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Pastor Cheryl Matthews Report

Dear Friends in Christ:

As we near the Lenten season, I hope we all take the opportunity to slow down and allow some time for prayer, devotional reading, and reflection during these 40 days. Some suggestions for positive Lenten disciplines are included in this newsletter on the page with the headline 4 Ways to Observe Lent. As we fill our days with so many demands and activities, it is important to consider how many of them are truly necessary and in keeping with God’s call in our lives. What purpose do they serve? Could we be using our time more wisely, with more care for ourselves and others? Could we be much more aware of the gift of each moment, taking in the beauty and wonder of the world around us? How much do we miss with all our rushing around, eyes glued to our cell phones? If we simply take a deep breath once in an awhile, pause for a moment, and simply look around and within, much could be discovered that is so often missed.

My “Plug In” discipline for Lent is to read a daily reflection on becoming aware of the gifts each moment of life brings. These reflections are designed to help me be more aware of God’s presence in all of life – to see how much I take for granted – how much I miss as I get wrapped up in the rapid pace of today’s world. This is a world where we can communicate around the globe in mere seconds and our smart phones can hold more information than would be available in multiple lifetimes in previous generations.

Not long ago, I was told of two college roommates “chatting” with each other on their computers. That’s not surprising. What was surprising, even disconcerting, was that they were doing so while sitting together in their dorm room! They were more comfortable with this impersonal, electronic communication than with a face-to-face conversation! One could ask, what are we losing? How much do we miss? Who don’t we see? What don’t we hear as we attach our-selves to these so-called wonder devices?

Take a close look at the 4 Ways to Observe Lent page and consider a positive way to encourage your faith journey these 40 days. Also, plan to join us for our Mid-Week Lenten Worship Services, enjoying the Soup and Sandwich Supper before each service (except Ash Wednesday). Our Lenten series is entitled SERMON on the MOUNT and will take us through some of the most familiar teachings of Jesus from his Sermon on the Mount from Matthew 5-7 and relate them to the events surrounding his life, death, and resurrection. In the process, our worship will powerfully re-veal that the cross itself is the ultimate gift for our journey of faith this sacred season.

Remember, we have all the time we need for a full and blessed life as we let go of the extra “stuff” of our lives. May the Lenten season of Christ’s love and sacrifice for our sake be a blessing to all.

Faithfully,

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