5th Sunday in Lent

Fifth Sunday in Lent
Welcoming of New Members
“Betrayed with a Kiss” 

On April 6, as we continue are reading through the Gospel of John, we reach the moment in the Garden of Gethsemane when Judas betrays Jesus, who is arrested and tried before the Temple authorities.

The Sacrament of Holy Communion will be celebrated. Music will be from our Lent spotlight artists U2. Also, during the service, we will welcome new members into our congregation.

Lent Events

On the calendar, Lent is the 40 days (plus six Sundays) leading up to Easter. The period traditionally has been a time of prayer, penance, repentance, almsgiving and self-denial. Fasting, such as Jesus did for his 40 days in the wilderness, has long been a Lenten practice. Lent can be a time of giving up certain luxuries, or a time of taking on a new devotional or spiritual practice. Whether giving up or taking on, the new habit provides a chance to remember our connection to Christ. Sundays during this six-week period are not a part of Lent, as they are considered “feast” days — celebrations of Christ’s resurrection. 

Fasting for Funds 

Lent is traditionally a time of fasting. Here’s a chance to honor that tradition and help raise money for our church’s General Fund.

You are invited to fast one meal per week (it doesn’t matter which one) and donate the money you would have spent on that meal to the Fasting for Funds project.

If you are unable to fast yourself for medical or any other reason, but wish to participate, you can “sponsor” another fast-er. Listen for details at an upcoming worship service and volunteer to fast or to sponsor in the Sign-Up Book.

Saturday Study

You are welcome to join a Saturday morning Bible Study during Lent. We will study what the Gospel of John has to say about atonement and resurrection. We will meet at 9 a.m. at Grounds for Coffee, 30th and Harrison, beginning March 8. Bring a Bible if you have one.

Sunday Worship 

We will share some special music over the course of the next few Sundays. Beginning March 9, the first Sunday during Lent, we will focus on the music of one particular artist each week, contemplating how his or her music might interact with the Scripture reading and message of the day. The first two weeks of this worship series will feature:

  • March 9 – Carrie Newcomer
  • March 16 – Pete Seeger


mardi_gras_maskBefore Lent, it’s time to party! 

Members of our church joined members of Trinity Presbyterian Church and Glory to God Catholic Church for a Mardi Gras Carnival on Saturday, March 1.

There was a costume contest, talent contest, pancake relay race, good food, Mardi Gras beads, bingo and more fun!

Pastor Gage “The Incredible Hulk” won the trophy for best costume. Charissa Roach and Carolyn Somer won the talent contest as an Elvis backup group. Katie Dohrer found the baby in the King’s Cake, ensuring a year of good luck! Alas, out team of Wes Brown, Lisa Brown, Abby Zeller and Tim Sharp took 2nd place in the pancake relay race.

You can see what fun we had in our Mardi Gras 2014 Gallery.

(See also our plans for the Lenten season.)

Bullying: What Area Schools Are Doing

At our February 16 session in the Bullying Education Series, we learned what a few regional elementary schools are doing to address bullying. Here is the description of one Safe School policy:

Safe School policy is a no tolerance document. When it comes to safe school violation, we deal with it immediately. The safety of our students is our #1 concern.

We focus on educating the student about proper behavior and give them a chance to implement change in their behavior before punitive consequences are put into place.

We take a proactive approach.

• Counselors teach character education and anti-bullying lessons in each class twice a month.

Grades K-2 – the curriculum used is the “Second Step Program, a Violence Prevention Program”
Emphasis is on empathy training, impulse control, problem solving, and anger management.

Grades 3-5 – we use the “Steps to Respect Program, A Bullying Prevention Program”
Emphasis is on respect, friendship, problem solving, self esteem, recognizing bullying, assertiveness, refusal skills, appropriate reporting (vs. tattling), responsibility

Grade 6 – “Second Step – Stepping Up” Program
Emphasis is on empathy, communication, bully recognition and prevention, emotion management, and problem solving.

This curriculum is data based and put out by the national Committee for Children.

• We teach additional lessons on relational aggression, personal space, and good character

• As needed, we offer small group help with learning social skills to help empower students who may need some extra instruction or training.

We have an active parental base here in the Valley so when problems arise, we engage parental support to help solve conflicts.

At times, we have had a box called “The Buddy Box” that we have put in the school library that allows students the option of reporting bullying anonymously, if they wish to. This serves to empower students to be able to get help and solve problems.

Cyberbullying Information

We talked about “cyberbullying” at the Bullying Education Series session on Feb. 9. Here are some links where you can find helpful information about discerning whether your child is being bullied through texts, emails or social networks; what to do about it; how to prevent it from happening; and how to report it.

* The Cyberbullying Research Center

* The federal government’s anti-bullying website’s Cyberbullying page

* Education.com’s booklet on Cyberbullying in pdf form.

Agape Love Feast

20140209_115059We held an Agape (“God Love”) Love Feast during worship on Sunday, Feb. 9. After celebrating the sacrament of Holy Communion, we served one another a light lunch and then shared memories of the love that we have felt in our faith community.