Happy Valentine’s Day
Upcoming events in February and beyond:
Sunday Feb. 5th – Job series 3 of 4 “Literary Treasure” also celebrating communion:
The wisdom book of Job answers the question why bad things happen to good people, with rich content, structure, and characters, it is a literary treasure.
Sunday Feb. 12th – “A person after God’s own heart” (Valentine’s Day worship theme and activity) wearing red:
Following the worship service, an all-church activity in decorating Valentine’s Day cookies and cupcakes to be delivered, shared with the community (friends & family).
Sunday Feb. 19th – Job series 4 of 4 “Higher thoughts & ways” with breakfast to follow worship:
Concluding our series of Job, God speaks out of a tempest and restores, redeems Job as Job repents in ashes and dust (out of gratitude and humility).
Ash Wednesday Feb. 22nd – Lenten Bible Study every Wed. in March
Ash Wednesday service at 7 pm. Lenten Bible Study in March, soup at 6 pm in fellowship hall, 6:30 in the sanctuary PowerPoint Presentation “The Last Week of Jesus’ Life.”
Sunday Feb. 26th – Lenten sermon series begins “Favorite Scriptures:”
We’ll unpack well know scriptures like…23rd Psalm & 1 Corinthians 13 (The Love passage) and others.
Sunday April 2nd – Palm Sunday
Friday April 7th – Good Friday – Service @ 7 pm
Sunday April 9th – Easter
Blessings, Pastor Michael
Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2023
Transfiguration Sunday, February 19, 2023
Ash Wednesday, February 22, 2023 – Service 7:00 PM
If there is one subject more than another upon which I wish ever to speak, it is the love of Christ; but if there is one which quite baffles me, and makes me go back from this platform utterly ashamed of my poor feeble words, and of the tongue which has uttered them, it is this subject. This love of Christ is the most amazing thing under heaven, if not in heaven itself.—Charles Spurgeon
Why should we observe Lent? This 40-day season of repentance and reflection that begins on Ash Wednesday has three important purposes. Lent helps us STOP, LOOK and LISTEN.
We observe Lent because it tells us to STOP and rest awhile — and to stop sinning. Lent tells us to LOOK inward for an honest self-examination, to look upward to see the cross of Jesus with healing and love, and to look forward to the hope of the Resurrection. And we observe Lent because it tells us to LISTEN — to the voice of God, the words of Christ and the movement of the Holy Spirit.
STOP, LOOK and LISTEN! These commands that are so crucial for travel safety are also important for our journey through Lent.
Let’s go Bananas!
When the baseball team in Savannah, Georgia, got new owners in 2016, it also received a new name and identity — the Bananas! Adding pep to what often seemed a long, boring game, Jesse and Emily Cole offered a creative new experience, full of entertainment and spectacle. Players wear all-yellow uniforms (sometimes kilts), and the mascot is a banana named Split. Cheering on the team are the Banana Nanas senior-citizen dancers and the Man-Nanas Dad Bod Cheering Squad. The entire organization sets out to bring hospitality and joy, sending people home thinking, “This was the best experience of my life!”
What if Christians, individually and as a community, fully embraced our new name and identity, sharing radical hospitality and profound joy with everyone? Jesus has bought us from our former owner, sin, and given us a new name: Beloved of God. This identity may seem silly to some, just as the Savannah Bananas raised eyebrows initially. But before long, the delighted fans were going bananas for them!
With the same wild abandon and big-hearted outreach, the church — with its much-greater message — can spread love and goodwill, and have fun doing it!
Love Aces the Test
Author Adele Calhoun describes life as “our ‘open-book’ test on love.” How can we ace it? In Invitations From God, she points out that daily decisions are the make-or-break factors: “Day in and day out as we plan, work, produce, commute and relate, we make life-altering choices to either love or neglect others.”
For another study guide, reflect on St. Augustine’s timeless words: “What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of [people]. That is what love looks like.”
From Death to New Life
After the inventor of the Frisbee died in 2002, family members honored his final wish: to have some of his ashes molded into a flying disk! The point, according to toy legend “Steady Ed” Headrick, was for his loved ones to have fun playing with him even after he had passed. “He lived for Frisbee,” said his widow, and now he lives on in one.
Thankfully, the ashes used on Ash Wednesday aren’t cremains. But they do have special significance. They’re often made by burning branches from the previous year’s Palm Sunday celebration. By tying together seasons, the practice of receiving ashes reminds us of cycles: sin, repentance and forgiveness, plus life, death and resurrection — Jesus’ as well as our own.
A Daily Prayer
Since God will be my end
Wednesday, February 8th – Noon – 3 P.M.
Light lunch served – Invite your friends
This is an event of fun, community outreach & fellowship!
Cost $10 per person. Table prizes, most Buncos, most wins and most losses.
Call Sharon for tickets 815-236-9433
February Mission of the Month: McHenry County PADS