GRACE This Week

It was good to be together on Wednesday to begin our Lenten Journey. I am always touched as we all come forward to receive the ashes on our foreheads.

Sunday, we begin our Lenten Sermon series that will walk us to the cross and to resurrection. The Series is “Questions Jesus Asked.” It may surprise you that through the Gospels, Jesus asked 307 questions. Others asked him 183 questions. But Jesus only answered 3 of those questions directly.

While we confess that Jesus is the answer to our deepest longings, he also has some questions that deserve an answer. Over the next few weeks, we will look at some of those questions and let them help us on our path to Easter.

This week we will look at one of the questions that Jesus asked in some of the most critical moments in his ministry – “What do you want?” It’s the very first question we have recorded from Jesus and gets to the heart of our faith. It was THE question that started the disciples down their own path to following Jesus, and it is THE question for us. We will take communion together as we mark the beginning of our Lenten journey.

I want to encourage you to join a group of people to dig into these questions. If you are already in a small group, I hope you will dig in there. But, if you are not a part of a group, it’s not too late to sign up for a QUESTIONS JESUS ASKED small group. Groups will meet via ZOOM on Sunday nights. And groups will meet Monday night in-person at our Locust Street campus. CLICK HERE for more information.

Sunday afternoon at 3 pm at Locust Street, we will have our Annual Meeting of the Congregation and Corporation, called by our Session. We will hear the report from the Nominating Committee. For a preview of the officer slate they will present, CLICK HERE.

In addition to electing officers, we will hear reports from our Trustees and our Deacons as well as the Finance and Personnel Committees. You will also receive the Annual Report and the 2022 Budget. Finally, you will hear the latest information from our Building Committee and a short “State of the Church” update from me.

Hearing from our Building Committee, we will see how God continues to lead and protect us. Some of my fondest memories in our tabernacle season have happened on our new property. We have already worshipped and fellowshipped, and we have prayed on that property. One of our members, Lynnette Burns, often prayed on the property and as she prayed, she started picking up rocks.

Months after she started, she shared some of her work with the rocks. I was blown away. She has wanted to find a way to use them for God’s glory and to show His faithfulness and our story.

She has agreed to display them at our congregational meeting on Sunday afternoon. You will see the shined rocks – some turned into jewelry — and you will have the opportunity to take them home. Lynnette and I prayed together about how to offer them to you. You may contribute whatever you wish for these treasures. Any dollars that you give, will go towards our new building’s prayer room, making it an inviting space for people to meet the Lord and trust His faithfulness.

These rocks were found through prayer, and now they will help remind us that prayer is the engine that will power our own lives as well as our church’s mission and ministry.

Prayer is powerful. I know we are all continuing to pray for Ukraine and for our world. It was so good to pray together last Saturday. Now, we have another opportunity to pray with our Ukrainian brothers and sisters in Christ here in Bethlehem.

The Bethlehem Ukrainian church will host the prayer meeting on Thursday, March 10 at 6:30 pm.  St Josaphat is located at 1826 Kenmore St. Bethlehem.

As we pray with this church, we also need to be praying for this church of fellow believers. Their pastor for more than 35 years, Pastor Daniel Gurovich, went to be with the Lord this past week after struggling with health issues since December.

What a privilege to carry our deepest grief and longing to the Lord in prayer.

Dr. Marnie Crumpler
Senior Pastor

Don’t forget to mark your calendar for next week, March 6that 3 pm in our Locust Street Sanctuary for our Congregational Meeting. More details will be coming out this week.