Happening Now Blog

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Pastor's Wednesday Message

Ash Wednesday
Services 11:30am & 7:00pm

from Pastor Brian

"What should I give up for Lent?"  People ask me that a lot.  Here are the top five things people say they want to give up: (1) Chocolate; (2) Ice Cream; (3) Beer/Wine; (4) TV; (5) trashy novels.  Well, I suppose quality of life may improve by giving up these things (except chocolate!) but seriously I wonder why people think that abstaining from these things has anything to do with God.  The main thing about Lent is not our abstemiousness.  In fact, it's not us at all.  It's God.

That's the mistake most people make about Lent: to focus on self instead of on God.  From this self-focused point of view, Lent is about self-denial, self-discipline, self-improvement. It is (they think) the pastor's job on Ash Wednesday to start the Lenten season right by making them feel really bad about their sinful selves so they'll be properly motivated to hammer their sins and vices and thus forge themselves into the kind of people they think God wants them to be.  Can people know what God wants them to be?  Could they attain such aims if they tried really hard?  Such a self-focused spiritual path loses sight of God.

Instead of giving up things for Lent, the key is to add things that put us in the way of God's creative, transformative, community-creating, life-fulfilling power.  Then let God's power have its way with us, do its work on us.  We don't know what God has in mind.  We don't know who God wants us to be.  We don't know how to get there from here.  But God knows.  So we go with God.

What do we add on?  How do we put ourselves in God's power?  Glad you asked!  Here is a spiritual practice you can do to let God have God's way with you.  Read the Bible and think about it.  The Word of God, Lutherans say, is the source and norm of faith and life.  The Bible is a graphic user-interface for an interactive virtual-reality encounter with that cosmic creative spiritual power (a.k.a. "God") who is making you up as you go along.  Reading the Bible and thinking about it (a.k.a. "prayer") is the best way I know to let go of yourself and let God begin to re-route your neural connections, re-organize your habit patterns.  If you spend A LOT of time doing this during Lent (highly recommended), you might begin to notice some good new things happening in your life.  Take time to let them grow and develop; notice where these changes take you.  It might turn out that you let some things go because you spend so much time with Bible, prayerful thinking and nurturing new things from God.  You may find guilty pleasures already gone before you have to strain to give them up!

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Lessons for Sunday, February 14th
Deuteronomy 26:1-11
Romans 10:8b-13
Luke 4:1-13


Wednesday  9:00 - 1:00 pm KOK Preschool/chapel
                   11:30 am  Ash Wednesday service
                   7:00 pm   Ash Wednesday service

Thursday    9:00 - 1:00 pm KOK Preschool
                  7:00 pm  LLL

Friday        9:00 - 12:00 pm  KOK Preschool
                  1:00 - 9:00 pm  Palmeter Piano Studio

Saturday    11:00 am  Don Roach Memorial Service
                  4:00 - 8:00 pm Youth Group Babysitting Fundraiser night
                  drop your children off for food, fun, crafts and games while you enjoy a "date night" or "shopping"

Sunday       8:30 & 11:00 am Worship services/First Sunday in Lent
                   6:00 - 7:30 pm Confirmation class

Valentine Babysitting Night (youth group fundraiser)
Saturday, February 13th
4:00 - 8:00 pm

food, games, crafts and lots of fun provided!

KOK Loving Our Neighbor Canned food drive
February 1-21
If you would like to join KOK in showing love and kindness to our neighbors please bring your non - perishable items and place them in the box located under the church office window.
Items needed;
canned meats; tuna, chicken, salmon
canned and boxed meals; soup, chili, stew, macaroni & cheese
peanut butter and other nut butters
canned or dried beans and peas
pasta, rice, cereal
canned fruits and vegetables
100% fruit juice or vegetable juice (canned, plastic or boxed, no glass)
cooking oil.

Prayer Shawl Ministry
Prayer shawls were blessed and given to 11 people so far in 2016.  Please keep these people in your prayers. Do you know how to knit and/or crochet? Would you like to learn how? We have lots of new yarn for prayer shawls. If you are interested in being involved in this ministry, please contact Brenda 503-545-6574 or Caryl (503) 784-5236.

Fellowship Kitchen Shower
February 21-March 20th
Please consider picking up an extra roll of paper towels, paper napkins, coffee cups, juice cups, flavored creamers, regular canned coffee etc next time  you grocery shop.

Lenten Wednesdays
February 17, 24,
March 2, 9, 16
Soup/bread supper   5:30 pm
Lenten devotion/service   6:00 - 7:00 pm