This year Ash Wednesday offers us the opportunity to show our love of Christ as well as our love to those who are special to us by falling on Valentine’s Day. In addition to those cards, flowers, and candy; ashes will a sign of the day.
The United Methodist Church explains, the use of ashes as a sign of mortality and repentance has a long history in Jewish and Christian worship. Historically, ashes signified purification and sorrow for sins. Ash Wednesday is the beginning of the season of Lent, a time when many Christians observe a period of fasting, repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline.
On Ash Wednesday at Sterling UMC Pastor Steve Vineyard will introduce a new sermon series titled “Listen” that will take us deep into the Lenten season. The first in the series Wednesday, February 14 will be called:
Finding your Life: Listening Deeply
“…repent and believe in the Good News.” – Luke 1: 9-15
As we prepare for our 40-day journey of Lent, we “turn around” (the root meaning of the word “repent”) from the distractions of daily noise and focus our attention on listening in a deeper way. Writer Parker Palmer suggests we must listen “to what our life is telling us”–in other words, to listen to the deep wisdom God gave to us as a birthright, connecting to God’s purpose once again.
A fellowship time with a dinner of soup and salad will precede the service starting at 6 PM in the Gallihugh fellowship hall. All are welcome to come and enjoy a meal and attend the service.
In recent years some United Methodist pastors have taken to the streets with their ashes on Ash Wednesday meeting new people and applying ashes to the foreheads of those who: drove into the church parking lot in Clearwater, Florida; and on the busy sidewalk in front of Christ United Methodist Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico; and in Dallas, Texas outside of a Dallas Area Rapid Transit train and bus station.
In this fashion our own Sterling United Methodist Church Pastor Marcela Jarman will be taking ashes to the street in Sterling where she will be at Joe’s Pizzeria in Sterling Plaza, 22360 S Sterling Blvd # 103, Sterling, VA 20164 from 12 to 2 PM and from 5 to 8 PM. Stop by and visit with Pastor Marcela as she shares the love of Jesus and our Sterling community. Says Pastor Marcela, “Come enjoy a piece of pizza on us and learn why the sign of ashes on our forehead is a symbol of hope and love. Let’s talk, pray and learn together at Joe’s Pizzeria.”
We hope that you will enter our doors and share some of your time with us this Lenten and Easter season.
We invite you to come and experience the joy of Jesus Christ in our worship, our Christian development, and our serving others in our community.
Sterling UMC is a community church and all are welcome to be our guest, attend our services and participate in our mission efforts.