Do It for One of the Least

The founder of the Methodist movement, John Wesley, often visited inmates in the prisons of England. He also encouraged his leaders to do the same. Our current Bishop, Minerva Carcano, encourages the churches in our conference to be engaged in prison ministry. Jesus quoted the Prophet Isaiah by announcing that he had been anointed to proclaim good news to the poor and release to the captives. In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus says, “I was in prison and you visited me.” The people asked, “When did we visit you in prison.” The answer — “When you did it for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of mine, you did it to me.”
This weekend I will be involved in a Kairos event in the Salinas Valley State Prison. This is a retreat event held for about 40 inmates, focusing on the grace of God revealed in Jesus Christ. I will be a part of the team that goes into the prison in the morning and comes out in the evening. It starts on Thursday afternoon and ends on Sunday afternoon.
It is very simple really. Prayer, song, talks, discussion, and lots of cookies. This is a recipe for the miracle of God’s love and transformation. I ask for your prayers. I am very thankful for Paul and Jeannie Aschenbrenner for their commitment to this ministry and for getting many of us involved as well.
Your guest preacher this Sunday will be the Rev. Cynthia Montague, an Episcopalian Priest and retired chaplain of the Monterey County Jail. Cynthia has been with us before and is a wonderful person with a real appreciation for the work we do here. Blessings to you all!

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,

Pastor Steve Lundin