A Word from Our Pastor: 2013 February Lenten Study

Lenten Study

A Word from Our Pastor

I hope that the beginning of 2013 has been a time of renewal and refreshment – that your new year really feels like a new beginning. We have been talking in our church about renewal for some time now. We have a special committee, headed by Lindsay Hiratzka, called the “Dream Releasers.” This committee is focused on finding ways for our church to create and experience renewal. We have also hired a coach to help our committee and leadership with the challenges of renewal.

It is important to remember that we can’t help someone else experience renewal until we ourselves have had that experience – you can’t teach what you don’t know. Therefore, we are embarking on personal renewal efforts, so that we can help others on this same path.

Therefore, in January, I preached three sermons on personal renewal – about eliminating too much busy-ness in our lives, connecting with others, and practicing forgiveness. Then, the Dream Releasers presented two Sundays that addressed their experiences of personal renewal, as well as our hopes and dreams for our whole congregation to be renewed.

As I write this, the Dream Releasers are arriving at church every Sunday at 9:00 a.m. to study together. We are using the Bible and prayer to help us gain insight into how we may be partners with God in renewing our congregation and ourselves.

As part of our Lenten observance, beginning on Sunday, February 17 and continuing for 5 weeks, we are inviting EVERYONE in the congregation – that means you – to take part in the same study that some of us are doing now. Every Sunday in Lent, we will offer group study to as many of you who are able to attend. For those in the choir, we will offer the same study Wednesdays at 5:45 p.m.

The study is called, “Like Living Stones.” The introduction says, the study “focuses on God’s intention for the church and our role as agents of transformation. . [it will] help us reflect on the scripture passages from both personal and congregational perspectives and strengthen our ability to talk about our experiences of God and faith.” It is our prayer that it will be a blessing to you, so that together we may find a renewed sense of purpose and direction, with God’s guiding and sustaining presence.

I hope that you will participate in this wonderful 5-week opportunity. Each of you is a critical addition to renewing our church, and this study will bring us all together!

For those of you who are interested in the very practical and helpful suggestions about forgiveness (especially about marriage), the sermon referred to “Forgiveness: Finding Peace Through Letting Go,” a nice short book by Adam Hamilton. If you would like to borrow a copy, please see Rev. Naomi