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Junior youth made soft pretzels today. We learned a little pretzel history while we worked. Here are a few photos.

               

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Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.  Our worship theme for this season is Repent. Repair.

Repentance is a perennial feature of Lent.  Like any word that’s been tossed around for centuries, it’s helpful to return to its root meaning to remember what we’re talking about.

The Old Testament Hebrew word for repent means to turn or return.  The imagery is of someone, or an entire people, walking in a certain direction, then doing a 180 and walking in the other direction.  In light of Sunday’s wonderful children-centered worship service...

Two weeks ago we had the annual gathering of the CMC Leadership Team and Ministry Council (board + commission chairs + pastoral and administrative staff).  It’s a time to step back from monthly duties, pose big picture questions, and think creative thoughts.  The purpose of this year’s meeting was to imagine together what church life might look like in the year ahead with re-gathering in person, ongoing Zoom possibilities, relationships across distance, and new ventures with church planting.

For that last part we were joined by Carolyn May and Joel Call.  The possibility of planting...

I was not logged in for CMC worship on January 3.  My intention to participate diminished at full tilt while my body was in full tilt before crashing in a full chin-plant on asphalt and ending a lovely, until that moment, morning run.  That sound blast in my head was upper jaw smacking lower, so I was immediately gratified that neither fragments nor whole teeth met my sweeping tongue.  My bearded chin, though, was (yes, this is a euphemism) “moist.”  I walked home glad my mouth was intact and wondering what the mirror would show.  “Moist” was a very accurate and neutral...

Let me say up front that I don’t think we should beat ourselves up for Lent any year, but this year feels especially important to make sure we enter this season with a clear sense of purpose.  I’ve been in charge of organizing the Ash Wednesday services for a couple years, and I always try to spend some time thinking through the meanings of that service and the season as a whole. 

Nobody goes into Lent thinking they’re going to beat themselves up, but anytime the focus turns toward sin, repentance, and practicing spiritual disciplines like fasting, I think we have to be clear about...

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