famous last words
From Wednesday, February 17 - April 4 (Easter Sunday), we will observe the season of Lent, where we follow Jesus's journey to the cross.
We'll talk about Jesus's final words to his disciples, and eventually, his final words on the cross.
(On Easter, we'll celebrate that death did not have the last word!)
On Wednesday, February 17, we begin a season called “Lent,” that lasts until Easter Sunday. It reminds us of the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert praying and fasting before he began his three years of ministry. Usually, we begin this season with a service called “Ash Wednesday” where you receive ashes in the shape of a cross on your forehead. These ashes remind us that we came from dust and one day, our bodies will return to dust. But for this brief time we live on earth, we have been gifted an opportunity to love as Christ loves us.
Psalm 51:10 says, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new spirit within me.” Throughout Lent, this is our prayer.
In what ways will you let your spirit be challenged, refreshed, or renewed?
In the 40 days of Lent, Pastor Molly is challenging you to sit for 0:40 of silence each day. If that amount of time feels too short, try one minute, or two.
In those moments of silence, reflect on the phrase from Psalm 51:
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”
Think of answering one of these questions at the end of your 40 seconds:
What word sticks out to you today?
What image came to mind today for you?
Was it hard to be still? Why?
What does it mean for the Creator to create within you?
What would a “new spirit” feel like?
Do you really desire a “new spirit?” Why or why not?
lenten book study
You are invited to join in reading, “How To Be an Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi. Last summer, we committed to continue to learn about how we can be more empathetic and active in working against racism. Be ready to be challenged! The study will be on Zoom, but you may also join by phone.
If you’d like to purchase a book from the church, the cost is $15.
All are welcome to join! Invite a friend or neighbor!
A note from cheryl graham, Deacon chair:
The featured ministries and needed items are:
February 21: Southwest Community Ministries – bath soap (not Irish Spring, please)
February 28: Jesus Mobile Outreach (serves the homeless along Dixie Hwy) –
Socks and underwear (most urgent need is for men’s items), sternos.
(Or monetary donation may be made – please see their Facebook page)
March 7: The Center for Women and Families – feminine hygiene products; diapers
March 14: Southwest Community Ministries – laundry detergent
March 21: Ridgewood Child Development Center – paper towels and facial tissues
March 28: Southwest Community Ministries – toilet paper
Although we will be featuring specific ministries and items each week, any of these donations will be accepted any Sunday or Monday during Lent. Think of what we could collect if everyone added one to two of these items to their grocery list each week! Thank you in advance for your generosity and your desire to serve our community.
Cheryl Graham, Deacon Chair
On behalf of the Ridgewood Deacons
As we look forward to Holy Week, there is still some uncertainty in what our pandemic world will look like by early April. Flexibility and grace are greatly appreciated! Deacons, Re-Gathering Team, and the Staff will make a collective decision that we feel is best for our congregation.
As of February 12, these are tentative Holy Week plans, more details coming soon…
Palm Sunday, March 28: Hosanna! An especially fun Sunday for kids and youth! Families, please keep an eye out for how your children may help us (safely) welcome in Holy Week.
Maundy Thursday, April 1: A drop-in Prayer Experience offered in the Sanctuary in the late afternoon and evening. This day reminds us of Jesus’ Last Supper with his disciples, as he washed their feet. Details and times forthcoming, RSVP will be required to allow for safe distancing.
Good Friday, April 2: At this time, we are planning an online experience for Good Friday. More information will be communicated as we approach April.
Easter Sunday, April 4: You are invited to celebrate Easter with an outside, in-person Easter Service on our front lawn. Weather permitting, we will still ask everyone to wear masks and practice distancing as you attend. Please bring your own chair! Symbolically, what a perfect day to worship together!
Peace to each of you in these peculiar Lenten days. Continue to pray for each other, and be well!
Rev. Molly Shoulta Tucker, Pastor