Duke of Gloucester Encounter
February 17, 2023
Welcome to WPC during this season of Lent! This Lenten season we hope to remind all that they are children of God, asking the question, "Are we seeing and being beloved children of God?" We invite you to join us for one, some, or all of the experiences offered throughout the season. Learn more about how the theme inspires our Tuesday evening Howard Thurman studies, our Wednesday Lenten services, and more in the "What to Expect" section below.
For reflection we offer these two blog posts, from members of our WPC family, that beautifully illustrate the relevance of this year's theme in our daily lives. In "Duke of Gloucester Encounter," Leslie Stacks shares a very powerful and personal "Good Samaritan" story, and Karen Lee takes a hard look at the challenges of acting as a child of God in her "Words Matter" devotional.
Lent is a season for those who feel disinherited, it can be a season of loneliness, it can be a season where we feel forgotten or like we are wandering with no one to guide us. Not often is it a season of being called “a child of God.” Yet, in 1 John chapter 3 verse 1 we hear, “See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God, and that is what we are.” Howard Thurman liked to tell the story of his Grandmother’s preacher when both were slaves who would say, “Look at you. Look at you. You, you are not slaves. You, you are God's children." And after the long silence, Thurman says, "[my grandmother] would add, ‘nothing else really matters.” This Lenten season we hope to remind all that they are children of God through actions to remind ourselves, and actions to recognize others as such.
We will study the writings and life of Howard Thurman. When we were discussing Lenten themes as a staff, the quote above kept coming up for me, and I started thinking about how relevant the ideas Thurman expressed are in our society today. Thurman said, “The awareness of being a child of God tends to stabilize the ego & results in a new courage, fearlessness, & power. I have seen it happen again & again.” In a world where we often feel out of control, that idea of courage, fearlessness, and power is…well…empowering. So, on Tuesday nights at 7pm, we want you to join us for a study of the book “40 Day Journey with Howard Thurman,” and you can do this without ever even leaving your house. We will be hosting a discussion on Zoom, looking at the seven prior daily devotions in the book and discussing what stood out to us and what we may be able to gain from these readings. If you would like a copy of the book, check the church welcome center, or contact “A” to get one sent to you!
Our Wednesday services of worship will typically be at 7pm in the sanctuary, but there will be a few differences this year. Most weeks our pastoral staff will teach and lead a prayer practice prior to the service at 6:30pm. These practices will include contemplative and physical practices of prayer. Our services will focus on some of the first ten questions from Belonging to God: A First Catechism, which include things like “What does it mean to be a Child of God?” and scriptures that connect to the answers to these questions. Following the service at 7:30, we invite anyone interested to join us for choir, but also invite our elementary and middle school kids to join us for 30 min following the service as we take a different dive into these questions through activities and sharing. New this year is a special service around lunch tables on March 15 led by Pastor Pam Hrncir. You can bring your own lunch or order one here.
We invite you to keep an eye on our Facebook, Instagram or YouTube page each Thursday as we present a Vlog (Video Blog) exploring another dimension of being children of God in scripture: that we are “not meant to be alone.” Each week we will take a short look at aloneness in scripture and how it affects us today. We hope you will not just watch these short videos, but take some time to interact with the community on whichever platform you view them and help us all feel a little more connected, and a little less alone.
As we look ahead to the promise that is ours at the end of this journey, the Worship Ministry invites you to donate an EASTER LILY in Honor or in Memory of someone while helping to beautify our church on Easter Sunday.
A donation of $15 per lily is requested. You may place your order and pay on-line at mywpc.org/lilies (link below) from now until Monday, March 27. Envelopes for ordering will be available after Sunday, March 5.
If desired, lilies may be picked up at the church on Monday, April 10 between 10:30am and 2:30pm.
Please give generously to this special offering. You may mail a check to the church office with “One Great Hour of Sharing” on the memo line. You may also contribute online by clicking on the button below.Donate to OGHS Now
“I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me. I was naked and you gave me clothing. I was sick and you took care of me. I was in prison and you visited me.” Matthew 25:35-36
Thank you for your support and caring.