1st Sunday in Lent
A blessed and hopeful Sunday morning 5th Ave. Family & Friends,
This February, mark both Black History Month and the start of Lent.
In honor of Black History Month, we continue to remember and celebrate the powerful work of God in and through the lives of African Americans. From enslaved Christians and abolitionists through the Jim Crow era to civil rights figures, to ordinary believers serving as leaders in the church and powerfully impacting modern day society.
Black History month came out of a need to tell more of the stories that shaped our nation, the stories of Black Americans. Black History month is an opportunity to learn from the story of Absalom Jones, the first African-American priest in the Episcopal Church. Richard Allen, the first Christian bishop of African descent in North America, he founded the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, one of America’s first truly independent black denominations.
Welcome to Lent! This is a time of 40 days preparing our hearts and lives for Easter- resurrection Sunday. It is a discipline of the Christian life to remember the cadence of death and resurrection. In this season of the Church, we remember that new life springs out of brokenness and death, much like a seed planted in the ground. What are the places of brokenness and death you still long to see resurrected? Let’s reaffirm our commitment to encounter Christ, trusting in his resurrection as we pray:
Lord, Lent is a challenging time, and we will not pretend that it is not. However, you did not expect anything of us that you were unwilling to subject yourself to. Your own time of trial in the desert set the standard for how to resist temptation and remain steadfast as we form our hearts to God’s will. Help us to grow steadily closer to you as we embrace the virtues of faith, hope, and love during Lent. Encourage us along as we walk with you, reminding us that Lent is far from a time to simply “give something up;” rather, to take on little sacrifices, which compare in no way to the supreme sacrifice that you offered by giving your life on the Cross in atonement for our sins. Strengthen us to persevere in holiness, virtue, and sanctity, seeking to do your will not only during Lent, but likewise throughout the year, as we look forward to celebrating your joyous Resurrection at Easter. We ask this in your redemptive name. Amen.
To the glory of our merciful God,
Rev. Clarissa Martinelli
Pastor, Fifth Avenue UMC
323 South Fifth Avenue
West Bend, WI
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful
beyond measure. I am a child of God.” marianne williamison