Weekly Evotional
You're invited to Sunday worship & communion...
March 3, 2019 at 9:30 AM
with Rev. Dr. Mark McDonough
Pastor Mark will be standing outside our church the morning of Ash Wednesday, 7:45 a.m. to 8:45 a.m., to offer ashes for those who work or travel through downtown.

Enter the parking lot from Park Avenue, pull up by the double doors for your ashes & a prayer from Pastor Mark and exit onto College Avenue. It's that easy!

And, while it lasts, we'll supply you with a hot cup of coffee to go.

The idea for "Ashes to Go" was developed by the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago. Clergy stood outside their churches and at train stations and offered the imposition of ashes to commuters. As they say on their website, https://ashestogo.org, “Those who had no time to attend services or had forgotten about the tradition were delighted to receive ashes with a prayer as they began their day. Many responded with tears or smiles of gratitude that the church would come to them.”
"The Last Week"
Most of us know the story of Jesus from Maundy Thursday through Easter Day, but what about the other days leading up to that, beginning with Palm Sunday? What was Jesus doing? What was the context? And what does it mean for us today? Please join us for our Lenten series: "The Last Week" to explore with us and experience the last days of Christ on Earth.

Beginning March 7th, our six-week program will be held Thursdays from 5:30-7:00 p.m. (including a soup & salad dinner) and after worship on Sundays from 10:45-11:45 a.m. (coffee & Kringle). Thursday evenings are geared towards adults - high school age and above. Sunday mornings are for adults and children.

Thursdays 5:30-7:00 p.m.: March 7, 14, 21, 28 and April 4, 11
Sundays 10:45-11:45 a.m.: March 10*, 17, 24, 31 and April 7, 14

Parents! Bring your children to this special program, in which they will learn and understand Jesus' final journey we know as Holy Week. They will connect to the Bible in new ways; they will understand the emotions of the disciples and followers, and Jesus himself. They will ask their own questions in exploration of this ancient story, and see how it applies to their lives today. They will be taught the same material as the adults, made age appropriate, using active and hands on learning, and will create a performance based on what they've learned and present it on Easter Sunday.

Jesus is the person we want to follow. He is the model for our lives. Join us as we develop a deeper understanding of and commitment to Christ.

We will be The Church that studies the whole experience of Holy Week .

Please note:
As the Thursday evening classes are recorded, they will be uploaded for public viewing.
*Class on March 10th will begin at 11:15 a.m.
We will have an audio devotional that will be made available during the season of Lent. Our musicians have prepared music and other members of our church will read selections of the Psalms for each of the weeks of Lent.

Beginning March, 6, 2019 (Ash Wednesday), you will be able to hear music and a reading for each week of Lent. We hope this will be a helpful way for all of us to deepen our faith during Lent.

Thoughts for Food started out as a group of friends fundraising for the Racine County Food Bank. It's now in its 27th year. They have highlighted our food pantry this year in their advertising and on the webpage. Racine Food Bank is our largest food source. Tony, LuAnn and Karin would kindly ask any church members who are able to come downtown next Saturday and visit at least one of the 15 music venues to support Racine County Food Bank and FirstPres Food Pantry. All necessary information can be accessed on their website: https://www.thoughtsforfood.org/

We are in need peanut butter, hearty soups, stews,
and pasta meals. We are also low on toilet paper.

And thank you for your continued generosity!
Please pray for Annette Anderson, Diane Lehmann, Peggy Wagner, Amy Schaal, Peggy Taylor, Darrell Sutton, Nancy Tobias, Nancy Ritter,
Bill Blandford, Ed Hunt, David & Cathy Perkins, Larry and Ellen Cardwell, Mary Jane Johnston.

Prayers for Cheyenne—granddaughter of Peggy Taylor, Christi—friend of Music & More, Shawn—friend of Denise Park, Sandy—friend of Kathi Wilson, Anita—mother of Georgia Herrera, Ben—friend & former pastor of First Presbyterian, Mary—sister of Carrie Massey, Autumn—granddaughter of Bev Eifert, Lucille—mother of Diane Lehmann.

Continued prayers for our military—Jordan Smith, Mary Workman,
Kyle Sondergaard, Lt. Col Jay Brooke, Chad Lawrence.

As they go through difficult times, we ask for continued prayers for all who have lost loved ones.

And healing prayers for all those individuals going through rough times—emotionally, physically or spiritually.

Remember that you can contact the church office any time with prayer requests, and our church secretary, Shelley, will pass them along to our faithful and confidential Intercessory Prayer Group and/or publish the names of those needing prayer here and in the Sunday bulletin. bulletin.

A Prayer About Accepting Others

"Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God."
Romans 15:7

Dear Lord Jesus, it’s both settling and centering to begin this day with the assurance of your acceptance. You know everything about me, and still I’m fully and eternally accepted by God in you. You know my failures, fickleness, foolishness, faithlessness … and yet you totally accept me. When I confess my sins, I don’t inform you of anything you don’t already know. In fact, I’m probably only am aware of 3 or 4% of my actual sins. It’s absolutely overwhelming to be this known and this accepted, by you.

I’m the immature younger brother you welcomed home. I’m the self-righteous elder brother you constantly pursue. I’m the one lying at your feet others would stone, but you have loved. I’ve been up in the tree with Zacheus and down in the depths with Peter … and you have accepted me.

But here comes the difficult part, Jesus. As you’ve accepted me, you’re calling me to accept others. I’ll need all the grace you promise to love like that, for there’re a lot of my brothers and sisters in Christ with whom I disagree about many things … including theology, politics, dress, issues of Christian liberty, women’s issues, how to spend money, worship styles, what to do on Sunday, educating children, drinking alcohol, entertainment … and that’s just for starters.

Jesus, I need a bigger gospel-heart and more gospel-wisdom if I’m going to make headway in this calling. Please help me show kindness without compromising my convictions. Please teach me the difference between essential and non-essential matters. Please show me the difference between acceptance and acquiescence. Please free me from the limitations of my perspective, the prejudices of my heritage, and the insecurities of my comfort zone. Please free me from insincere niceness and the need to be right.

Let me remember that your promise to bring to completion the good work you began in me also applies to each of your children. Burn the conviction, indelibly into my heart: it brings YOU praise when I work hard at accepting others as you accept me. So very Amen, I pray, in your matchless and merciful name.

Scotty Smith, TGC - 01jul2010

On Sunday, March 10th, the Mission Committee will be hosting their annual Cuban Sandwich Fundraiser. All proceeds will go to our neighbors - Family Services of Racine.
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