Dear Friends,


We begin the Season of Lent tomorrow, February 14. We'll gather in our Fellowship Hall for a delicious, simple meal served by our Board for Christian Education at 5:30 p.m. At around 6:15 or so we'll make our way upstairs to our Sanctuary for an Ash Wednesday worship event. This time will include a brief meditation for us as we begin our Lenten journey, a beautiful anthem by our Choir entitled Bread of Heaven, Wine of Heaven, and a Celebration of the Sacrament of Holy Communion. We should finish by around 7:00. I hope you'll join us.


Looking ahead one week: We'll begin our Reformation Conversations on Wednesday evening, February 21. Booklets are available for you to pick up in the Narthex. These booklets will be the focus of our time together. Beginning February 21 we'll remain in Fellowship Hall after our meal and we'll have these conversations around the tables. You can read more about this on the sign next to the booklets in the Narthex and in the current issue of Congo Comments.


This Sunday morning, February 18, we'll gather around the traditional First Sunday in Lent theme found in Matthew 4:1-11. Jesus is led by the Spirit into the wilderness and is tempted by Satan. I'm calling the sermon Taking Notice. Part of the challenge for us as people of faith is to notice God's many gifts, to be aware of God's enduring presence in our lives. This might be a good discipline for us during these forty days of Lent -- to see those things in life that are important for us to see, to be ever mindful of who and whose we are -- children of God. We have a way of allowing ourselves to be distracted by many things. (How's that for an understatement?) Lent might be a good time for us to remind ourselves to notice what's really important in life. This is what we'll explore when we gather Sunday morning. In addition, our Choir will share a beautiful version of Beneath the Cross of Jesus. I hope to see you here.


Just one reminder: Some of our Boards are scheduled to meet tomorrow, February 14, at 4:30 p.m.


Lastly, for those of us who accepted the challenge of reading one chapter of the Book of Acts each day during February: How's it going? This morning I arrived at my office and realized I'm a couple days behind. I'll catch up later this morning. These are some great stories, aren't they? They describe our early history as the Church. If you haven't yet started, it's not too late. If you'd like to join in, the challenge now is for you to read two chapters each day through the end of the month. That means about ten minutes a day. I encourage you to accept this challenge. The Book of Acts really does have some great stories.


Grace and Peace,

Rev. Mark


The Congregational United Church of Christ
P. O. Box 642
Detroit Lakes, MN  56502

Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief.

Do justly now. Love mercy now. Walk humbly now.

You are not obligated to complete the work,

but neither are you free to abandon it.

 ~ The Talmud



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