The Pane: Don’t Let March 2nd Catch You Unawares
“What’s your New Year’s resolution,” the question asked on December 31st leads to immediate panic as you realize that you haven’t come up with anything for this year.
I’m pretty sure that’s why everyone ends up picking from the following standard options because they didn’t think of anything before 10-minutes to midnight: A) Lose weight; B) Exercise regularly; C) Eat better; D) Spend more time with my family; E) Learn a new hobby, such as underwater basket weaving.
Have you ever had that feeling on Ash Wednesday, realizing that the Lenten season is here yet again and yet again you have not thought of something you’d like to give up for 40 days?
So, to help you get a jump start on your Lenten fasting commitment, I’m writing this to you 13 days before Ash Wednesday.
Why do people even give up something for Lent in the first place?
Modeled after Jesus’ fast in the wilderness for 40 days, participants are invited to prayer and repentance, fasting and contemplation, and sacrifice and giving. Lent is the ultimate season of renewal as we are transformed by drawing closer to Jesus.
Have you ever considered cutting something out of your life, temporarily or permanently, out of a sense of devotion to God?
Each individual has to contemplate what to do without for some time. It might be as difficult for some to cut out watching TV or drinking coffee. While for others, it might be as challenging as cutting out food and committing to periods of silence.
And yet, the choice to sacrifice for 40 days should not be done so out of a sense of arrogance or outmatched by our lack of care for our neighbor. As the great John Chrysostom wrote, “No act of virtue can be great if it is not followed by advantage for others. So, no matter how much time you spend fasting, no matter how much you sleep on a hard floor and eat ashes and sigh continually if you do no good to others, you do nothing great.”
As Lent is a season of fasting, it is also a season of giving and serving, discovering new ways to be the presence of Jesus to the people and community around you.
Would you like to share your Lenten fast in spiritual community with others? Reach out to me and let me know what you are giving up and how you are serving so that I can be praying for you throughout these 40 days.
Ecuador Fundraiser Follow Up
On behalf of the Ecuador team, we would like to extend a word of gratitude to the church and the greater community for coming out to support Sunday's fundraiser. Thanks to your generosity, we were able to raise $3,100.
Soccer Academy Volunteers Needed
UBC's Soccer Academy returns in February. We need 12 different volunteers each Saturday to make the Academy function.
Sign up to help for one or as many Saturdays as you can. Volunteers can sign up here for set-up, player check-in, group guiding, coaching, snack distribution, and participant care: https://form.jotform.com/212913959293163.
Young Adults Night Out - Friday, February 18th
Our Young Adults Night Out will be on February 18th, 5:30-8:00 pm.
The group will gather at a local restaurant for outdoor dining. Realizing not everyone can arrive by 5:30 pm, plan on joining the group as you are able.
If you have kids, you can drop them off at the church, beginning at 5:15 pm, for dinner and activities for $10 for the first child and $5 for each additional child.
Please RSVP by Wednesday, February 16th here: https://form.jotform.com/220044191068145. The restaurant location will be texted to you.
Save the Date for UBC’s Spring Gathering
UBC will host its annual Spring Gathering on Sunday, April 3, on our Highland Road front lawn. For more information about the Spring Gathering, click on the image above.
Retirees' Luncheon - Wednesday, February 16th
Bring your own lunch and drinks and dessert will be provided.
Pick Up Your Kindness Bags
Over 300 Kindness Bags were made at the January 30th Missions Sunday. They are simple food and hygiene kits you can keep in your car to give to someone in need.
Pick up a bag at the office during the week or grab one in the Narthex on Sundays.
Ecuador Support Project
All contributions should be labeled “Ecuador Support Project.” You can also donate online by clicking on the image above.
UBC Stained-Glass Christmas Ornaments
For informant how to purchase your ornament, click the image above.
Little-Big Things Question of the Week
During our upcoming “The Little-Things” series, Sunday School and Spiritual Formation classes are invited to engage in a weekly dialogue about how their small group can help UBC thrive by living out these expressions: Spirit-Led, Formation, Relationships, Volunteering, Intergenerational Connections, Missions, and Holy Imagination.
The hope is that your group will center the brief conversation on practical and tangible goals for your specific group.
Thursday Prayer Group is Back!
The group meets every Thursday over Zoom at 12:30pm. We will be reading The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri J.M. Nouwen.
Join us on Zoom.
Zoom ID: 570-645-5793
We Need Your Help as Our Church Grows
As out church continues to grow, we need your help. Consider volunteering for one of the above.
Choir is Back
The choir is back! We are currently rehearsing Wednesday nights from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Music Suite. All are welcome. Previous experience not required. Safety precautions include masks and distancing. Join us! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
CHURCH OF THE NATIONS
Worship in the Chapel this Sunday
Contact email@example.com for more information.
Spiritual Formation Series
Please bring your children to join us for our current Spiritual Formation Series, “God’s Story for You and Me.” The series takes place in the Children’s Branch during Sunday school.
Save The Dates
How To Give
Mask Policy Update
Click on the image above to review our updated mask policy.