A Time of Encounter

On Wednesday about 80 of us gathered at church to observe the beginning of Lent with a meal and an Ash Wednesday worship service. In Bread for the Journey, Lent is described as: “A season to remember that to follow Christ is to take up our crosses and be servants of all. A season to remember Jesus’ question: “Are you able to drink the cup that I drink?” A season to ask ourselves how we might help to bear the cross. A season to ask ourselves how we are afraid and turn away. A season to ask what we have to offer. A season to give sacrificially to others.”
This year at Central, Lent is “A Time of Encounter,” and we are offering two news ways to be reflective and active during this season.  First, you’re invited to join in an online conversation about the sermon text, prompted by reflections by some of our members. And second, each Monday you’ll receive an email with a biblical reflection and suggestions for ways you can be an advocate for those who are struggling. More information on both of these is below.
Looking ahead a couple of weeks, Central will be participating once again in the Learning Ministry Together (LMT) program of Christian Theological Seminary, in which second year ministerial students spend 7 weeks in four different congregations over the course of an academic year. This year two students, Preston Becker and Alex Pittaway, will be at Central from March 13 to April 30. We look forward to introducing them in worship on March 19.
Looking further ahead, this summer Indianapolis will be the site of the Disciples of Christ General Assembly. From July 8 to 12, thousands of Disciples from around the country and partners from around the world will converge on our city for five days promising worship that lifts your soul, stories that touch your heart, educational resources to assist congregations in ministry, conversations that stretch your mind, messages that call you to action, and connections that remind you that God’s family is bigger than a local congregation. It’s a great opportunity to get to know the Disciples or to reunite with friends and acquaintances. Worship services in the evenings are open to the public. A lot more information is available at ga.disicples.org.
On the Sunday of General Assembly, July 9, assembly goers worship in local congregations, and as the Disciples congregation that is closest to the convention center, we expect quite a crowd. I am thrilled that the Rev. William Barber has agreed to be our guest preacher that day.  Rev. Barber is pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, North Carolina and leader of the Moral Mondays movement which has brought thousands of people together to protest unfair treatment and discrimination. His is a powerful voice in our faith-based struggle for racial and gender equality, and it will be an honor to host and hear him.
It will be an honor as well to worship with you this Sunday.  Hope to see you there.