The Spire (Newsletter)

 

The Spire

Newsletter of First Presbyterian Church of Garner

Letter from the Pastor

Dear Church,

It’s hard to believe but February marks the beginning of the season of Lent—the 40 days before Easter which the church observes by engaging in intentional practices of prayer, reflection, and service. The aim of course in doing such things is to draw closer to the one who draws close to us—Jesus Christ—and to follow him as close as our courage and faith will take us to his cross and to what lies beyond.

Lent begins with “Ash Wednesday” with an emphasis on our limits—created by God for our good—and a reminder of our mortality (“We are dust and to dust we shall return”) which helps us realize our vitality and wholeness   relies not on our own doing but on the fellowship we share with God and with each other.

Lent then typically continues with a “wilderness road” type of experience, as we observe the practices mentioned above and become more and more aware of how, even in a world that can seem fearful and barren, God’s grace abounds. In other words, in lent we resist running from difficulty but rather admit it’s truth as well as the truth that out of death God brings new life.

This year—like with many things in this time of CoVid—“new” becomes an operative word for our observation and practice:

  • We cannot meet together for Ash Wednesday so instead we will share a service on Facebook, which can be seen at your convenience and where you’ll be invited to remember who and whose you are.
  • We cannot meet regularly indoors for a Lenten Study, so we will build on the wonderful experience of an “Advent Story time” by engaging in a weekly “Lenten Story Time” on Zoom
  • The  newest Lenten practice of all for FPCoG though will be the adopting a “Star Word.”

“Star Words” have become something of a tradition for many churches in recent years, though typically for the day of Epiphany rather than for Lent. The practice involves writing a word on a paper star and then handing the word out to members and friends of the church. Like the star that guided the magi, like the stars that guide a walk along a wilderness path, these words are meant to focus us for the season ahead.

These “Star Words” will be handed out during our Lenten Drive Thru on February 20; if you cannot make that event, you can come by the church office to pick up a word or request one be mailed to you.

These “Words to Live By” will also be the focus of each worship service in Lent starting with Sunday Worship on February 21. Our hope is that using these words will help us these 40 days to focus our attention on the ways God in Christ is filling our lives and calling us to do such things as show mercy, build patience, seek joy, and     believe good news.

So when you get your word, tape it to a mirror a doorpost or anywhere you will see it daily. Recite the word, pray, listen, and watch. Trust in Gods guidance to show you your path along the wilderness road of Lent as we  go with Jesus to his cross and beyond.

 

The Lord Bless and Keep You,

Rev. Ben

P.S. If you’d like to read more about the practice of “Star Words” check out this article!

To read The Spire in it’s entirety please click on the following link: February Spire 2021