Lent 2018: Following Jesus – Then and Now

Written by Rev. Gayle Pope. Posted in The Seed

Imagine – really imagine – yourself walking with Jesus during his time on earth, as he taught, healed, forgave, worked miracles, suffered and died. What was it like? What were you thinking? What did you learn?

And then consider this: Knowing that you are a disciple – one who follows in Jesus’ steps today – how do you embody Jesus’ words and actions in the way you respond to the world around you? That is our goal during this Lenten season – to think deeply about what it truly means to follow Jesus – to walk “In His Steps.”

Lent begins on Valentine’s Day this year. Ash Wednesday is Feb. 14! We will have a service with imposition of ashes and Holy Communion at 6:30 p.m. Choir will begin at 7:30.

The following five Wednesdays, our fellowship will begin at 5:30 with supper, followed by a 30- to 40-minute service. I hope to recruit lay speakers each week to share a faith story in line with the week’s theme.

Weekly Lenten Themes, Scriptures and Questions for Reflection: “In His Steps …”
  • Feb. 14 – Ash Wednesday: … When Jesus Forgave Sinners (Mark 2:1-12); What is the connection between forgiveness and healing? How does my faith help bring healing and forgiveness to others? Do I trust Jesus’ power to forgive?
  • Feb. 21: ... When Jesus Taught the Crowds (Mark 4:1-9). Why did Jesus use parables in so much of his teaching? What does it mean to have “ears to hear?” Do I have such ears? How do I teach like Jesus?
  • Feb. 28: ... When Jesus Calmed the Storm (Mark 4:35-37). Do I have faith in Jesus to calm the storms in my life? How do I bring the calm of knowing Christ to someone else’s storm?
  • March 7: ... When Jesus Fed the Crowd (Mark 6:30-44). Where do I see people like “sheep without a shepherd?” Do I have compassion? How do I “feed” them?
  • March 14: ... When Jesus Healed the Sick (Mark 6:53-56). What does this tell me about Jesus? Does Jesus still heal today? How does Jesus’ healing come through me?
  • March 21: ... When Jesus Took the Cup (Mark 14:17-39). How is the cup of the new covenant – the cup of salvation – related to the cup of suffering Jesus drank? What does it mean to drink the cup? How does my own suffering unite me with Christ? Am I able to stay awake with Jesus?

The Worship Team will be providing little tennis shoe key chains to carry with you throughout the season as a reminder to walk “In His Steps.”
Plan to join us for these weekly Lenten suppers, hosted by the Fellowship Team, and the prayer services afterwards. There will be a sign-up sheet in the narthex for lent suppers.

Is It Time to Go for a Walk?

Written by Rev. Gayle Pope. Posted in The Seed

The Spirit is a movin’ among us! Maybe it’s time to get on board!

What am I talking about? Walk to Emmaus – the three-day weekend retreat that happens four times a year in Quincy – twice each for men and women. The “Winter Walks” are coming soon at the Franciscan Retreat Center on the north campus of Quincy University. They begin Thursday evening and end Sunday evening.

  • Men's Walk #17 – Jan. 25-28
  • Women's Walk #18 – Feb. 15-18

I’m excited that both Sam and Tafi Lathrop are serving on the leadership teams at these Winter Walks I am again serving as an assistant spiritual director at the Women’s Walk. My hope and prayer is that we will have several congregation members join us!

Why would you do that?

Who has time to spend three days away from all your responsibilities and pressures and business? Hmmm … maybe it’s not such a bad idea. A Walk to Emmaus is guaranteed to be a time of rest and renewal, of awesome fellowship with other men/women, of deep spiritual growth and a strong sense of the presence of God through the Holy Spirit. I promise you will not regret your time spent there.

There are separate “walks” for men and women and, with married couples, it is strongly encouraged that husbands and wives both participate, with husbands going first. Walk to Emmaus, Cursillo and Via de Cristo are essentially the same in format and content. The original – Cursillo – is Roman Catholic based, while Emmaus comes under the umbrella of the Methodist Church and Via de Cristo is the Lutheran expression. However, you will find Christians of all denominations at all of these events. The focus is on relationship with God in Christ, rather than denominational doctrine.

How Do I Sign Up?

Participants must be sponsored by someone who has made a previous Walk to Emmaus or Cursillo. If you would like to go, talk to me, Tafi or Sam Lathrop, Marcia Johnson, Karn Haubrich or Mary Shank.

There are brochures with more information on Walk to Emmaus on the narthex display table.

Deadline for men to sign up is Thursday, Jan. 18.