This Week's News and Updates
March 20, 2019
See highlights from last week's service by clicking here.
This Wednesday, for Spirit Cafe, we will gather to discuss our next Peeling the Labels topic "Bisexuality". We look forward to seeing you there!

Lent 2019
“Stride Toward Freedom”

When was the last time you felt truly free? When was the last time you felt your Divinity well up inside of you? When was the last time you woke up feeling balanced in your life even when all manner of things outside of your control were swirling around you? At its best, the ritual of Lent, gives us a communal structure where we can live into our authentic answers to those questions and others. Our communities depend on this kind of group seeking…Martin Luther King Jr. wrote “In the final analysis, Agape means a recognition of the fact that all life is interrelated. All humanity is involved in a single process, and all people are connected.”  Come and “Lent” with us. You have a lot to lose and way more to gain.  

3/06  Ash Wednesday – “Welcome to a Clean Slate.”

3/10 – “The Hardest Part is Getting Started.”

3/17 – “How to Win Friends and Influence People?”

3/24 – “Focus on the System not the Person.”

3/31 – Community Breakfast Sunday – "Welcoming Sinners and Eating with Them.”

4/07 – “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished.”

4/14 – Palm Sunday, “Where the Burro Meets the Road”

4/21 – Easter, “Freedom”  
In lieu of the traditional giving up something for Lent (i.e. chocolate, road rage, smoking, etc), here are 40 ideas to Keep Lent Holy as adapted from Nadia Bolz-Weber. The suggestions listed below encourages the development of community, relationships, social action, ecological responsibility and individual spiritual growth. Remember that Sunday is not included in the 40 days of Lent, Sundays are considered a mini-Easter Days .

40 Ways to Keep Lent Holy…adapted from Nadia Bolz-Weber

March 6 - Day 1: Pray for your enemies
March 7 - Day 2: Walk, carpool, bike or bus it.
March 8 - Day 3: Don’t turn on the car radio
March 9 - Day 4: Give $20 to a non-profit of your choosing
(Sunday)

March 11 - Day 5: Take 5 minutes of silence at noon
March 12 - Day 6: Look out the window until you find something of beauty you had not noticed before
March 13 - Day 7: Give 5 items of clothing to Goodwill
March 14 - Day 8: No bitching day
March 15 - Day 9: Do someone else’s chore
March 16 - Day 10: Buy a few $5 fast food gift cards to give to homeless people you encounter
(Sunday)

March 18 - Day 11: Call an old friend
March 19 - Day 12: Pray the Paper (pray for people and situations in today’s news)
March 20 - Day 13:  Read Psalm 139
March 21 - Day 14: Pay a few sincere compliments
March 22 - Day 15: Bring your own mug
(Sunday)

Day 17: Forgive someone
Day 18: Internet diet
Day 19: Change one light in your house to a compact florescent
Day 20: Check out morning and evening prayer at  The Daily Office .
Day 21: Ask for help
Day 22: Tell someone what you are grateful for
(Sunday)

Day 23: Introduce yourself to a neighbor
Day 24:  Read Psalm 121
Day 25: Bake a cake
Day 26: No shopping day
Day 28: Light an actual candle
(Sunday)

Day 29: Write a thank you note to your favorite teacher
Day 30: Invest in canvas shopping bags
Day 31: Use  Freecycle
Day 32: Donate art supplies to your local elementary school
Day 33:  Read John 8:1-11 
Day 34: Worship at a friend’s mosque, synagogue or church and look for the beauty
(Sunday)

Day 35: Confess a secret
Day 36: No sugar day – where else is there sweetness in your life?
Day 37: Give $20 to a local non-profit
Day 38: Educate yourself about a saint  www.catholic.org/saints
Day 39: Pray for peace
Day 40: Pray for your enemies (you probably have new ones by now) then decide which of these exercises you’ll keep for good
All Church Garage and Estate Sale
Thank you to everyone who helped prepare for and helped during the sale. The Estate/Garage sale was a huge success. We still have many items to sell so we will be adding one more sale date!

