On Communion Sundays, usually the first Sunday of each month, we collect a special offering to share with our brothers and sisters at the Robinson Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church . Claiming our oneness in Christ Jesus and to help bridge the racial divide in our culture and because of our shared Wesleyan heritage, we support that congregation with a gift of $100 per month. During Communion, you can bring your offering forward. You can make a check payable to Bluff City UMC and write “AME Zion” in the memo line.
Today we continue a Lenten sermon series called Freeway , based on a small group curriculum by the same name. The Freeway sermon series and small group gatherings are designed to help free us from our brokenness and take steps for healthier lives in Christ ‐‐ to live free. The Freeway workbook for use in small groups is something that you “do instead of read.” The workbook and sermon series are designed to compliment one another. The workbook is appropriate for small groups that meet weekly or twice a month, such as Sunday School or Life Groups. You may want to consider using the Freeway workbook in your small group or start a new group for this period. Groups of 2 to 10 people are fine for the small group. Perhaps do it at home with your family. If you’d like to be part of a group, please talk with Pastor Dan or Mike Miller, our Small Groups Coordinator . There are 6 session in the workbook, so 6 small group meetings. Each of the 6 small group sessions has a video that runs about 8 to 10 minutes, which can be streamed on your computer or played from the DVD. Each workbook would cost your small group member $14.50, which would be reimbursed to the church. We have some workbooks available, but may need to order more, so please allow for several days to get your workbook. Let Pastor Dan know as soon as possible if you would like to purchase a workbook. If you would like to see a video preview of Freeway, go to http://www.secondchance.org/for‐you/ and scroll through the webpage to the bottom to see a short video.
Lent is a season of forty days, not counting Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday before Easter Sunday. Lent comes from the Anglo Saxon word lencten , which means “spring.” The forty days represents the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, enduring the temptation of Satan. Lent is a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter . It is a time of self‐examination and reflection. In the early church, Lent was a time to prepare new converts for baptism. Today, Christians focus on their relationship with God, often choosing to give up something or to volunteer and give of themselves for others. Sundays in Lent are not counted in the forty days because each Sunday represents a “mini‐Easter” and the reverent spirit of Lent is tempered with joyful anticipation of the Resurrection.
For daily devotionals from the Upper Room , visit http://devotional.upperroom.org/ .
During our worship services in Lent, our children will be collecting change to give to Change for Children , one of our Holston Conference ministries. Each year, churches give loose change to benefit children’s ministries in Holston Conference and in Africa. And each year, several groups receive that pocket change in the form of grants. Change for Children grants support new and existing ministries with economically disadvantaged children, from birth to age 12, and their families. Holston churches and related United Methodist agencies are eligible for these funds.
The Johnson City District is holding its first annual Race to the Czech Point 5K on Saturday, April 2 at Gray UMC. All proceeds will benefit the Czech Mission Fund, providing scholarships for mission team members and funding for the English Speaking UMC in Prague. Learn more at czechpointrun.org or contact Amy Blumberg at 741-6569 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our second Sunday of each month is Invite A Friend Sunday. We would like each person who regularly attends worship to be praying specifically for someone and to invite them to come to worship that Sunday. Of course, you can invite a friend to come any time, but we hope you will make a special effort for Invite A Friend Sundays.