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Welcome to Lent

This year, on Valentine’s Day, we began the Season of Lent. Believe it or not, Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, which was on Feb. 14 this year, and Easter will be on April 1 (April Fool’s Day). While this may seem like a joke, it has happened before. Since Easter is based on a lunar calendar, it occurs at different times each year. This year Lent just happens to begin and end on two interesting days. We begin the season of Lent remembering, “that we are dust, and to dust we will return,” and receive a cross of ashes on our forehead. For the next 40 days (not counting Sundays), we ponder our relationship with God. We hear the stories of Jesus’ journey to the cross. We end the season at the cross on Good Friday, and then wait three days until Jesus is raised from the dead. During Lent, we sometimes give up something as a Lenten discipline, like chocolate. Sometimes we add something like prayer or some other spiritual practice. This Lenten season, with our current political climate and our tendency to point fingers at each other, we might consider a spiritual discipline of kindness. Rather than pointing fingers, or blaming others, simply being kind to those around us might be a good discipline. Another discipline to consider during Lent is to spend more time in worship. One option is to find a local church that offers mid-week Lenten services. These services may help provide a better understanding of what Lent is about and how we can better serve on another. One option for mid-week services are the Downtown Albemarle Ministerial Association services. This year, they will be at First Presbyterian Church, 126 W. North St. (at the corner of West North Street and North First Street), Albemarle, at noon each Wednesday during Lent (Feb. 21, Feb. 28 and March 7, 14 and 21). The service will last approximately 30 minutes and will be followed by lunch. Donations collected will go to the Mary and Martha Center in Albemarle. Come and join us. Grace and peace to you. The Rev. Ray Sipe serves as Chaplain at Trinity Place (formerly Lutheran Home of Albemarle).