A Post for the First Week of Lent March 2, 2017

A First Irregular Post from John Kloepfer for the First Week of Lent – 3/2/17

Why is this post irregular?  I understand that Chuck was faithful in communicating with all of you each week through an email.  However, I’m not sure I’m capable of such regularity.  We’ll see.   But for the meantime, please look for these from time to time.  Why is it the first?  Well, because it is.

I’m delighted to be with you for a time as your Interim Pastor.  An interim time is not a time to sit back and relax, waiting until “they” (whoever “they” are) have chosen our next “real” pastor.  It’s a very tender but important time in the life of a church.  It’s tender because there are so many fond memories of the previous pastor (and his wonderful wife) as well as strong emotions and even grief over what feels like (probably because it is) a loss.  It’s important because the church needs an opportunity to detach from its immediate past and to think about its future mission and ministry.

As Interim Pastor I won’t be here for the long haul.  Yet I want to help you as best I can with this transition.  That requires that I get to know you.  Since I’m regularly working with your boards, I’m already getting to know them.  However, please help me get to know the rest of you.  Again I will remind you that I have been handicapped from early childhood in learning and remembering names.  Anything you can do to help me, especially if you’re not on one of the boards, will be appreciated.

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, which lasts the 40 days (not counting Sundays, which are never “fasting” days) until Easter.  I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed in how few of you attended the Ash Wednesday service last night at St. Mark’s.  Our faithful choir was there, of course, and along with the choir from St. Mark’s sang beautifully.  But it was definitely one of those services where the choir was larger than the congregation.  St. Mark’s had a mid-day service that was well attended, so their members had an excuse.  I can only assume that you were so anxious to get into the Lenten spirit that you overdid it celebrating Mardi Gras on Tuesday, and were just too tired to attend.

The good news is that you have a chance to redeem yourselves this coming Sunday – the first Sunday in Lent – by attending worship and participating in Communion.  This will be your chance to start the Lenten season off on the right foot.  Like the interim period for our church, the Lenten season is both a tender and an important time.  I hope that together we can take advantage of it and enable it to prepare us for the journey ahead.

On Tuesday evening I meet with our Deacons, so please let me or one of the Deacons know of anyone in need of pastoral care of any kind, so we can address it on Tuesday.  I do know, for example, of one member (no, not my wife) who is in need of a ride into a hospital in Manhattan next Thursday, March 9.  If you are able and willing to do this – a great way to get into the Lenten spirit – please let me know.

Sadly, the East End Women’s Choir Murder Mystery dinner, which had been scheduled to happen tomorrow, March 3, has been postponed until June.  The good news is that with more planning time it will be better than ever.  The next time you’re at church, please take a peek into the playground area.  You’re in for a lovely surprise.  And one last bit of very good news:  Rev. Jeanne Baum has agreed to lead an Adult Bible Study in Lent at 11:15 a.m. after worship on Sundays, beginning March 19.  It will revolve around the book, Loaves, Fishes, and Leftovers by Rev. Ted Loder.  It is not to be missed.

Oh God, be with each member of WPC this week, and bind us together in your love.  Give us a special awareness of your presence throughout the coming weeks of Lent, and help us to express, through all of our thoughts and actions, the love of Christ that is within us.  We are well off in God, the Almighty, in God’s holiness, always.  Amen.