Dear Friends,

April 1 is a Monday this year.  Just a warning.

I’m tempted to begin today’s Monday Musing by citing my advanced age and the challenges of leading a church such as this in a time of such rapid changes . . .  But those of you who haven’t yet heard the news about the Pope might take me seriously. We do need to be holding our Catholic sisters and brothers in prayer at this time.  It really is quite unheard of for a Pope to resign. The last time it happened was 600 years ago.

But I have something else to write about this morning.  Wednesday this week is the beginning of Lent.  We are offering a short, simple Ash Wednesday service at

6:30 pm.  This year in this church, Lent will be the beginning of what we are calling a “Journey to Hope”.  We will recall the journey Jesus took, the journey that took him to the cross.  We will be looking at scriptures to help us understand his journey and to see how it relates to our journeys.  The topics the scriptures will help us explore are topics that touch us all — relationships, self-esteem, work, temptation, money, and suffering. The journey leads to a cross — not the kind of a journey most of us would sign up for. But the cross for Jesus (and for us) is not the end of the journey.  It is only the beginning.  We will celebrate that new beginning on Easter Sunday, March 31.

To prepare for Lent, here is the scripture we will be using at the Ash Wednesday service:  Mark 8:31-37.  Rather than just read it once, may I make a suggestion?  Many find an old practice called “Lectio Divina” to be helpful.  Here’s what you do:  Read the scripture a first time, listening simply for what it says.  Pause in prayer as you reflect on this.  Then read it a second time.  Reflect this time on what it is saying to you.  After you’ve taken time to pray about this, read it a third time.  This time ask yourself what action or resolution this passage of scripture is asking of you.  Again, spend time in prayer as you reflect on this final question.

Blessings to you as we journey together through the season of Lent.

In Christ,