Lent has begun. When you come to Church this Sunday you may note some of the seasonal changes: purple altar hangings and vestments, the use of brass and pottery for candles and altar vessels, wooden collection plates and processional cross. All this is to remind us that Lent is a time for introspection and contemplation of our sins – with the sure and certain knowledge of God’s love and forgiveness. We’ll begin our worship with the Great Litany, the ancient prayer of the Church that takes stock of the human condition and asks God’s mercy. I hope you will be able to join us. Please look at the announcements below, especially:
- Film: “The Way” (Lent)
- Veterans’ Community Dinner (Helping Hands)
- Stories from the Journey (Diocesan News)
- World War I French Battlefield Presentation (Fellowship & Fun)
- Scout Sunday (Worship)
Lenten Sunday Worship – during the more reflective and penitential season, we will use the Rite I version of our service at both 8 & 10 am. At 10 am we’ll also engage in a Lenten experiment of “Quiet Peace” in which we exchange the Peace with those closest to us, sharing God’s Peace with our neighbor, and yet keeping us in the quiet flow of worship.
Thursday Morning Worship – Looking for a peaceful way to start your day, or a mid-week faith boost during Lent? Try the 7 am service of Communion, with optional healing prayer. Breakfast afterwards, if you can stay.
Scout Sunday, March 4, 10 am – We’ll honor and celebrate all Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Girl Scouts of our parish and our community, and to give thanks for the Scouting movement. All Scouts and adult leaders are invited to attend in uniform. Please pass the word along.
Veterans Community Dinner, Feb. 24 at 5:30 pm - Vets and their families from our local community and from the V.A. in Lyons are invited for fellowship, conversation, and friendship...and a wonderful home-cooked meal in All Saints' Parish House at no charge. How can you help? Set up, clean up, serving, cooking (side dishes, salads, desserts). And please get the word out and invite any Vets you know! A sign-up sheet for volunteering will go out soon. This ministry is a partnership with our friends in the Christian (Catholic) Community. For more information speak to Kerrie Stepko.
Lenten Prayer Pilgrimage - On the interior walls of the Church are twelve Lent/Easter pictures. Pick up a Pilgrimage Brochure and baptismal shell from the basket in the Narthex; follow from one picture to another with the Bible passages, prayers, or silent contemplation. You are invited to do this whenever the Church is open.
Film: “The Way” Monday, February 26, 7:00 pm in the Parish House Lower Room. Come and watch this feature film starring Martin Sheen about a man’s journey along the Camino de Santiago, the ancient pilgrimage route in Spain, as he searches for answers about his relationship with his son. Time for discussion afterwards. Sign up on the sheet in the Narthex.
Labyrinth Walk, Sunday, March 11, 3-5 pm in the Parish Hall. This is a time of prayerful walking meditation along the labyrinth (borrowed from the Community of St. John Baptist). Walk it at your own pace. There will be time for reflection and journaling. Drop in any time during the two hours. Bring your questions, your burdens, your prayer intentions for yourself and others. Sign up on the sheet in the Narthex.
FELLOWSHIP & FUN
World War I French Battlefields, Sunday, March 11, 11:15 am in the Parish Hall. Randy Gaulke will present reflections on his 6 months as a tour guide for the World War I battlefields in the Meuse-Argonne forest in France, which saw the largest numbers of American troops in the war. Come to learn more about this part of our history, during the centennial of that great conflict.
Save the Date! Epworth Youth Choir Tour Concert & Dinner, Tuesday, March 27, time TBD in the Church. This high school choir from First United Methodist Church in Cuyahoga Falls, OH, will present a concert of traditional anthems by Craig Courtney, Allen Pote, Dan Forrest, and George Friederich Handel. The second half of the program is a musical by Dean Wagner called “Keeping Vigil with Jesus.” This concert is a wonderful Lenten opportunity and will appeal to kids as well as adults. Parishioners are invited to have dinner with the choir before-hand. More info coming soon.
And another date to save...
