This week we begin the Christian season of Lent. You may know it as the season when you give up chocolate, or alcohol, or (if you’re brave) Girl Scout cookies, but historically the season has little to do with a limited sugar intake, and more to do with disciplining ourselves to seek God and God’s will.Ash Wednesday begins our journey of forty days (not including Sundays), remembering the journey Jesus took into Jerusalem where his uncompromising witness of God’s love would ultimately lead to his death… but also his resurrection. Traditionally, this season is one in which Christians fast, and pray, and seek reconciliation with God and the Church in preparation for Easter. It is a time set apart for repentance—for confessing and turning away from those things that prevent or hinder us from choosing to love God and our neighbor (If that’s sugar, it may just be a good time to give it up!). This year, we are providing several opportunities to engage together in the intention of the season– to turn away from all else and “Choose Love.” You might engage in daily devotional practices and reflection prompts on our social media accounts or the attached calendar. You might join in reading the book Love Is the Way: Holding on to Hope in Troubling Times, by Bishop Michael Curry. You might join other church members in a time of discussion on Sunday after worship (10:30am) or Wednesday evenings (6:30pm, beginning 2/24) via Zoom to explore more deeply the themes and scriptures of this season. Children, too, will have Sunday School each week with opportunities to dive deeper into what it means to choose God’s love. We also invite you to join us in orienting our hearts for this journey in a short, outdoor service on Ash Wednesday at one of the following times: 9:15am, 12 noon, 3pm, or 6pm. A recorded service will also be available on our website and Facebook at noon.I look forward to navigating this season together, as we turn our hearts and minds toward God’s call, and choose, again, to offer ourselves in love.

May this be a holy Lent,

Pastor Darin