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From the Reverend Tammy Lee
I never realized how difficult it was to build a fire even with all the right elements in place.
I spent two plus hours doing that very thing. As the cold and wind howled outside, seeping
through the windows and literally shaking the house, I wadded up at least two magazines, any
empty boxes I could pilfer from the kitchen and even brought out a hatchet to see if I could make
some “kindling” to start that infernal process. FINALLY, it became a blaze worth sitting in front
of, but Lord knows it seemingly took forever and now requires constant attention if I want there
to be something to keep us warm and provide a nice backdrop to reading and napping.
Building a passion for the faith and with God is not unlike building a fire within….it takes intentional action and careful awareness. We are entering that time of the church year known as Lent when we are called to special acts of devotion that suggests serious attention to our life in Christ. We are to examine in “heart, body and mind those things that are necessary for our
life and our salvation”; and we are to do it with a spirit of joy. This is the fruit of penitence, almsgiving, prayer, study and fasting, turning us around and toward God.”
It was a year ago that we started hearing about this virus called COVID19 and none of us could have anticipated what it would mean in our days ahead. Until this pandemic we had rarely been without the ability to be physically in our church buildings especially on joyful days like Shrove Tuesday and the high holy days of which Ash Wednesday is one.
I am hopeful that we are moving ever closer to returning to in person worship as we are vaccinated and the percent positive ratio declines, but I also know that sometimes the greatest sense of deprivation is the very place where God does the most work….in the presence of the absence.
While we cannot gather as we did last year, we will still gather albeit differently.
• Shrove Tuesday will come to you in a bag complete with masks, beads, pancake mix and syrup. Also included will be Lenten Devotions perfect for use with families of all ages. They will be available for pick up on Friday, February 12th from 8-12 and again on Sunday from 3-5 in the Parking lot of St Paul’s. TO RESERVE your bag either email Carol Smith @ firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office at 1-252- 728-3324.
• Ash Wednesday Liturgy will be available on our You Tube Channel and Facebook beginning at 9:00am on February 17th
• Imposition of Ashes will be at 8:30am and 5:30pm in the Church Parking Lot. Remain in your cars and I will come to each car. Please wear your masks to protect us both. We will be using disposable paint brushes to ensure that everyone is safe who wishes to receive.
• The Sacrament of Confession is available by appointment at any point during Lent. For further information contact the Rector.
• Spiritual Practice Small Groups are Forming for Lenten Study. Details will be available the week of February 8th.
The good news is that God willing, we will have Ash Wednesday in the church next year, the pandemic in the rearview mirror. The lessons of COVID are still unfolding but one thing is sure, it lets us know what matters and lasts.
This Ash Wednesday will be different because for once we don’t need to be reminded yet again of our mortality. The daily virus numbers do that. What we do need to be reminded of is how to cultivate the fire of passion for our God and mercifully we have been given an entire church season to do.
Keep the Faith and let the Faith keep you,
Tambria E. Lee