We welcome Rev. Sharon Comage as our preacher today. She is pastor of Robinson Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church in Bluff City. We are delighted to share worship this morning with our sisters and brothers from Robinson Memorial. We celebrate our unity in Jesus Christ, our Wesleyan heritage, our Methodist traditions, and February as Black History Month. For more information on the A.M.E. Zion Church, visit their website at http://www.amez.org. We will collect a special offering for the Robinson church. You can make checks payable to “Robinson Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church” or to “Bluff City UMC” and write “Robinson AMEZ” in the memo line.
Lent is a season of forty days, not counting Sundays, which began 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 Sunday worship services in Lent, our children will be collecting change to give to Change for Children , one of our shared Holston Conference ministries. Each year, churches give loose change to benefit children’s ministries in the 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 World Day of Prayer is Friday, March 2. World Day of Prayer is a worldwide, ecumenical movement of Christian women of many traditions who come together to observe a common day of prayer each year, and who, in many countries, have a continuing relationship in prayer and service. For more information, visit http://www.wdp-usa.org.
Our memorial gift policy provides that a memorial gift may be designated by the donor to a particular designated fund; and that any undesignated memorial gift will go into our General Fund to support our budgeted ministries.