Many years ago, the Church decided the best way to experience the power of Easter was to spend time preparing for it. So the leaders set aside the 40 days prior to Easter as a time when followers of Jesus could ready themselves to hear Jesus' story of death and resurrection.
They called this season Lent.
Traditionally, Christians have used the season of Lent for self-examination penitence, fasting, prayer and study. The first day of Lent is called Ash Wednesday. It carries that title because many Christians find it helpful to kick off their Lenten season with a worship service which includes the imposition of ashes (drawing the sign of the cross on their foreheads with ashes from last year's Palm Sunday palms). This service is a powerful reminder of our mortality and our need for Christ.
This year, Ash Wednesday falls on Feb. 13. Christ United Methodist Church, 8645 East Brainerd Road, will have three different worship services available that day: 7 a.m. and noon in the Trinity-Woodmore Chapel, and at 6:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary. All three services will include an imposition of ashes. While the evening worship service will officially begin at 6:30 p.m., some of us will gather in the sanctuary for the 30 minutes prior to the service for a time of reflective music and prayers. You are welcome to join us at any time during those 30 minutes.
Join us on Sunday nights at 7 p.m. during the season of Lent for a series of Alternative Worship Services. There are numerous ways for people to worship God and celebrate their faith in Jesus.
We are planning on hosting five services that are quite different from our usual experiences. Take a glance at the schedule and make plans to be with us.
Feb. 17 - High Church Eucharist
Feb. 24 - Emergent Alternative
March 3 - Southern Gospel
March 10 - Unplugged / Acoustic
March 17 - Modern Monastic Eucharist