February 17th Worship: 9 AM & 11 AM Worship Services | Ruth 2 “Gleaning Hope”

Entering Lentecost (Lent to Pentecost: February 10—May 15, 2016)       

The Christian season of Lent has historically been a time of preparation: 40 days of fasting and study leading to a new convert’s reception into the church during the celebration of Easter. More recently the season has been known as a time to “give something up,” such as meat, alcohol or chocolate as a sign of fasting.

The season has also been understood as a time to renew a continuing conversation with Jesus to enhance our faith through new stories and practices.

Beginning the first Sunday in Lent, this year February 14, we will begin a sermon/teaching series that will last through Pentecost, “Jesus Diaries: Personal Encounters with Our Living Lord.”

We will journey with Jesus’ disciples in his ministry, before and after the cross and resurrection, through familiar and not so familiar gospel accounts.

This practice may help Lent to take on a deeper level for us, beyond the stories we already know well. Our encounters with Jesus happen far more often than we think or acknowledge. Walking with Jesus in these stories on Sundays, we may then be better able to recognize and walk with Jesus for the other six more days of the week, even longer into the year.

In this year’s Lentecost journey with Jesus we will get to know new faces, encounter new situations, and be better equipped to begin to take new strides of faith as well.

Lentecost Programs

Adult Seminar Series
“Study of Personal Encounters with Jesus”
Sundays, February 14 – March 20
10 am in the Westcott Room
Weekly Bible study following Rev. Blair’s Lentecost sermon series. Cecilia Amaral leads on March 6, 13 and 20th.

“Welcoming the Stranger: Discovering and Living God’s Heart for Immigrants”
Wednesday Evenings, February 17-March 16
7-8:30 pm in the Westcott Room
Immigration is one of the most complicated issues of our time. Voices on all sides argue strongly for action and change. Christians find themselves torn between the desire to uphold laws and the call to minister to the vulnerable. In this book study, we will read, discuss, and pray in order to move beyond the rhetoric and offer a Christian response.

Karen Gonzalez,  a church mobilization specialist for World Relief’s Baltimore Immigration Legal Clinic, will lead the discussion. Karen works with local churches to serve and advocate in the cause of immigrants. She’s a graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary’s Graduate School of Intercultural Studies.

 “Compline Service”
Tuesday, March 8, 7 pm
“From dust we shall come… and to dust we shall return” Genesis 3:19 These bodies of ours are finite. Our souls, however, continue to live on in the resurrection of the living Lord. This Lent, we as a church community will strip ourselves from our human inclinations and focus our spirits on how we engage Jesus through our personal encounters with the Divine. Through music that touches the deep places in hearts, the smell of incense burning, and candles lit all around us, on Tuesday, March 8th, we invite you to come for an evening of peaceful spiritual reflection. Allow the human world to slip away and enter into some time of prayer. It will be a rare gift of nourishment that we welcome in the presence of one another.

Holy Week

Palm Sunday: March 20
9 AM & 11 AM Worship
Luke 23:1-25
“A Holy Interrogation”
The Rev. Jenn DiFrancesco

Maundy Thursday: March 24
7 PM Worship in the Sanctuary
“Thomas’ Testimony”
The Rev. Dr. Tom Blair

Good Friday: March 25
12 PM* Worship Service
*Plans for a special noon service in the works. Stay tuned.

7 PM
“The Art of Dying Well, with Jesus”
The Rev. Dr. Tom Blair

Easter Sunday: March 27
7 AM Sunrise Service in Sherwood Gardens
The Rev. Jenn DiFrancesco

9 AM & 11 AM Worship
Luke 23:55-24:11
“When Deep Dawning Arrives”
The Rev. Dr. Tom Blair

Easter Brunch & Egg Hunt
Easter Sunday at 10 AM in Smith Hall & on the church lawn
(Bring a dish to share; helpers also wanted– Sign up here.)

Easter to Pentecost

“Coming Alive through Worship”
Sundays, April 3—May 15
(Sunday after Easter – Pentecost)
Each week we gather in community to celebrate our faith and worship God. We invite the Spirit to move through our life through our music, prayers, liturgy, and scripture. Have you ever paused to wonder why we do what we do? Why do we read together in unison from one of our Presbyterian Creeds each Sunday? What is the spiritual significance of sharing the peace of Christ? What is the purpose for standing together, sitting together, singing together, and praying together? How does the preacher choose his or her text and how do the beautiful words of our liturgy come together? Moreover, have you ever, paused to wonder which part of the service speaks most to you? Please join us this Easter Season, the season of resurrection, for an adult seminar series where we invite deep reflection of how we engage with the divine and what allows our faith to come alive through understanding the mystery behind worship.