Lent, Olympics, and Love

Were you able to watch any of the Olympics these last few weeks? Pretty exciting stuff (especially the Olympic ending hockey game!)

Last Sunday after services, the staff were invited by the WCCC seniors to a Wii Challenge to compete for the gold medal in Wii bowling! I must say that some of our seasoned members are quite the competitors! At the end of the day, staff representatives James Hansee and Phyllis Meyer were defeated in the gold medal game by Eileen Yamataki and Edith Owens! At least the staff got a silver medal!

Did you hear about what happened with Germany’s silver medalist in the Olympic luge, David Moeller? He wound up breaking his tooth when he bit his prize! The mishap resulted in a trip to the dentist. According to a Feb. 18, 2010, AFP story, the 28-year-old Moeller explained: “The photographers wanted us to bite into our medals at the presentation ceremony. And a corner of my front tooth broke off.”

“It wasn’t too bad and it didn’t hurt,” added Moeller, “But it is annoying when you can’t smile as you normally do. And because I want to have nice pictures and happy memories of my Olympic Games, I went to the dentist to get it repaired,” he said.

James Hansee managed to keep all his teeth in preaching condition! Congratulations WCCC seniors on being champions!

Speaking of champions, we are on an all-out quest to be gold medal winners in showing love this year as a church. We are endeavoring to move out intentionally to impact our neighbors with the revolutionary love of Christ. As Easter season approaches, we are doing this both individually and collectively with our programming. Please read the following note from Terri Beth Faust, WCCC Children’s Ministry Director.

“On any given day I’ve had a front row seat to see children from next door neighborhoods cross gullies, climb snow banks, and once the weather breaks, they will again be riding their bikes and skateboards over to the ‘church house.’ They come ringing door bells seeking something. Most days they are content with just a few minutes of caring adult attention and a review of how their day is going. But I can see it in their eyes…they long for more. They’re hungry; hungry for connections, for attention, and most of all for authentic life-giving relationships that offer hope and encouragement. I believe with all my heart that God has a plan for feeding them…physically, relationally, and spiritually.

As SPOUT Children’s Ministry blends into the culture of a Love Revolution, the Core Children’s Leaders have been intentional to transform some of our traditional programming to match the transformation of our thinking for 2010. That means moving away from some of the large scale annual attractional events like the Egg Hunt, to an experience that seeks to develop new relationships and deepens existing relationships that are already in place. Voila’ … a once-a-week summer program idea is born. Instead of hosting the annual Egg Hunt this year, Children’s Ministry will be investing our people and financial resources differently this spring and summer. We’ll be devoting ourselves into the specific lives of children here in our backyard and within the community. One day each week the church house will be open and filled with opportunities for games, activities, lunch, and tutoring for school age children, with the centerpiece of the day being the life coaching and connections we’ll make. We are intentionally choosing to empower people to be passionate about lavish and loving relationships as an expression of following Jesus. In essence, we will be living out the sweet refrain some of us learned as children, they will know we are Christians by our love.

So, while our annual Egg Hunt has been a wonderful tool to allow us opportunity to bless our community, we are adjusting our focus this spring and summer to meet the immediate needs of the children who live next door and to be vessels that reveal God’s deep love for the world. Pray for us as we step out in faith to ‘feed the hungry.’ Maybe God is asking you to join a team that ministers to children and boldly declares – We are the body of Christ in the world today, and we seek to help people discover Him as we live out our faith in the spaces we already occupy.'”

Let’s rally around Terri Beth and our children’s ministry team in this new love direction and revolution.

Easter season and Easter weekend services are a great opportunity to lovingly do your best inviting! With 4 services scheduled, (1 on Saturday and 3 on Sunday), we hope to have room for all! In the religious culture in which we live here in Greater Cincinnati, many of your friends and family are celebrating Lent (and don’t even know why!).

Lent, the period of fasting in preparation for Easter, has been on the church calendar since the first or second century. The 40-day period, first mentioned in the Canons of Nicea (325), was probably adopted to parallel the 40-day fasts of Moses, Elijah, and Jesus, though it may also have reflected the 40 hours Jesus spent in the tomb. Lent is a 40 day season of fasting and prayer with the goal of resurrecting our joy. Lent originally meant springtime: the word comes from the Old English word for spring, lencten, which came from lengan, “to make longer” – reminding us that the slow, wonderful lengthening of this season in our souls can signal an end to a winter of bitterness and the flowering of Christ’s love in us.

Lent was established for new Christians who experienced a call. They were to spend 40 days and 40 nights preparing for their baptism. If at the end they still wanted to follow Jesus, then on Easter Eve they would be baptized as the sun was rising in the east, signaling the new day, the new era, inaugurated because of the Resurrection. Later, the Church used the 40 days as a time of renewal for those who were already Christians.

Lent has evolved (or some might even say – devolved!) to where it was only fasting from meat to just fasting from meat on Fridays. Lent for some has become a check-list item and a “have-to” rather than what was intended as an opportunity to more closely connect with the risen Lord Jesus Christ leading up to remembering His death and resurrection. However God moves you to celebrate Lent and Easter this year, make it a tool of significance, not a ritual without meaning.

And if God is prompting any of you to be baptized this Easter (like they did in the ancient past at Lent!), I would love to talk with you more. We are praying/hoping for many to take this critical step as part of our Easter weekend services this year. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate life than this! Please contact me at the office to talk more.

See you this weekend as we launch a brand new weekend series entitled “What would Jesus not do” that will lead us up to Easter. Also this weekend, after both the Saturday and Sunday service, we will be hosting our monthly Pizza with the Preacher for those of you who are new to WCCC. For some of you,  this is your next and best step on your spiritual journey at WCCC. RSVP to the office to reserve a spot. For WCCC veterans who have friends attending now at your invitation, encourage them to attend the pizza event. They will like it, trust me!

David

P.S.  A huge thanks to those of you who are parking/shuttling from Welsh. We had enough room in our main lot to adequately park cars last Sunday. Stay with it from now on!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s