As we enter into the season of Lent, it is helpful to remember the purpose of the season. Lent is a time of prayer and self-reflection in preparation for the celebration of Easter. Many people choose to practice some form of self-denial during this season, but the purpose of the denial is to create space for spiritual practice. The value is not in denial for the sake of denial or easy piety, it is done “so that” we may grow closer with God. Whenever I think about Lent, I think about Elijah coming into the presence of God.
1 Kings 19:11-13
The Lord said, “Go out and stand at the mountain before the Lord. The Lord is passing by.” A very strong wind tore through the mountains and broke apart the stones before the Lord. But the Lord wasn’t in the wind. After the wind, there was an earthquake. But the Lord wasn’t in the earthquake. After the earthquake, there was a fire. But the Lord wasn’t in the fire. After the fire, there was a sound. Thin. Quiet. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his coat. He went out and stood at the cave’s entrance. A voice came to him and said, “Why are you here, Elijah?”
It was in the silence, the quiet, that the veil that seemed to separate humanity and the Divine becomes so thin that it disappears. In our busy lives, sometimes it can feel like God is so far away or more so that we have removed ourselves so far from God. But if we are willing to look past the wind, fire, and earthquake; if we are willing to look past the rushing, the flashing, and the crashing to the still and silent, we may ourselves find the veil thin, we may find ourselves very aware of the presence of God.
The Prayer Chair: Fasting from Hurry
During the time of Lent, we would like you commit to fasting from hurry. We will talk more about this at Ash Wednesday and Sunday worship services. You are invited to designate a chair in your home that will be your “Prayer Chair” for Lent. Find a time during the day when you can go to the chair for at least 10 minutes, perhaps light a candle, and then spend time with prayer, meditation/devotion and/or doing your daily devotional scripture reading. You may also practice one the of the spiritual practices that we will introduce you to in our weekly devotional.
Unplug: Fasting from Distraction
From Saturday, March 9th to sundown Sunday, March 10th we are asking that you strive to unplug from the quick and the distracting. Avoid using your phone or texting as much as possible. Where you can have a face-to-face interaction, please do that. Leave the TV off, choose to have a real conversation instead. I know you can’t cut out all technology with work and life, but limit where and as much as you can. We want to invite you to “fast from hurry and worry”, we want you to commit to a spiritual practice of slowing down, breathe, and be fully present in your life.
For the times when I have been to busy for you, God….forgive me.
For the times when I have been too busy to take care of myself…. forgive me.
For the times when I have been too busy to let my loved ones know how much I love them…forgive me.
Help me be open to your nudge in this season, to adjust to Your timing for me.
In this moment we hear Your voice saying:
“You can just be you. It’s enough. You don’t have to ‘perform’ for me or try to be anybody else except for who I crated you to be.”
You do not ask me to live up to the standards of the world’s version of success. I am Your child, and You love me, as I am, right now.
Holy God, who holds me close as a Loving Parent does, I honor this life You have given me and this moment to remember what is important. I pray that Your love will reign in all the earth and in my heart. Grant me what I need to get through the next 24 hours. No more. No less. Open me to give and receive forgiveness when and if that is needed so that serenity will return. Your world is precious. This moment will never pass again. With this breath I offer my deepest thanks. Amen.
-Rev. Bill Mauldin
Ash Wednesday Worship
Parents’ Night Out
Friday, March 8 from 6 to 9 pm
in the Covenant Center
Ages Infant – 5th Grade. Reservations are required by Wednesday, March 6!
Reserve a place for your child at hcumc.org. You may drop off and pick up children anytime during the designated hours. Cost is $10 per child; $25 max per family.
7:00 PM Worship-sanctuary
8:00 PM Adult Choir -Choir Rm
1:30 PM ECDP Chapel-sanctuary
6:30 PM ReFit-CC
9:00 AM Carrollton ECPTA Meeting- CCGym
6:00 PM Braeden Daniels’ Court of Honor-sanctuary
6:00 PM Parents Night Out-CC
9:00 AM C.O.D.A.-202EB
5:00 PM Harvey’s Kids-CC Gym
Daylight-Saving Time Begins
9:00 AM Sunday School for All Ages
10:30 AM UNITY WORSHIP SERVICE
1:00 PM Anderson Abbott Eagle Ceremony-CC
Sunday Highlights – March 10, First Sunday in Lent
Sage Carter and Lorrie Hammons
Rodney Stewart and Stephanie Knibbs
Next Week’s Highlights!
Thursday, March 14
The monthly LIFT (Ladies in Fellowship Together) meeting will be Thursday, March 14 at 6:30 pm at the home of Marilyn Paa. Go to L.I.F.T. for more information. Bring a snack or covered dish to share, enjoy food, fellowship and a short devotional. If you do not have time to prepare a dish, please come anyway for this time of food and fellowship!
Secure Document Shredding
Saturday, April 6
10 am to 1:30 pm
Holy Covenant parking lot
Protect your identity while supporting Holy Covenant United Methodist Church Missions! Watch your documents being shredded on site with the utmost security. The cost is $5.00 per “ream of paper” sized box. Invite your friends and family to bring their sensitive documents to be shredded. Shredding done by Secure On-Site Shredding Inc. Visit secureonsiteshredding.com for more information about the company.
2019: A Year in the Bible
Feel like you’ve missed the boat on reading the Bible in chronological order? Don’t! You can jump right in in any of the following ways:
1. Download the free Bible app by You Version. This link should take you to the group from Holy Covenant that are doing this reading together: Invitation.
2. You can use the link above on-line as well. If you don’t want to be connected to others you can just go to bible.com. Go to plans and search The One Year Chronological Bible.
3. You can listen to The One Year Chronological Bible through Audible.com at Audiobook or you can download the app and listen to it on your phone.
4. You can buy a The One Year Chronological Bible in book form through Amazon at Amazon or download it to your Kindle or E-Reader.
5. You can use any Bible you want and follow this print out that tells you what scriptures to read each day: Reading Plan.
Support Holy Covenant While You Shop
You can support Holy Covenant while you shop. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to your favorite charitable organization. To shop at AmazonSmile simply go to smile.amazon.com from the web browser on your computer or mobile device. You may also want to add a bookmark to smile.amazon.com to make it even easier to return and start your shopping at AmazonSmile. Select Holy Covenant United Methodist Church to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping. Amazon will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make at smile.amazon.com will result in a donation.
Highlights Outside Holy Covenant
Alzheimer’s and Dementia Support Group
Third Tuesday of each month at 6 pm
Located on the third floor, Atria Carrollton – 1825 Arbor Creek Drive, Carrollton
Support for those supporting others. Surround yourself each month with people who offer kindness, understanding and togetherness to those who care for others. Refreshments provided by Atria Carrollton.