Pastoral Update

February 2015

Dear Church of the Redeemer family,

As many of you know, it is almost the beginning of Lent, which is a special time of the year for us at Church of the Redeemer. Lent is the season of the church year when we prepare for the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection on Easter. The season of Lent lasts 40 days, and it begins on Ash Wednesday. (We don’t count the Sundays in Lent because they have always been considered “little Easters.”)

The reason we enter this season of Lent is to take some extended time for self-examination, fasting, and repentance. Of course, we should be examining our lives and repenting of sin every day. But Lent offers us an opportunity to be more focused in these disciplines. The goal of Lent is that the transformation we begin to experience during this season will serve as a catalyst for our continued spiritual growth throughout the year.

Here are ways our church will be observing this season:

  1. Pancake dinner – Sunday, Feb. 15 (after the worship service)
    On the last Sunday before Lent, the youth of our church (along with youth from Church of the Cross) will be hosting a pancake dinner fundraiser at 6 p.m. The fundraiser is for their mission trip to Mexico this summer.  So, please join us in the fellowship hall for pancakes, sausages, and a time  of fellowship.
  1. Ash Wednesday, Feb. 18 at noon
    We will gather at noon in the sanctuary of Bethel Lutheran Church.  The service will last about 45 minutes and will include scripture readings, the imposition of ashes, and prayers of confession. (The nursery will not be staffed. Children are welcome in the service.)
  1. Lenten family devotionals
    We encourage families, especially those with children, to participate in the “Journey Through Lent Family Devotional,”  a daily guide through the six weeks of Lent.  Each evening lesson includes liturgy and lighting of candles, reading or retelling a story about Jesus’ life on earth, a song of worship, and an assortment of family activities to choose from.  These devotional kits will be available on the back table in the sanctuary starting this Sunday, Feb. 15.  Please take one kit per family and join us as we prepare our hearts for celebrating the resurrection of our savior.
  1. Soup suppers – Tuesday nights at  Bethel Lutheran (starting Feb. 24)
    During the season of Lent, we will be gathering on Tuesday evenings for a simple soup and bread supper followed by a time 
of prayer (and activities for the kids). We will meet at the church from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Feb. 24 through March 24. Dinner will begin at 6 p.m. in the fellowship hall. Please join us for any or all of these suppers.Sarah Lundgren will be leading a time for children (3 years old to 6th grade) from 6:45-7:30 p.m., and the nursery will be available for younger children. Our children will have a time of their own games, worship, scripture memory (1 John 4:7-12) and prayer in small groups for one another.

    We will need two other adult volunteers with the children each week as well as two nursery volunteers to help with children age birth-3 years.  Please consider signing up HERE to help with children at least one of these five services.

  1. Lenten sermon series
    On Sunday, Feb. 22, we will be starting a new sermon series for Lent. This series, “The Final Week,” will be from the Gospel of Mark, and it will explore what Jesus said and did between the events of Palm Sunday and his arrest and trial later in Holy Week. Here is the schedule:
  •    Feb. 22, Mark 11:12-25
  •    March 1, Mark 11:27-12:12
  •    March 8, Mark 12:13-17
  •    March 15, Mark 12:18-27
  •    March 22, Mark 12:28-34
  1. Holy Week services
    We will be celebrating several extra services during Holy Week:
  •    Maundy Thursday, April 2; 6:30 p.m. (location to be determined)
  •    Good Friday, April 3; 6:30 p.m. (location to be determined)
  •    Easter vigil, April; 4- 7 p.m. at Church of the Cross
  •    Easter Sunday; April 5,  4:30 p.m. at Bethel Lutheran

Thanks,   Pastor Nathan