The Gift of Community

I don’t know about you, but one of the things I love the most about this congregation is the wide variety of people, opinions, and ideas that are present within our faith community.  It is always enriching to me when I am able to engage in deep conversation with people in our church.  Sometimes I am affirmed in my way of thinking, other times I am challenged, but I always come away grateful for the interaction and the gift of community.

Lent is often considered to be a time for personal prayer and spiritual disciplines.  Lent definitely offers the opportunity for penitence, repentance, reflection, and forgiveness.  Our tradition encourages us to give up a vice or to fast from something during Lent.  Other interpretations of this tradition encourage us to take up a spiritual practice that will draw us closer to God.

We have a unique opportunity this Lenten season.  We are invited to participate in a communal spiritual practice.  Our whole congregation is invited to read and discuss the book Radical Welcome: Embracing God, the Other, and the Spirit of Transformation by Stephanie Spellers.  Every Sunday during worship, we’ll relate the themes of the book to scripture.

 In addition, we have organized four discussion groups that meet at various times during Lent. My hope is that we have wide-spread participation from as many members of our church family as possible.

The groups are as follows:

  • Sundays (March 2-April 13) 9:15 -10:15 am (Lower Level Conference Room) Facilitator: Bonnie Muren
  • Sundays (March 9-April 13) 12:00-1:00 pm (Delmar Bread Co) (Young Adult Group) Facilitator: Rev. Jill Sander-Chali
  • Tuesdays (March 11-April 15) 6:00-7:00 pm (Parlor) Facilitator: Rev. Jill Sander-Chali
  • Sundays (March 30, April 6) noon-3:30 pm (Library) Facilitator: Mark Brown

You can pick up a book from the sanctuary on Sunday. Take it home and get started reading. I know that life is often busy, but I am inviting you to set some time aside over these next 6 weeks of Lent to strengthen your relationship with God and with your faith community. I pray that you will sign up for a group and participate in as many sessions as your schedule allows.

My soul is looking forward to the conversations we’ll have during this Lenten journey!  See you in worship!


Rev. Jill