Well, here we are again. The 40 days of Lent are upon us and the road stretches long before us and while we know that the end result is the resurrection, we also know it’s going to get a lot harder before it gets better. What do we need to make it through the next 40 days? What do we need to leave behind and what essentials must we take with us on this journey?
This Lent we will explore the Essentials for the Journey through worship, devotional practices, fellowship, and service. There are many great opportunities to lean into this season of discernment and preparation.
March 1, 6:15 pm
I always find Ash Wednesday to be one of the most meaningful worship experiences of my year. Theologian and poet Jan Richardson writes of Ash Wednesday, “Ash Wednesday beckons us to cross over the threshold into a season that’s all about working through the chaos to discover what is essential. The ashes that lead us into this season remind us where we have come from. They beckon us to consider what is most basic to us, what is elemental, what survives, after all, that is extraneous is burned away. With its images of ashes and wilderness, Lent challenges us to reflect on what we have filled our lives with, and to see if there are habits, practices, possessions, and ways of being that have accumulated, encroached, invaded, accreted, layer upon layer, becoming a pattern of chaos that threatens to insulate us and dull us to the presence of God.”
In this service that launches us into the season of Lent we will be reminded that from dust we have come and to dust, we will return. We will be challenged to make the most of these precious lives we have been given and to turn to the one in whom we have life and breath. We will soon find ourselves on a journey—a journey that ends with the heartache of the cross and the glory of the resurrection. It is fitting that we begin this journey together in corporate worship because we will need each other for the journey ahead. Join us on Wednesday, March 1 in the Chapel at 6:15 for a service of worship where we will experience the presence of God in the ash and the dirt, in our voices joined together in praise and prayer, in the faces of fellow travelers and the embrace of friends.
Lenten Worship Opportunities
Ash Wednesday, March 1
First Sunday in Lent, March 5
Matthew 4:1-11 • Bread for the Journey
Second Sunday in Lent, March 12
John 4:5-42 • Water for the Journey
Third Sunday in Lent, March 19
Exodus 1:8-22 • Companion for the Journey
Fourth Sunday in Lent, March 26
John 9:1-41• Mud on the Journey
Fifth Sunday in Lent, April 2
John 11:1-45 • Tears for the Journey
Saturday, March 4
11:00 am Caritas Village
Nothing is better than breakfast food! Join us for brunch as we support our mission partner, Caritas Village. There will be live music to enjoy while you eat. It will be a morning of food, fun, and soul. We will meet as a group at Caritas at 11 am and will eat together. RSVP to Mary by Wednesday, March 1.
ONLY $12!!!! BISCUITS, GRITS, FRIED CHICKEN, A WAFFLE BAR AND MORE!!!!
40 for 40
Lent is about so much more than just "giving something up." It’s about repentance, preparation, reflection, discipline, self-denial, and reevaluation. This Lent we have compiled a list of 40 resources to guide your Lenten journey. Our list includes reflection questions, book recommendations, scripture meditations, and disciplines/rituals. There are a variety of activities for a variety of ages. You can choose to fully engage in one activity or try your hand at several or even attempt one a day. Our hope is that this list will enhance your Lenten experience. The list will be available in the Welcome Center. Consider sharing your experience with your church family by taking photos and posting them on the Cluster App. See Brittany for more details on how to set up and access Cluster.
Senior Adult Trip to Waffle Shop and Lenten Service
We are chartering a 25-passenger bus to take our Senior Adults downtown to Calvary’s Lenten Preaching Service on Thursday, March 16. The bus will leave the First Baptist parking lot at 10:30, and will drop us off at Calvary in time for our 11:00 lunch at the Waffle Shop. We will stay for the noon service to hear Dr. Barbara Lundblad. After the service, the bus will pick us up and return us to First Baptist. You will avoid parking problems and costs and will have fun as we travel together.
Dr. Lundblad’s brilliant and compassionate preaching has placed her in constant demand as a conference leader, a guest preacher, and a teacher of preaching across the country. Barbara says, “Preaching – both the deep engagement with biblical texts and the connection with the congregation – has always brought me joy.” She is the author of two books: Transforming the Stone: Preaching through Resistance to Change and Marking Time: Preaching Biblical Stories in Present Tense. Our good friend, Dr. Aliou Niang, has taught at Union Seminary with her and says she is one of the finest preachers in the country. Ray Hatton says, “Barbara Lundblad has always been one of my favorite preachers in Calvary’s Lenten Series. Do not miss hearing her!”
Lunch at the Waffle Shop includes not only their delicious waffles, but also favorites like spaghetti with meat sauce, chicken salad, tomato aspic, shrimp mousse, and luscious homemade desserts.
Call the church office soon to make your reservation on the bus. The 25 seats will be “first come, first served.”
Holy Week Preview
Palm-Passion Sunday, April 9: Experience the Liturgy of the Palms and the Passion through scripture readings, prayers, a short homily and music, featuring a variety of church members.
Maundy Thursday, April 13: Walk through the events of Jesus’ last days through scripture reading, prayers, music, and reflection on artwork from a variety of classical and contemporary artists.
Good Friday, April 14: Join us for this noonday Tenebrae service in the chapel featuring guest speaker DeAndre Brown. The service will be about 45-minutes long so that you can get back to work.
Holy Saturday, April 15: There are a variety of events that will make this a fun and meaningful day. Don’t miss out on the Easter Egg Hunt (10:30 am) and be sure to join us as we decorate the Flower Cross for Easter (5:30 pm).
Easter Sunday, April 16: Join us at sunrise as we worship at the Levitt Shell with other Midtown congregations and again at 11 am in the sanctuary for a joyous morning of worship.
Easter Egg Hunt
Mary needs your help! Our Easter Egg Hunt will be here soon and to have a proper hunt we need treasure to find. Please bring plastic Easter eggs and individually wrapped candy (NO NUTS OR PEANUT BUTTER DUE TO ALLERGIES) to the church office by Thursday, April 6. Thank you for helping make our egg hunt a success!
Every Holy Saturday (the Saturday before Easter) we gather outside in front of the church to cover the cross in flowers in preparation for Easter. This is a tradition that is close to many of our hearts and is a wonderful time of fellowship as we spend time together and anticipate Easter. This tradition was started and sustained by many dear church members and this year we will dedicate our efforts in memory of John Dozier and Bruce Burgess.
Here are some ways you can help:
- Bring bags of magnolia branches with leaves (we need LOTS of these).
- Bring flowers from your yard or pick up flowers from a florist to bring
- Lend a hand to fill our cross with flowers on Saturday, April 15 at 5:00 pm.
This is a very meaningful symbol of life at the corner of Poplar and Parkway—both for our church family and for our community. Thank you in advance for helping to make this year’s flower cross a reality.