During seasons when I am most discouraged in ministry, the experiences that lift my spirits and enable me to keep going are ones like our Ash Wednesday service this past Wednesday, March 5. In all my years as a Pastor serving three churches of relatively the same size (700+ members), I have never witnessed a congregation of more than 150 people (running out of bulletins!) as was the case this past week. I am still overwhelmed at the sight of 10 of our third graders (with their parents) being welcomed to the Lord’s Table for the first time, 7 of our fourth graders being commissioned as acolytes for the next two years (2014-2016) and almost our entire 2014 Confirmation Class of eighth graders (14 youth!) sharing in Worship leadership as greeters, ushers and lay readers. Again, the memory of this past Wednesday will be enough to see me through whatever unexpected challenges may lie ahead in the future, and I am so very grateful for all who made this past Wednesday a holy and sacred moment for all who were present.
This Sunday I will be away preaching at our sister church here in Belmont, Love’s Chapel, but Daria will be leading Worship and officiating at the Lord’s Table in my absence. In addition, we will have the privilege of recognizing the Girl Scout Troops associated with our church on Girl Scout Sunday and we will receive our 2nd Sunday Nickel-A-Meal Hunger Offering.
The Season of Lent continues with our first of five Lenten Luncheons in the Fellowship Hall on Thursday, March 13 from 12 noon to 1 p.m. We welcome this week The Reverend Lauren Vanacore, Associate Pastor of Gastonia’s First Presbyterian Church, who will introduce this year’s series of reflections on “Experiences of God’s Grace.”
Please be sure to notice inside this week’s Harbinger newsletter the announcement concerning the new Adult Sunday School Class “mini-courses” beginning March 16 and continuing through April 27. The 2014 Nominating Committee for church officers also begins asking this Sunday for your input regarding those in our congregation who should be approached to serve as elders and deacons in the Class of 2017. Nomination forms will be included in this Sunday’s Bulletin and will also be available on the literature table in the Gathering Area. Please return your suggestions to the church office no later than March 31.
God's Grace and Peace to You!