Emmanuel United Methodist Church in Amherst, Virginia.
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
We serve the Lord with love and praise.

A message from our Pastor

 

Lent Begins on Ash Wednesday, February 14

 

The season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, February 14, when we are invited to join Christians around the world in a special time of spiritual preparation leading up to the celebration of Easter. The season includes the forty days before Easter, not counting Sundays, and ends with the observance of Holy Saturday. Originally in the Christian community, Lent was a time of preparation and fasting for new converts to receive the sacrament of baptism on Easter. Later on, it became a time of penance for all Christians.

The forty days of Lent remind us of Jesus’ forty days of fasting in the wilderness in preparation of his public ministry. Fasting, along with almsgiving, prayer and service, has always been an important spiritual discipline observed during Lent. Our current practice of “giving up something” for Lent comes from the practice of fasting, and from the Lenten theme of sacrifice. We may decide to “fast” from a particular food, treat or activity, and instead devote the time or resources saved to prayer and service.

The word Lent actually comes from the German word for spring or season because of the time of year in which it falls. Interestingly, the season of Lent can be thought of as a time of spiritual “spring cleaning” when Christians are called into a deeper awareness of our need for God’s grace.

Opportunities are available for you to practice Lenten spiritual disciplines and to observe a Holy Lent:

*Our annual Community Ash Wednesday Observance at Hardees at Ambriar Shopping Center, Wednesday, February 14, 8-10 a.m. which includes a time of prayer and the imposition of ashes done in small groups throughout the time period. You are encouraged to come and invite a neighbor or friend to join you.

*A traditional Ash Wednesday Observance will take place in our Sanctuary on Wednesday, February 14 at 6:00 p.m. (The time has been changed this year to enable those who are involved in other activities on Wednesday evenings to attend).

*Commit to attend weekly worship each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Our Sanctuary is also open for prayer during office hours, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. and on Sunday mornings from 8:45 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.

*Lenten Devotional Booklets and Coin Banks from the Society of St. Andrew will be available in the Narthex. These materials will help enrich your devotional life and encourage you to consider giving your spare change to help feed the hungry.

*Lenten Prayer and Communion time will be offered each Wednesday evening from 6:15 – 6:45 p.m. A brief devotional will be shared at the beginning, followed by a time of silence for personal prayer and meditation, ending with Holy Communion.

*Special worship opportunities are planned for Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Easter Sunday. Watch for more details in the March newsletter.

It is my prayer that during this season, we will accept the gracious invitation that Christ extends to each of us to use the spiritual disciplines of Lent to live in a closer relationship with Christ as we are reminded of our complete dependence upon God’s grace.                               

  Blessings,

Pastor Nancy