By Pastor Lui Tran

Time is running fast, and we are getting ready for this year’s Lent and Easter season. Traditionally Lent is a time of repentance, renewal and restoration in our busy and hectic lives. It starts with our Ash Wednesday Service on February 18, at 7 pm in the Chapel and runs through Palm Sunday, March 29. During the six weeks in Lent I encourage you to take time for self-reflection and self-care in light of the timeless truths of the Bible. Throughout his life the founder of Methodism, John Wesley, emphasized the practice of spiritual disciplines as a way to grow in Christian perfection—the love of God and neighbor.

In addition to your individual spiritual practice, I also invite you to our weekly Lent Supper & Study on Wednesday nights from 6:00 – 8:00 pm in the Parlor. The community meal will be followed by the DVD-based small group study “Walking with God in the Desert” with bestselling author and pastor Ray Vander Laan. Here is a snapshot of what you can expect from the study:

“Are you going through a difficult period of life? The loss of a loved one? Unemployment? A crisis of faith? Dur- ing these desert times, it’s easy to think God has disappeared. In Walking with God in the Desert you’ll discover that it’s only when we are totally dependent on him that we find God is closer than ever and can experience his amazing grace and provision.”

“Filmed on location in Israel, Faith Lessons is a unique video series that brings God's Word to life with astound- ing relevance. By weaving together the Bible's fascinating historical, cultural, religious, and geographical con- texts, teacher and historian Ray Vander Laan reveals unique insights into the Scriptures' significance for modern believers.”

“The Walking with God in the Desert DVD was filmed on location in the Sinai Desert, Wadi Nasb, Judea Wilderness, Mount Sinai, Negev and En Gedi.”

“These illuminating "faith lessons" afford a new understanding of the Bible that will ground your convictions and transform your life. The Faith Lessons video series is ideal for use in small groups, personal and family Bible studies, and adult Sunday school. Individual believers and families will gain vital insights from long-ago times and cultures through this innovative approach to Bible study.” (Product description on Amazon.com)

We will meet in the Parlor on the following Wednesdays from 6:00 – 8:00 pm during Lent: February 25; March 4, 11, 18, 25; and April 1st.

In these economically and politically challenging times, many people in and outside the church are struggling and looking for authentic community—a place to connect with God and people. The Lent Supper & Study will be a community building and also outreach opportunity. So please bring your friends and neighbors and so we can share with them the love of Christ.

I very much hope to see you there. May our gracious God encourage and give you strength and hope for the journey.

Blessings, Pastor Lui Tran