On Wednesday, February 10, we began the journey of Lent, which will take us from Ash Wednesday to Easter morning. Throughout the history of the Church, Lent has been a forty-day journey of preparation, renewing the practices of faith as we reflect on the living of these days. It is a time of paying attention to the journey before us.

The journey of faith before us includes several significant days of gathering and serving. On Sunday, February 21, we will welcome Morris Driggers as our Associate Pastor for Music. We will gather for worship, marking another day on our journey and renewing our commitment to the gift of song.

On the following Sunday, February 28, we will celebrate Global Ministries Offering Sunday. In the coming days, we can all reflect on the opportunity to give to this special, annual offering, which is in addition to our annual budget. The offering supports our partners in ministry as well as ministries coordinated by our church membership, including the Jail Ministry, Brotherhood, and Brasil Mission Team. A copy of the proposed GMO budget will be available on Sunday, February 21.

On February 28, the children of the church will also host a lunch for the congregation following worship, called Spudfest. We will have baked potatoes, as the children serve us lunch, and they will also collect “tips,” which they will donate to a community ministry of their choosing. As we continue the journey of Lent, the youth of the church will lead us in worship on Sunday, March 6 for Youth Sunday. We look forward to hearing their voices. They are already preparing for this service.

One final date we need to recognize is the staff anniversary of Trista Slaughter, our Office Manager, who will celebrate her fifteenth anniversary at the church on February 20. We are certainly grateful for her work, as it assists the committees, ministries, and programs of the congregation. We are thankful for her dedication and skills, which make countless contributions to our journey as a congregation.

As our journey continues to unfold this Lent, and beyond, we are grateful for the surprises of grace around each and every corner. During this Lent, let us pay attention to these subtle surprises, which enrich our lives and bind us together. Whether we find them in worship or as we serve, they are gifts to be recognized and celebrated.