PASTOR’S PEN
 

A Little This & A Little That

This coming Sunday, March 17, we will have guest musician Richard Knappen with us. Richard has been with us several times before and is always appreciated. He plays guitar and leads singing. Don;t miss this worship opportunity. Carolyn will be at a United Methodist Women’s Retreat. Blessings Carolyn. Hope your weekend is renewing. 
 
Next week, March 24, I will be gone working on a Kairos weekend at Salinas Valley State Prison. Our guest preacher and worship leader for the day will be Cynthia Montague, an Episcopal Priest and retired chaplain from the Monterey County Jail. Cynthia has been with us once before and delivered a thoughtful message. 
 
Margaret Bruner, the spiritual leader of Temple Beth El here in Salinas has invited us to be guests at the Shabbat Service on Friday, April 5 at 6:30 PM. The guest speaker that evening is Congressman Jimmy Panetta, our representative. He will be speaking about issues of concern to the Central Coast area. 
 
A special treat on Sunday afternoon of April 7, at 3 PM will be the St. Petersburg Mens Ensemble from Russia. Some of us heard them at the Hollister UMC last year or the year before. They are a wonderful quartet singing sacred and Russian Folk music. This is a free concert, though we will take a love offering for them. They also will be selling CD’s and trinkets from Russia. 
 
I hope you can take part in some of these opportunities. Blessings,
 
Steve


Fasting

“What are you giving up for Lent?” That is the traditional question. It is the practice of giving something up — as in fasting from it. I will admit to engaging in this practice in some pretty traditional ways. You know — giving up sweets, or alcohol, giving up a couple of meals a week. I remember asking a friend many years ago what she was giving up for Lent? Her answer was gossip. She was giving up talking about other people behind their backs. Now, I was impressed as I had not thought about it that way before. 
 
Others talk about adding something like some habit or practice for Lent,  exercise, prayer, Bible reading, or some sort of service to others. What a good idea that is. 
 
What will you add to your life or subtract from your life for Lent? I think the whole point is — how will you draw closer to God in this beautiful and important season? How will you draw closer to others? How will you better care for the earth? How will you care more for yourself? Maybe we should add or subtract something for each of these categories. 
 
Think about it. Reflect on it. As the traditional words say it, in the Ash Wednesday service, I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to observe a holy Lent: by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s Holy Word.
 
All for the love of God and neighbor! May you be filled with new life when Easter comes!



 
Pastor Steve Lundin