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St. Paul United Methodist Church
Monday, March 25, 2019

Lent at St. Paul

The Season of Lent
Lent is a season of forty days, not counting Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday. Lent comes from the Anglo-Saxon word lencten, which means, “spring.” The season is a preparation for celebrating Easter. Historically, Lent began as a period of fasting and preparation for baptism by converts and then became a time for penance by all Christians. The First Sunday describes Jesus’ temptation by Satan; and the Sixth Sunday (Passion/Palm Sunday), Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem and his subsequent passion and death. Because Sundays are always little Easters, the penitential spirit of Lent should be tempered with joyful expectation of the Resurrection. Today, you are invited to experience a dual encounter as we confront our own mortality and confess our sin before God within the community of faith. The focus of our service is the dual themes of sin and death in the light of God’s redeeming love in Jesus Christ.
Invitation to the Observance of the Lenten Discipline
 Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the early Christians observed with great devotion the days of our Lord’s passion and resurrection, and it became the custom of the Church that before the Easter celebration there should be a forty-day season of spiritual preparation. During this season converts to the faith were prepared for Holy Baptism. It was also a time when persons who had committed serious sins and had separated themselves from the community of faith were reconciled by penitence and forgiveness, and restored to participation in the life of the Church. In this way the whole congregation was reminded of the mercy and forgiveness proclaimed in the gospel of Jesus Christ and the need we all have to renew our faith. We invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to observe a holy Lent: by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy word. Today we gather to make a right beginning of repentance, to acknowledge our mortal nature, and to bow together before our Creator and Redeemer. 
March 6 - Ash Wednesday Worship 7:00pm
April 14 - Palm/Passion Sunday  Awakening Worship 9:00am and Worship at 11:00am

April 17 - Holy Week Wednesday night Prayer Service, 7:00pm
April 18 - Holy Thursday  - 7:00pm
April 19 - Good Friday - 10am - 2pm