Peace family,

Today marks the beginning of the Lenten season.  Come to Peace tonight for soup supper at 6 PM with Ash Wednesday service to follow at 7 PM.  Receive the imposition of ashes and be reminded of your mortality and then, Jesus’ gift of immortality.  You will be blessed.

A recent survey reported that 22 percent of Christians observe the season of Lent.  I was surprised by that number, are you?

There are many divergent views about Lent even in the Christian Church.

One child describes Lent as “a time that I feel really sad.”  Another answers by saying, “You don’t do any fun.”  A third chimes in by replying, “You stop eating meat on Friday’s.”

A baptist minister explains Lent as “a Catholic thing”.  He goes on to say that “Jesus paid it all!”

Pope Francis recently quoted John Chrysostom (an early church father) when commenting on Lent, “No act of virtue can be great if it is not followed by advantage for others.  So, no matter how much time you spend fasting, no matter how much you sleep on a hard floor and eat ashes and sigh continually, if you do not do good to others, you do nothing good.”

“No doubt in our society, even among true believers, humbling ourselves to follow God more closely takes effort we often are not willing to commit for more than one day or two.  Six weeks of Lent to make a commitment to a sacrificial change?  Yet I think what God really wants as we prepare for Easter is closeness with Him,” answers another.

There is a kernel of truth behind all of these responses.

This year at Peace we are going to focus our worship time on the miracles of our Lord’s passion that often are overlooked.  These miracles include the temple’s curtain being torn in two, the earthquake, the splitting of rocks, graves being opened, and people being raised to life.  Have you ever considered what was being communicated by God in these events?

God’s blessings during our journey together.

PHILOMATH COMMUNITY LIBRARY DEDICATION………The City of Philomath and the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library invite you to join them as they dedicate the flag pole, children’s area, and meeting room to donors who helped make these dreams come to life.  The event is on Saturday, March 4 at 1:00 PM.  The dedications will be made to Floyd E. Burton, Beverly Clearly and Starker Forests.

HEALING SERVICE……..This Sunday at 9 AM all are invited for the Healing Service in the sanctuary.  You may need healing yourself.  You may have a prayer concern to share.  You may just want to come to be affirmed of God’s love for you.  The truth is that we all need healing in some way.  The elders are pleased to meet with you.

HEALING CIRCLE………..Joyce Long will be in the Fellowship Hall on Thursday at 6 PM for Peace’s Healing Circle.  This is a time to share your brokenness and begin to sense God’s healing touch.

ADULT BIBLE STUDY.……..This Sunday Brad  will be unpacking chapter 23 in Believe.  The topic is peace.  Think about this question as you prepare for class, “Where do I find strength to battle anxiety and fear?”  Class begins at 9:45 in the sanctuary.