The season of Lent is upon us. Please join us for several wonderful oportunities to worship, fellowship, learn and grow together as a congregation. For more information, please contact the church office.
Lenten Sermon Series: Jesus' Last Week
March 5-April 16
Lent is a time for introspection, self-examination and repentance leading up to our remembrance of the events of Holy Week. That last week of Jesus' ministry before his death and resurrection contains a vital combination of events and conversations that often are overlooked because our focus is on the beginning of the week, Palm Sunday, and the end of the week, Resurrection Sunday. This Lenten season, we'll take a slow walk through that week from the joyously shouting crowds who greet Jesus to the profound silence of grieving women in the pre-dawn graveyard where Jesus' body had been placed. As we travel from one Sunday to the next following in the footsteps of Jesus, we'll discover pertinent moments that can inform our approach to the wonder of the Resurrection.
Lenten Sunday School Offering
March 5-April 2
Join Jason Knapp for a special Lenten Sunday School offering. Jason Knapp (brother-in-law to Rev. Pat Smith) is a studio artist, scholar, and retired university professor; a Christian layman whose safaris with Jesus have taken him around the world. A Nebraska native, he took some of his most important education at the University of Kansas and UC Berkeley, on a farm in Southern Illinois, in the cross-cultural communities of New Mexico, in the alto selva of Peru, in the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, and in the streets of Mwanza, Tanzania. Jason’s family is large, exciting, and a source of immense joy to him. He is currently a partner in Knapp Centennial Farms, LLC., serving The White Water Presbytery as a ruling elder, and the American Board Chair of Kwetu Faraja, a Tanzanian NGO and American 501(c)3 organization, dedicated to caring for vulnerable children. He is also a FaceBook writer and spoon carver.
A message from Jason Knapp:
Safari to Poverty:
Conversations and Meditations During Lent
Season of Lent, March 5 – April 2, 2017
Years ago my daughter Lorien and I were walking downtown one day in the city of Mwanza, Tanzania, when a man filled with anger came shouting at us out of the shadows of a warehouse. “Mzungu, you make us POOR!” His English was halting, but not his message. It was an alarming moment in a country I was just getting to know, a country where over 120 languages are spoken. Although he used a rude and threatening form of address, I never wished more that I had adequate Kiswahili – the most common language in Tanzania – to attempt a conversation with the man concerning his outrage about poverty. It might have been a life-changing conversation.
We are all concerned in America – some of us obsessed – with wealth and poverty. Many think of poverty as the black hole in the galaxy of wealth, an ever-threatening magnetic force drawing us toward oblivion. Reason (and the wisdom of our financial planners) says we must be ever-vigilant guardians of our wealth.
But then we bump into Jesus who has things to say about the rich and the poor that we aren’t sure we understand and that make us quite uncomfortable. The Gospels in the New Testament, and the protracted conversation about wealth and poverty throughout the remainder of scripture give us no ease. The long historical testimony of the Christian Church is a testimony of conflict and struggle over this issue. No wonder it is an inheritance Christian faith communities in our culture would often rather not talk about or engage with seriously.
Nevertheless, I invite you to join me in this season of lent to take a safari, a journey, toward Jesus and his teaching concerning poverty. People of the Jesus Way, both poor and rich, have this valuable inheritance to reclaim for their witness in the world. And it needn’t be a frightening adventure if we travel together in community. Join me for five weeks this spring, not as tourists, but pilgrims. It is a journey that ends at the cross and begins with the resurrection.