Maundy Thursday Agapé Meal, March 29, 6 pm in the Parish House Lower Room. Agapé is the Greek word for God’s love – and the way we share it in community. We’ll gather for a simple pot-luck meal, as Jesus and his disciples did, before our worship. We’ll be sharing this meal with our brothers and sisters in the Christian (Catholic) Community. Sign up on the sheet in the Narthex. Hope to see you there!
Bible Study/Book Study – Wed. at 10:15 am, in the Rath House. We are reading and discussing Inwardly Digest: The Prayer Book as Guide to a Spiritual Life, by Derek Olsen. Daily spiritual practice takes dedication and discipline, and we often wonder where to start and how to keep it from feeling like yet another task on our to-do list. We can use The Book of Common Prayer for a template to a deeper spiritual life with practical applications for daily living. The book costs $20. Can’t come Wed. mornings? Buy a copy and read it on your own. The books are in the Narthex.
Pilgrim Study Group Mondays, 7-8:30 pm in the Rath House. The next 6-week session, starting on March 5, is Church & Kingdom: “What does it mean to live as a child of the kingdom of God and follow in the way of Christ each day as a member of the Church? How does it affect our life at work as well as at home? How is the Christian faith changing us and shaping us so that we become more like Jesus?” Questions? Speak to Mother Vicki and sign up on the sheet in the Narthex.
Bishop’s Search Update – the Search/Nominating Committee of the diocese has selected eight people to come to the diocese for interviews later this month. A more detailed description of the process and the timeline can be found here: https://dioceseofnewark.org/content/february-update-bishop-searchnominating-committee
Stories from the Journey Workshop Day – “Following up on the extremely well-received story-sharing at Diocesan Convention in January, we invite you to a day of sharing stories and listening deeply as we continue the journey of joining God in our neighborhoods. This event is open to anyone who wants to explore the power of sharing and listening to stories and how this helps us to discover what God is up to.” All congregations in the Diocese of Newark are invited to this event to be held on Saturday, February 24 at St. Michael's, Wayne. Schedule for the morning:
- 8:30 AM - Gathering, registration and light breakfast
- 9 AM – Meeting begins
- Noon - Working Lunch
- 2 PM – Adjourn
SAVE THE DATE
Sunday, May 13 for Bishop Beckwith’s last visitation with us before his retirement.
2/19 Pilgrim Study Group Rath House, 7:00 pm
2/20 Vestry Rath House, 7:30 pm
2/21 Book Study Rath House, 10:15 am
2/22 Holy Eucharist Church, 7:00 am
Junior Choir Choir Room, 5:15 pm
Adult Choir Choir Room, 7:30 pm
For a full schedule of our buildings check the website calendar www.allsaintsmillington.org.
Prayer, Fasting, & Almsgiving – these are the three classic Christian practices for Lent. Each practice is designed to make us more available to God, to help us put aside our self-centeredness so that we may see God and other people in a clearer, truer light.
- Prayer is not telling God what to do, or even asking God for things. Prayer is allowing ourselves to be vulnerable before God, to remove the filter we think we need to have. As we give God our deepest concerns, pain, and joy, we open ourselves to be changed by God – remade in Jesus’ image.
- Fasting is refraining from some habit, activity, or consumable for a period of time. It reminds us that we are dependent on God, rather than other things which may seem so important to us. We fast because Jesus fasted for forty days in the wilderness before the start of his public ministry. Traditionally during Lent, Christians have fasted by eating smaller and simpler meals and abstaining from meat on Fridays. Other ways of fasting have included abstaining from alcohol, sweets, credit cards – and more recently, social media and plastic water bottles.
- Alsmgiving in Lent, giving money to the poor, was supposed to be funded by the fasting from meat that one did. By not having more expensive meals, the money saved was then free to be shared with needy people. This practice is the one probably the one kept the least. While we may or may not wish to give money to a homeless person on the street, Lent is a very good time to make a contribution to groups such as Habitat for Humanity or the Heifer Project or Episcopal Relief and Development. Or get involved with our parish food pantry ministry.