Thank you Shirley, Hope, Bonnie and all who led our worship last Sunday!
Sara and I am back from a restful weekend in Phoenix where we spent time with two of my childhood friends and their wives. We played some golf and saw some Spring Training baseball games. Go Dodgers!
Today is Shrove Tuesday. Some call it Fat Tuesday. It marks the eve of the Lenten Season, which begins with Ash Wednesday, tomorrow, March 6th.
There are many traditions around Ash Wednesday. One is to have pancakes for dinner the night before. That might have come from the Jewish tradition of cleaning the cupboards of chametz, or leavening agents, in preparation for the passover meal of unleavened bread. The conclusion of Mardi Gras in New Orleans is Shrove or Fat Tuesday, the eve of Ash Wednesday.
We will have a Service of Ashes tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. in the Sanctuary. You are invited to come and spend time in prayer and reflection as we begin this important season in the life of the church.
The theme I want to focus on this Lent is “Into the Wilderness.” Obviously, Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness, facing temptations, before he began his mission on Earth. The earliest Christians spent 40 days in order to ready themselves prior to the celebration of Easter. For them is was much like a spiritual retreat, a time of prayer and fasting.
In some ways we associate things like fasting and prayer as times of deep reflection on the mysteries of our faith. And there is certainly nothing wrong with that! My choice of theme, Into the Wilderness, is an invitation to do just that. But, what does it mean to enter the wilderness? That’s the question we will be asking each week in various ways. Where have we spent time in the wilderness in our own lives? What did we learn, if anything? What is the role of the wilderness? Even more basic, how do we define wilderness? Is it even important?
One thing I know for sure. When we keep a good Lent, our Easter is all the more powerful and meaningful.
The Calendar this Week:
Ash Wednesday Service of Ashes. 8 a.m. in the Sanctuary.
Daylight Savings time begins this Sunday, March 10th. Turn your clocks forward one hour!
Holy Land Pilgrimage
Visiting the Holy Land is a once in a lifetime experience. Pastor Ron is putting together a trip to the Holy Land. 10 days. Visiting sites that include The Sea of Galilee and Jordan River, Capernaum, Cana, Nazareth, tel Megiddo, Jericho, Qumran, Caesarea, Masada, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Mount of Olives.
Prices run from 3400-3700 depending of time of year, and include airfare, ground transportation, tour guides, breakfast and dinner, taxes and fees.
If interested please contact me at (760) 554-5520. Leave a message!
Our dear Ashley has now made the journey to be completely with our Lord. I know you have been praying for her and now I ask you to please keep her parents Lorena and Gabriel as well as her siblings and the community of faith that has sustained them in your prayers. My heart grieves with them.
For Healing: For Caroline Stinson. For Pastor Ron.
For those in need: The poor and the hungry. Victims of violence. Migrants seeking asylum.
For First Responders, for Teachers, for Public Servants.
See you Sunday!
Grace and Peace, Ron
Rev. Dr. Ron Griffen
First United Methodist Church, El Centro
312 S. 8th St.
Facebook: First United Methodist church El Centro
"Ring the bell that still can ring. Forget the perfect offering. There's a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in." --Leonard Cohen
"You are the light of the world. You are the salt of the earth." --Jesus of Nazareth