We are making a mess

If you think of church as tidy, think again! During the season of Lent we are shaking things up. Mardi Gras was an evening full of stories and pancakes. What a mess we made there: eggs and flour everywhere! That is how it is supposed to be. Lent is a season that calls us out of the ordinary. A lot of times that happens through the medium of food. Mardi Gras was a farewell party for overindulgence and Ash Wednesday was the beginning of the Lent season.

A few times over the next weeks we will gather for a “rice charity fast with prayer and communion”.
First as a lunch on Wednesday, March 8 at noon,
then as a dinner before Church Council on Monday, March 20 at 5 pm,
then again as a dinner for Bible Study on Tuesday, March 28 at 6 pm.
Everyone will get a cup of rice. The suggested donation for that is $5. You read that correctly: $5 for a cup of rice. The reason is simple. $5 is what a lot of people spend on their lunch in this country and a cup of rice is what most children in hunger-stricken countries eat for the whole day. Through our own eating we remind ourselves of our situation of over-abundance and by “paying full price” we can alleviate some of that injustice. Each time we will discuss where our donations should go to fight hunger. Following our meal we will go into a time of praying for one another and finally celebrate Holy Communion. It all begins and ends around the table.

There will be much more opportunities to eat during Lent:
All children age 4-10 are invited to join us for Spring Fun Day on the Friday of Spring Break (March 17, 9am – noon) There will be St. Patrick’s Day snacks. A more traditional Lenten feast will be our congregational field trip to the Fish Fry at the KC Hall that same evening at 5pm. A field trip on Thursday, April 6, will take us on a tour of the painted churches in Schulenburg with lunch at a local smokehouse. We will gather at St. John’s UCC for carpooling at 08:30. Once there, the cost of the guided tour including lunch is $20.95.

Meals at St. John’s UCC pick up again throughout Holy Week:
On Thursday, April 13, at 6 pm, the Brotherhood will provide soup & salad for our Maundy Thursday Service.
On Friday, April 14, at 11:30 am, the Guild will provide a luncheon before our noon Good Friday Service.
Everything comes full-circle on Easter morning. The eggs to which we said our good-byes on Mardi Gras come back in the form of Easter Eggs. The Easter breakfast and Easter Egg Hunt at 09:00 on Easter Morning, Sunday, April 16, remind us that life and joy have returned that day!

This Lent season I invite you to shake things up: in your eating habits, in your schedule, in your spiritual practice, in your giving, the places you go. Christ was risen to a new life for the purpose to allow us a fresh start. Start something new this season! Eat differently!

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