Letter from Pastor Paul

Letter from the Interim Pastor Paul

Dear Members and Friends of St. John’s United Church of Christ,

We are in the midst of the season of Lent. Lent is the 40 days (excluding
Sunday’s—little Easters) that lead up to Easter. It begins with Ash
Wednesday, which was February 17 and is a day of confession. Lent is season of repentance, seeking to reconcile with others, and forgiveness.

This is a time when you are called to change your behavior in a way that
leads you to more faithful living with yourself or with your neighbor or
with God.

That’s why some people may fast for their health or give something up to
experience loss and to turn towards God in that loss. Or people may add
a practice like exercise that is good for their body. Some people will give
money or volunteer time to serve those who are in need. Some people
will have a different prayer discipline—reading a daily
devotional/scriptures or using daily prayers/offices or meditating during
this season to grow closer to God. Some people will seek to make
amends with people they have harmed. These are all ways that we show
love towards God, our neighbor and ourselves.

As I approach 60 years of age this spring, this Lent is proving a time for
me to do some soul searching in life and to seek to make amends in my
life. Every Lent is different. I encourage you to see this as a special
opportunity to go deeper in your spiritual journey.

At the end of Lent, we celebrate the victory of God’s love and grace over
death—the death of the cross and our deaths. And, we celebrate God’s
victory over our sins—our individual sins and the collective sins we
commit against groups of people who are oppressed.

Many Christians do not focus on Lent and Holy Week and only want to
live in Easter. I encourage you to focus on the season of Lent and the events of Holy Week-the betrayal, the cross, the death of Jesus and our own lives that need to change as we turn towards God. Then, we truly will have a different experience of liberation on Easter, Sunday, April 4, 2021.

Yours in Christ, Pastor Paul

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