St. Andrew's Episcopal Church
An invitation into a Holy Lent
Often lately I find my heart melting.

It felt like my heart was a puddle of love on Sunday morning when parishioner after parishioner came to worship with Carenda on her last Sunday at Trinity, when I realized what a deeply caring congregation we were that we could boldly stand with a soul-sister in a challenging time.

I felt my heart melt with joy and excitement when we continued our tradition of burning our palms for ashes during the amazing Shrove Tuesday celebration. With the cold air and breeze stinging our faces, our hearts were warmed by the liturgy and the blazing fire into which we had tossed our hopes from last Palm Sunday.

My heart melted into gratitude when I received a blessing from one of our residents at the Episcopal Home at our healing service on Ash Wednesday. The mutuality of blessing that happens in ministry seems to me to be the intersection of the human and divine love.

My heart broke with tenderness as I witnessed our verger stoop down to carefully and faithfully place a cross of ashes on the foreheads of 3 young children who had stopped at our "Ashes to Go" stand near the Shippensburg Post Office. And then that evening, when I offered the container of ashes to a father who put a tiny cross on the forehead of his own daughter who stood at the rail with expectation and faith. I realized we are forming our young people in a way that they approach the altar rail with a sense of full participation into the gift and glory of God and the movement to the rail is more than ritual, but a movement of the heart.

Generally, I hate the season of Lent. God usually finds hard and challenging ways to invite me into deeper spiritual growth and it can be painful. I wonder though this year if God is finding ways to break open my heart to a deeper awareness of God's presence and challenge in my life through the gift of God's mercy and love which I experience and witness to in our community. I'm sure Lent will still be hard work, but I am grateful God has shaped the framework of that challenge in the midst of my heart being broken open by love.

Maybe it will be the same for you. Whatever your journey, please know I am always here to share it with you and offer you pastoral care or spiritual guidance or direction as you find that closer place with and faithful response to God. If you'd like to meet, please just email or call me.

May you experience a holy Lent. With love and blessings, Mother Barbara
Your Lenten Packet is waiting for you!
Lenten Resources
Your Lenten packet is waiting for you in the PLC. Please pick it up on Sunday so we can save the expense of mailing it to you! You will find within the envelope a listing of Lenten events at St. Andrew's and beyond, a "Way of Love Lenten Calendar" and our usual and favorite Lenten wall poster that's great for everyone (and for coloring too!).
Preparing for Sunday
To read the scriptures in advance, please click here.
To engage with the scriptures with the ancient practice of lectio divina, please click here.
Worship Ministers

8 a.m.
Verger: Mike Stitt
Crucifer:  Bill Gawors
Lector: Nichol Free
Eucharistic Minister: Ellen Rose
Preacher: Mother Barbara

10 a.m.
Altar Guild: Kathy Smith, Jennifer Romine, Edna Guido
Greeters: Doug Eshleman, Jennifer Eshleman
Verger: Mike Stitt
Acolytes: Zachary Rhodes, Jonathan Luo, James Williams
Lectors: Donna Harpster, Mary Beth Williams
Eucharistic Ministers: Steve Nicola, Jeanine Goodwin
Preacher: Mother Barbara
Counters: Melisa Dotson, Jean Shepherd
Coffee Hour: Betsey Palmer, Jane Offner
What else is going on Sunday?

9 a.m. Adult Formation Committee Meeting
9:30 a.m. Godly Play for our littler ones
11:15 a.m. Coffee Hour
11:30 a.m. Worship Committee Meeting
11:30 a.m. Musician Search Committee Meeting
March 30th at 5 p.m. with awesome reception to follow at 6 p.m.

You are invited to a quiet, reflective service, where there will be less words, contemplative and soothing music, beauty of a different kind in the sanctuary, candles all around, and an intimacy that forms when a smaller group comes together in the presence of Christ.

If you've never been to one of our services before, come and give it a try. Lent is an excellent season to look for new ways for your heart to be engaged with God. You never know what God will reveal to you in the silence and community gathered.
Our Next Contemplative Eucharist
We will focus on St. Francis of Assisi at our next Contemplative Eucharist. Sometimes we choose saints because their feast day is near the date we've chosen for the service, sometimes we choose saints because they're our favorites (like Julian of Norwich), sometimes we choose them because we start from the reception and work backwards, and sometimes we choose them because they offer a strong message to our world right now.

That's the case with St. Francis. We all know of his love of animals and connection with the natural world and we can imagine what his message is to us this day about environmental stewardship.
This service during Lent can be an opportunity to raise up and engage in one of the eco-friendly Lenten practices that our wider church is embracing.
Care for Creation Pledge
On March 6, as Lent began on  Ash Wednesday , the  Episcopal Church  launched a  Creation Care Pledge , asking members to commit to environmentally friendly practices such as consuming less meat and tracking carbon use.

As the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement, we long to grow loving, liberating, life-giving relationship with the whole of God’s Creation. Together, we pledge to protect and renew the Earth and all who call it home. Together, we are living the Way of Love and make this commitment to specific actions.

To learn more about how your actions can express the LOVING, LIBERATING, AND LIFE-GIVING LOVE OF CHRIST to our world, please click here.
The Pledge to Care for Creation is part of living as the Jesus Movement. It’s a promise to protect and renew this good Earth and all who call it home. It’s a promise to share our stories, stand with those who are most vulnerable, and live more gently on the Earth.

To read a recent article in the Washington Post about the why and how churches are encouraging members to give up plastic for Lent (and beyond), please click here.

For practical ways to "give up plastic" please see the attached document from 2018 from the Church of England for Lent.
The Rite of Reconciliation is always available for you.
If you are interested in participating in this sacramental rite, or learning more about it, please contact Mother Barbara.

This is a sacred and confidential conversation between you and your priest, and offered in the presence of Christ, which can be a part of your turning your heart back to God so you may be healed.
SHIPPENSBURG PA 17257, 717-532-8089
MOTHER BARBARA: 717-333-5590