March 6th Newsletter
Grace and peace be with you today. We are in the midst of Ash Wednesday services throughout the day. If you have not attended a service yet and would like to, we have one final service tonight at 6 p.m. in the sanctuary. With Ash Wednesday upon us, we begin the season of Lent. You’ll notice signs on Sunday inviting us to enter the sanctuary in silence and prayer as we begin each Sunday in this season. During Lent, we embrace Christ’s journey to the cross as the call to discipleship we all answer. You are in my prayers in a special way during this season.
I'm grateful for you, and for the grace you continually show to one another and to me. Thank you for the time and space to share my heart with you on this past Sunday. If you weren’t with us, sermon audio and manuscript are posted on our website (here). If you want to follow up on this, I welcome your comments. I don’t plan on preaching about this again anytime soon, but eventually, perhaps in the fall or next spring, we’ll return to the subject of marriage and sexuality in a mid-week study series for those who are interested. As I mentioned in my sermon and in my letter to you last week, I would like to call us into a way of doing church where we intentionally (thoughtfully, prayerfully, biblically, theologically, openly . . .over 3-4 weeks) engage some of the important and challenging matters of our time. For starters, on Wednesday nights after Easter I will lead a 4 week discussion on Contemplative Spirituality and Ecology. This intersection between our spirituality and the natural world with its beauty and its troubles has been a growing interest of mine and is the subject of my doctor of ministry work at the Oblate School of Theology. That does not mean I’m an expert by any means (on either contemplation or ecology), but it does signal the energy I have for this. Please see the full spring schedule of Wednesday evening prayers, fellowships, and study opportunities below. In it, you’ll find an invitation to join us and Edgar Speer for Centering Prayer on Wednesdays during Lent. This will be a sweet introduction to this prayer practice. I hope you can come.
One last word about Sunday . . .thank you for praying for me. I asked you to do so and you did. Many of you wrote me notes over the last week, including Saturday night and Sunday morning telling me you were praying for me. I got a text right as worship was beginning from one of you that you were praying for me. And since then you have written words of encouragement about our church. Some examples:
"I rejoice to be a part of a community that, sometimes, lives together so well.”
"I was stunned at how many people raised their hands during the service when you asked. I grew up in large conservative _____ Church. If that had been asked no one would have raised their hands.”
"Continuing to pray for you and for DaySpring. “
We have “a way forward, holding charity and wisdom gracefully.”
"I’m praying for you and looking forward to this coming Sunday, to taking communion as the body, and to being a part of these conversations in the future.”
“I am praying for you as you preach.”
“We continue to pray for our church."
Those notes mean so very much. I could feel the strength and compassion of your prayers. Please keep praying for me. And keep praying for one another. This is just as important, more so even. Hold one another in your prayers and love someone today. If we have one Lenten discipline as a congregation, let it be this: to pray for one another.
Friends, may God’s peace be with you.