Posted on Sat, Feb 2, 2013
The drunken party known as Mardi Gras will soon be here. College students and other revelers will descend on New Orleans and, to a lesser extent, St. Louis and other historically French cities, to drink, carouse, and collect beads.
Did you know that Mardi Gras was originally a religious celebration? Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday. In English it is sometimes called Shrove Tuesday. Many churches used to hold pancake suppers on that day, but that practice is becoming rarer. The reason for the Fat Tuesday name and the pancake suppers is that it is the day before Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. In times past, Christians, particularly Roman Catholics, were expected to give up meat, fatty foods, and fried foods during Lent. On Fat Tuesday, whatever meat and fat were left in the house were eaten because you don’t want to just throw food away, even if it is for religious reasons. The fat and oil were mixed with flour to make cakes. This final feast before forty days of deprivation eventually degenerated into the Mardi Gras we now know.
The name of the season in English, Lent, has no theological significance. It comes from the ancient Anglo-Saxon word for to lengthen: the season comes in the early Spring, when the lengthening of the days becomes apparent.
The season of Lent is a period of forty days, from Ash Wednesday to Palm Sunday, commemorating the forty days of temptation Jesus faced in the wilderness. It is a time of meditation and repentance, preparing our hearts for Holy Week and Easter, the commemoration of Jesus' arrest, suffering on the cross, and glorious resurrection. As part of the observance of this season, Christians have traditionally made some sort of sacrifice during this season. In the Roman Catholic tradition, as mentioned above, meat and fried foods were forbidden.
In Eastern Orthodox tradition, eggs were also given up during Lent. The practice of giving decorated eggs (originally dyed red) as gifts to celebrate the end of Lent originated with the Eastern rite churches. The decorating of the eggs reached its high point under the Russian czars, when the jewelers of Faberge created incredibly intricate and expensive jeweled “Easter” eggs for the Russian rulers. Today, we are back to the simple practice of dying the eggs, although we don’t limit ourselves to red, give them as gifts, or enjoy them for the first time in forty days.
Protestants generally do not have a prescribed item they are expected to give up during Lent, but the practice of making some sort of sacrifice is still a valid spiritual discipline. I leave it to each of you to decide what an appropriate sacrifice might be.
Whatever you decide, I call upon each of us to use these forty days for meditation, for reflecting upon our lives and our faith, for sacrificing those things which interfere with honoring Christ in all that we do, and for preparing ourselves to greet the risen Lord with renewed vigor, dedication, and purity of heart.
Rev. Randy Nolen
It’s that time once more. Time to help out Hungry Harold for February 2013. He is in need of Kool-Aid and/or Drink Mixes along with Pastas and Dried Pinto Beans. He gives thanks for the many blessings he has received.
I would like to give a big Thank You to everyone that helped to make a wonderful Christmas for the CASA family we adopted. It was truly appreciated.
Our next meeting is on February 11, at 9:30 am. We will be studying Lesson #6, “The Elders.” Our lesson leader will be Dixie Loy and our hostess will be Connie Berckes. Hope to see you there.
To the congregation,
Thank you for your continued support and encouragement. Most particularly, thank you for your generous Christmas presentation.
Sharon & Veloy
On Sunday February 3, 2013, 140 million Americans will tune in to the Super Bowl football game. There will be parties with abundant food, friendship, and fellowship. At the same time, there will be people worrying about staying warm, finding shelter and a warm meal. Please join people around the country as they demonstrate God’s love by loving their neighbors through the Souper Bowl of Caring. It’s a simple, yet significant act of caring for others.
We are hoping to gather both canned goods and cash donations for this important project. Shopping bags are provided in the Narthex. Please pick one or more up and return it on February 3 with your donation to help show our effort to “love our neighbors,” or drop a donation in the soup pot on the table as you leave worship.
Checks can be made out to the church with the memo of “Souper Bowl” on them so they will be forwarded to the correct organization.
Your church library is the proud possessor of a group of books by a fine author, writer of children’s fantasy literature, inspirational Christian books, a fascinating and insightful autobiography set, etc. Madeleine L’Engle has long been one of your librarian’s favorite authors. She was an Episcopalian and believed in universal salvation, writing that “All will be redeemed in God’s fullness of time, all, not just the small portion of the population who have been given the grace to know and accept Christ. All the starved and stolen sheep. All the little lost ones.”
L’Engle graduated cum laude from Smith College, before moving to New York where she met and married actor Hugh Franklin, whom she met when she appeared in the play, The Cherry Orchard. They moved to a 200-year-old farmhouse in Connecticut, called Crosswicks, from which comes her famous Crosswicks Journal, a series of four autobiographical books, all of which are on our shelves. Later they returned to New York so Hugh could resume his acting career, and they went on a camping trip, from which L’Engle developed her most famous book, a story for youngsters, called A Wrinkle in Time, which, unfortunately, we do not have. In New York, L’Engle taught in high school, was a volunteer librarian in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. She generally spent her winters in New York and her summers at Crosswicks. During the 1960s, ‘70s, ‘80s, she wrote dozens of books for children and adults, earning numerous medals and awards.
