Pastor’s Letter 2023 February

Greetings Siblings in Christ,

I pray you are well this day.

Lent begins, Wednesday, Feb 22, with Ash Wednesday marking the beginning of our 40-day journey into reflection and introspection on how we might continue to grow our focus on and listening to God’s call on our lives.  What might we do differently to avoid the distractions that keep us from heeding God’s call?  It connects us to Jesus’ own 40-day journey in the wilderness where he encountered evil’s use of human desires and needs to distract Jesus from God’s call on his life.

Our Ash Wednesday service will be in person and online beginning at 7 pm.  We will share in the imposition of ashes as well as the anointing of oil – physical reminders of our own mortality and preparedness for its end, as well as the healing power of oil in Jesus’ time.  For those online, I pray that you will prepare ashes and mix them with water (not oil) and have a small container of olive oil or similar oil.  We will bless both the ashes and the oil – in person and online before they are placed on our foreheads.

Following our series Dream In: Living the Creative Life with God, countering the constant ‘driven’ nature of our society, our worship team decided to continue nurturing the focus of loving ourselves as God loves us – just as we are in spite of the world’s demand on us to keep pushing for more, better, ….  Our Lenten theme this year is Good Enough, Just As I Am.   It comes from Worship Design Studio’s leaning into a book and 40-day devotional by Kate Bowler.  Kate was on the success track to becoming a full professor in her mid-thirties, well-known and loved in her professional community, happily married with two young children.  Then she learned she had stage-4 colon cancer.  All the goal setting, planned move ‘up the ladder’ was sidelined.  From her own reflections on the interpersonal and societal push to move up the never-ending ladder of success (whatever that happens to be) and her own mortality, she wrote in 2022 Good Enough: Embracing the Imperfections of Life and Faith.  Kate’s 40-day Lenten devotion is free and available here: Lent Devotion – 40-day – Kate Bowler.pdf .  You can find the companion book at this link: .

I LOVE gathering with others to discuss books and devotions – learning and listening to others as I learn more about my own self and transform in the process.  If are like this as well, I would love to gather with you during the Lenten season.  We can meet weekly both online and in person – rotating various locations – coffee shops, one’s home/back yard/patio, the back of my boat, the park, (when it gets warmer) – honestly any place.  Please email me if you want to join me.  I trust that when two or more desire to gather in God’s name, God will facilitate the timing.

In the end – and at the beginning – my prayer is that these resources–the worship series, book and devotional – will be salve for ourselves, inviting us to embrace the life we have – that God loves dearly, knowing that we are never alone.

Shalom, Salaam,

Rev. Pamela L. Kurtz, Pastor