Newsletter deadlines are strange things. I’m sitting down to write this column in mid-January for the February edition of The Bell – that’s normal enough – and I’m going to be writing about March. I feel like we barely finished Christmas (because it was only a couple weeks ago), and I’m writing about Lent. Part of that is because of the production schedule for the March edition of The Bell: if I don’t write about it now, the information will come too late to be of use to you.
If you keep reading this may make more sense.
Pastor Brenda and I have been preaching our yearlong Making the Road sermon series (with a few diversions along the way) since last Lent. The series is inspired by a book by Brian McLaren, We Make the Road by Walking. Our goal has been to give both an overview of important sections of the Bible and an invitation to a deeper, more transformative journey along the Way of Jesus, a way that we make by walking it. Our hope is that your faith has become more alive in the experience of the sermons, the time for reflection following each sermon, and the weekly invitation to some simple practice during the week.
This sermon series comes to an end on the last Sunday of February, which is also the last Sunday of the season after Epiphany. I hope you will continue to participate in our worship as we draw this series to a close.
Three days after this Making the Road series concludes, on March 1, you are invited to a special worship service at 7:30 p.m. Why March 1? Because that is Ash Wednesday (this year). The Ash Wednesday service will focus on spiritual practices for the season of Lent, and I will share how last year’s Ash Wednesday service impacted my spiritual practices for the past 12 months.
I am also planning a sermon series for Lent. This series will be on racism, a subject I felt called to explore and preach on during the presidential campaigns. One of the things I’ve found is the more I learn about racism, the more I realize how complex the issue is and how much more there is to learn. My plan for this series is that each week, as we explore another aspect of racism from a Christian perspective, I will offer at least one concrete action you or I or we (as a church) can take to truly become an anti-racism church. There will be more details in the March edition of The Bell, but because this series begins as March begins (and maybe after you receive your copy of the March edition), I wanted to let you know about it now.
You will notice in this edition of The Bell an article about an anti-racism training that is being offered by our Region, the Christian Church of Northern California-Nevada. It will cover more ground than I will be able to in a sermon series. If you are passionate about this issue, I encourage you to register for this training.
Perhaps a little summary would be helpful at this point:
- February: we finish up the Making the Road sermon series
- March 1: Ash Wednesday worship service at 7:30 p.m.; Lent begins
- Lent: sermon series on racism that will invite us to concrete action
I look forward to seeing you in church.