy ones who came before him. So it’s a much richer journey than one of temptation alone. Along with Jesus we walk with Moses on Mount Sinai for forty days receiving the Law. It is a journey of revelation. We walk with Elijah to Mount Horeb for forty days, where he listens to the “still, small voice,” the silence of God. It is a journey of prayer. We walk with the Israelites for forty years in the desert seeking the Promised Land. It is a journey of homecoming. We live with Noah on the Ark for forty days. It is a journey of new life.

The forty days of Lent invite us to face our temptations and repent of our sin, but more deeply than merely admitting our wrongdoings and shortcomings. Repentance is not ego-bashing; it’s turning away from the things in which we’ve sought life, that can’t actually give life, and turning instead toward God, the Abundant Source. We embrace our suffering, not because we deserve to be hurt, but because we are learning not to be scared off by difficulty in our search for true Life. You are hungry for God. The thing to give up for Lent is starving yourself.

Lent is not a time of punishment or deprivation, but a time of deeper receiving. It’s a time of mindfulness, a time of opening up more deeply to God’s grace-filled presence. Our fasting and prayer is not wallowing in guilt and severity, but letting go of all but God so that we may be richly, deeply, abundantly fed. It’s a time of becoming a seed, still and waiting in the darkness, open to the miracle of resurrection yet to come. Lent is a time when we plant ourselves in the mystery of God and wait in simplicity and humility. We wait because it says right on the seed packet, “Germination time: forty days.”

May these forty days be rich for your soul.

I also want to share the letter I sent out on an email blast to our congregation concerning the Coronavirus:

Dear Asburyites:
The continually breaking news about the Coronavirus can cause anxiety and fear. Your church leaders are taking the health and welfare of our church community seriously. As we continue to monitor the situation, we encourage all of us to take the following precautions:
  • Wash your hands with soap and water frequently
  • have an extra stock of you medicines
  • If you are ill and need to go out, please wear a mask (healthy people don’t need to wear a mask)
  • If you feel ill or are ill, please stay home and rest, consult your doctor but don’t come to worship and possibly infect others.
  • If you are anxious, please feel free to call one of the pastors or talk with our Stephen Ministers who are available after worship on Sunday and pray!
  • On Sunday, please refrain from hugs and shaking hands–fist bumps, elbow bumps, Namaste greeting and the crossed arms in front (one needs to have seen the Black Panther) are great substitutes for now.
  • This Sunday we will be serving only bread for communion. We have ordered “communionware” so in April we will be able to serve the grape juice in the individual cups and will do so until the danger has passed.
  • Our communion servers will be extra cautious about washing hands and using sanitizer before serving.
  • If you become ill, please let the pastors or church office know so we can pray for you, check on you and help you as needed.
  • We have just obtained the CDC FAITH-BASED & COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS PANDEMIC INFLUENZA PREPAREDNESS CHECKLIST and it is under review..
Please don’t hesitate to call if you have any concerns.
Blessings,
Pastor Kathy

 

Comments

  1. Kathy La Point-Collup says

    Hi Wendy:

    You weren’t on the group email list that received the link (there is a new one each week). You are now on the list and will get email updates from Asbury.

    Thanks

    Pastor Kathy

  2. Suzanne Meierding says

    Hello Kathy,
    Please add us to your email address list so that we can be up to date on your wise words. We have not formally joined the church but have begun to attend services as often as we can, leaving with new insights, new ways to look at things, broader perspectives, and a deeper relationship with Jesus. We hope you and yours are remaining healthy as we hope for all.
    Most sincerely,
    Sue

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