Lenten Journey:

Finding God in the Wilderness

As we prepare for Easter, Pastor Seok-Hwan will be sharing daily Lenten Reflections delivered right to your email inbox. Please take a moment to read them and reflect. Join us for services as you are able, either in-person at UMCW or online at www.umcw.org.

Ever-growing, Ever-nurturing, Ever-deepening

in the Wilderness

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him." (Romans 8:28)

“The LORD your God has blessed you in everything you have done. He has watched your every step through this great wilderness. During these forty years, the LORD your God has been with you, and you have lacked nothing.” (Deuteronomy 2:7)

According to Dr. Brian Mclaren, the author of our Lenten Study book, Faith after Doubt, there are four stages of faith as we walk the Jesus way. The first stage is ‘Simplicity.’ It’s the stage of faith where everyone begins. Our relationship with God, Jesus and the church is pure, simple and clear. We assume that we understand who we are, who God is, what Jesus’ ministry was, and the role of the church. But as we grow, we enter into the second stage of our faith, “Complexity.” In this stage of faith, we begin asking questions of God. We start looking to improve ourselves, change some of our habits, seek to engage and reconcile conflicts. At this stage, we seek out mentors and guides and teachers. We’re looking to grow in this stage, we’re looking to live the faith we were given. And as we grow, we enter into the third stage of faith, “Perplexity”: “The spring of Simplicity and the summer of Complexity slip away, and now the autumn winds of Perplexity blow in a biting cold rain. Now, what matters most to us — more than being right, more than being effective —is being honest, and authentic.” After struggling through this third stage, we arrive at a place of “Harmony.” A place where we can hold tensions, where we can see our perspective alongside others and not be threatened.


Most of my time resides at the third stage of faith, where questions abound, where uncertainty creeps in, where we recognize there’s more that we don’t know than what we do know. In this stage, we most authentically wrestle with God and with each other. In this stage of faith, we’re struggling to understand how we can live, authentically, faithfully, and fruitfully in the grey spaces, where the most growth happens and where we are most likely asking God, “Why?”


Many years I have raised these “why” questions in the middle of nights or being alone: What am I doing here and for what? What does it mean to be a pastor in an English-speaking congregation as a Korean speaking man? Coming to you six years ago, you were a new church, a new congregation, a new group of people to learn about, who have your own culture, your own set of values and your own way of doing things differently than me. The Good News has been that my relationship with God and with you since then is an ever-growing, ever-nurturing, ever-deepening process. Thanks be to God that all of my struggle and wrestling are opportunities to grow, closer to you, and closer to God. Some of it is exciting wrestling, sometimes it’s frustrating, sometimes it’s life-giving and surprising, and sometimes it’s intimidating. And in all of it, God is there.


So, I am growing with you. I am being nurtured by you. I am ever deepening my faith because of your presence and challenges. I hope you do, too, because of me. At the third stage,“Perplexity,” God invites us to a new “land flowing with milk and honey” together. (Deuteronomy 11:9)

Pastor Seok-Hwan


Dear Lord, I know that wherever I am, You are with me—guiding, protecting, providing. Thank You for giving me the opportunity to see You work when all hope seems lost.


All the way through the wilderness journey, I will remember that God has watched over every step of mine and sanctified my desert times and made them fruitful in my life.

Palm Sunday Service

April 2 at 9:30 am

In-person worship service

(music from our Youth Choir)

Online service available at www.umcw.org

Holy Thursday Service

April 6 at 7:30 pm

In-person worship service

(music from our Adult Choir)

Online pre-recorded service available at www.umcw.org

Good Friday Service

April 7 at 7:30 pm

In-person worship service

(music from our Bell Choir)

Online pre-recorded service available at www.umcw.org

Easter Services

Sunrise: April 9 at 7:00 am

In-person service outside at UMCW by the pond

Pancake Breakfast: April 9 from around 7:30-9:00 am

Our Youth Groups' Annual Pancake Easter Breakfast is back! Join us in the Fellowship Hall for delicious food and fellowship. Free will donations will be accepted to benefit the youths' summer mission.

Worship: April 9 at 9:30 am

In-person worship service

(music from our Adult Choir)

Online Easter worship service available at www.umcw.org

Our Mission Statement

“God calls us to be disciples of Jesus, building community through service and fellowship and sharing the love of Christ with all.”


Our Openness Statement

“The United Methodist Church of Westford is an open and welcoming community of Christian Faith. Without any exceptions, we welcome anyone who seeks to love and to serve God.”

United Methodist Church of Westford

10 Church Street, Westford, MA

978-692-4176 • office@umcw.org www.umcw.org