Wednesday, February 17, is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Having lived with COVID and the precautions and adaptations and limitations that have come with it, you might ask: Why would we need Lent after all we have been going through? It is true that we can associate Lent only with solemnity and deprivation as we remember and identify with the suffering and testing of Jesus in the wilderness. The purpose of Lent, we can remind each other, is not the suffering. The purpose — and the result — of Lent is our preparation for Easter.

The theme of our Lenten observance this year is “Return.” It comes from Joel 2:12-13: “Yet even now, says the LORD, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; rend your hearts and not your clothing.” (NRSV)  In these months when so much of our external life has seemed to shrink, God calls us to return with hearts wide open to receive God’s love, God’s peace, God’s healing, so that we might live more fully as Easter people.

You are invited to join in our Lenten journey:

Ash Wednesday, February 17, 2021

* drive-through imposition of ashes

(subject to change) — noon to 1:00 pm

* Ash Wednesday service (Zoom) —

6:30-7:15 pm

Lenten Small Group: Wednesday evenings,

February 24-March 31 (Zoom), 6:30-7:30 pm

Sundays in Lent: February 21, 28,

March 7, 14, 21 (Facebook Live)

Palm/Passion Sunday, March 28, 2021

(Facebook Live); Holy Week begins

Maundy Thursday service: Thursday,

April 1, 2021 (Zoom) — 6:30 pm

Good Friday service: Friday,

April 2, 2021 (Zoom) — noon

Easter Day: Sunday, April 4, 2021

(Facebook Live) — 9:30 am