Final day for the sale will be April 6, 2019 8AM - 4PM.
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Sunday, April 7th - Children's Time





Family's are asked to let their children dress in playclothes for Children's Time during services on this date. The Sunday School classes will be in the Labrynth learning about Service to our Community and keeping our property clear and clean.
Meet, Greet, and "Brown Bag" Lunch this Sunday
March 24th
A.L.I.C.E.    Presentation – Sunday after Worship

This Sunday after church everyone is invited to stay after services for a special “brown bag” lunch and presentation hosted by the Agape Security team and your Board of Directors. A brown bag lunch will be provided. 
This presentation is provided by Church Mutual Insurance and is specifically regarding what to do in the event of an active shooter.
The training is called A.L.I.C.E. and is used by the Federal Government, schools and churches around the United States. It was created by police officers and security professionals.
Please note that the video/training is not graphic and is presented in a way that is not disturbing nor upsetting in any way.  
As we continue to make adjustments to the way we move about our business on Sundays we ask that you please join us for this important information as there will be additional gatherings in the future to practice drills for fire, tornados, and active shooter situations and all that you have seen happening will be coming together.
Your security team continues to work closely with the Forest Hill Police Dept., Church Mutual and A.I.M.S. Academy to learn and incorporate ideas and practices to help make our church safe.
Please understand that policies you may not understand were put in place for very good reason and after much consideration and education surrounding them.
The people on your Security Team have put in many hours of meeting and training on their own time because they care about your safety and take it very seriously.

If you have any questions or concerns about anything that has been or is being done, please ASK about it and it will be explained to you in detail. 
Thank you
Lent 3
A Prayer for Balance on Our Lenten Journey

Heavenly Creator,

Take from us our spirit of separation and give to us instead a spirit of inclusive unity. Take from us the unspoken pain that runs deep and replace it with Divine comfort.

God of all creation, send a wave of love throughout the world to bring all people together.

In this Lenten season, take from us evil and dark.

Replace it with all that is good and light.

Gather your flock in mind, body and spirit.

Give to us the laser sharp focus needed to love all your creations unconditionally.

Take from us the guilt when we fail and give to us the courage to keep trying.

Take from us our tired visions and give us a renewed strength to charge ahead in the paths you have made for us.

In your many names we pray,

Amen!

Reflection submitted by:
Chris Willingham, Cornerstone MCC
Mobile, AL
Dear Agape Family,

I wanted to tell you about a big challenge I’m taking on this fall. I have committed to walk 60 miles (yes, really!) over the course of three days in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day. Those of you who know me well know that there must be a really good reason that I would volunteer to exercise this much, and there is. It’s to raise money for a cause that’s very near and dear to my heart, to help end breast cancer.

Breast cancer has been a part of my life since last August when I was diagnosed. I underwent surgery in August to have a spot removed and later had radiation treatment to help make sure it won’t return. Since then I have been on hormone blocking medication that I will have to take for at least another five years - but more likely for the rest of my life.

I am very lucky in that my form of cancer was very treatable and that I caught it very early. I am so thankful! But I look around and nearly every day I hear about someone else. Many are not as lucky as I am and I know I have to do something now to raise awareness and try to help. So this is for them …and this is for me, because I am alive and so very thankful.  

I’ll be lacing up my tennis shoes, going on training walks, and most importantly, asking for money! It is your donations that will help fund the research and the treatment that will make a difference. I’m not used to asking for money, this is not for me. This is for all who are fighting the battle.

The 3-Day is not until November, but my goal is to raise the minimum $2,300 (or more!) before then, so I’m getting started now. You can help! Click the link at the end of this email to go to my personal fundraising webpage, or see me and I’ll make sure you get a donation form. (Or you can call 800-996-3DAY and the nice people at the 3-Day can take your donation over the phone.)

This is a huge deal for me and that is why I’m asking for help. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Love,
Lisa O’Grady 

March Birthdays
Mar 03 Zachary Roberts
Mar 06 Melisa Price
Mar 13 Chris Kalish
Mar 15 Rachel Cox 
Mar 16 Joe Rice
Mar 22 Kaitlynn Rose Wolfer-Stephens
Mar 25 Sandra Hardin
Mar 29 Denise LaRae
Sunday - March 24, 2019
Lent 3
Call to Worship - Rev. David Wynn

Opening Song - "Nothing More"

Welcome and Greeting - Rev. David Wynn

Time wih the Children - Kevin Harkins

Gospel Reading - Luke 13: 1-9 - Valerie McMullan

Song of Response - "There Is Only Love"

Time of Teaching - Focus on the System, Not the Person Rev. Wynn

Centering Song - "Hear Our Prayer"

Community Prayer - Rebecca McDonell

Prayer Response - "Hear Our Prayer"

Bringing our Gifts - Cassy Batts

Celebration of Holy Communion - Rev. Robert Myers

Song of Sending Forth - "Power of Your Love"

Announcements and Benediction - Rev. David Wynn
817-535-5002 / news@agapemcc.com / http:// www.agapemcc.com /