On our library shelves are eight of Madeleine L’Engle’s books:
Her autobiography, Crosswicks Journal, consisting of four paper backs:
A Circle of Quiet – “an attempt of a gifted woman to define and explore the meaning of her complex life; wife, mother, grandmother of two, teacher, frequent public speaker, concerned citizen, practicing Christian, and writer who at that time had published seventeen books.
The Summer of the Great Grandmother—A loving daughter, seeking to prevent her mother from living her last years in a nursing home, dealing with the problems, crises, frustrations, and guilt engendered by her mother’s rapid slide into senility. It is a book about life, asking deep and searching questions, examining and condemning many of the attitudes and values in our society.
The Irrational Season, in which she shares her Christian belief in a most personal, compelling way, in a struggle to be human and the late ears of the twentieth century, offered to the reader with rare candor. She writes, “But I am not at all convinced that life without conflict is desirable. There’s not much conflict in the grave, but while we’re alive the only creative choice is the choice of conflict.”
The Two-Part Invention—the story of a marriage. She writes: “Love of music, of sunsets and sea; a liking for the same kind of people, political opinions that are not radically divergent, a similar stance as we look at the stars and think of the marvelous strangeness of the universe—these are what build a marriage. And it is never to be taken for granted.” All of the Crosswicks Journal are shelved in the Biographical Section on the east wall, under B L’EN.
Walking on Water- addresses the questions, “What makes a Christian?” “What does it mean to be a Christian artist?” “What is the relationship between faith and art?” Through L’Engle’s beautiful and thoughtful essay, what she views as the prime tasks of an artist: to listen, to remain aware, and to respond to creation through one’s own art. Shelved under 291.175 L’EN
Sold Into Egypt – the only one of her Genesis series that we have, outlines Joseph’s growth from pampered and favored young boy into a fully developed, mature human being, and illustrates how difficulty and pain served him well on his journey and how he rose above even the most wrenching conditions. In the end she writes about humanity and how stories teach us how to be truly human. And just because many things in stories told long ago are not to be taken literally, that doesn’t mean they aren’t true. 222.1109 L’EN
Bright Evening Star – mystery of the Incarnation. A personal reflection of the mystery and majesty of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, providing a glimpse into the life stories of this prolific author and her encounters with God. She invites us on a spiritual adventure that leads to hope, joy, and a closer relationship with Jesus. 232.1 L’EN
Check it out!
Anne the Librarian
Dottie Parsons and Lee Perckett are starring in 3 short productions with the Luna Players of the Performing Arts Foundation of Luna County in Deming. Lee will play a young runaway in “Grace,” directed by Debbie Duncan. Dottie will play a unicorn in “The World Needs Unicorns,” and both of them will be in “Classmates.”
These shows were chosen from 200 “Ten-Minute Plays” for community theaters by ten dedicated students, who had to take on the role of director, actor, costumer, sound and music, stage-set builder and makeup to bring these plays to life.
Lee is also rehearsing and will start filming in a movie in February. Dottie is half-way through her Master’s Degree program. Lee has received several honors: for Straight A’s, for Attendance. The other 2 children are growing like weeds!
Lee has been selected to assist in a drama camp next year that will be located in Scotland and in London, England.
December – January 2013
1). Water valve on West side of church burst, Jan. 1. Repaired on Jan 2.
2). Thanks to secretary for ordering new garbage can outside fellowship hall.
3). Letter to Session (Property Committee) received from Grant Hunter, regarding lights, was received and responded to.
4). Fixed lock on Handicap bathroom door.
By the times this Chimes issue comes out, the humming in the furnace will have been fixed, the lights fixed, and a new water heater installed. Special thanks go to the Men’s Prayer Breakfast for the water heater, and to Abel Esquibel for helping on the installation. (As information, the ballasts for the lights are $175.00 each, and there are 10 of them).
The adult class is now launched into the study of the new book, God and Charles Dickens, Recovering the Christian Voice of a Classic Author. At the last class, twelve members took part in a lively discussion of the introduction of a book which “depicts how Dickens upholds a simple imitation of Christ as the remedy for social disorder and victimization, critiquing a failed Christian practice and admonishing Christians to follow Christ more authentically.” Chapter titles: 1. Charles Dickens’ That Great Christian Writer, 2. Dickens’s Jesus, 3. Theologian? 4. Resurrectionist, 5. Real Christianity, 6. Dickens and the Church; Reading (and Hearing) Dickens. Most of the chapters end with Dickens’ message to the churches.
The class meets in the library from 10:45 to 12:00. All are welcome.
At its meeting on Sunday, January 13, 2013, the Session conducted the following business:
Communications: Passed out new committee list
Christian Education: New adult study will be “God and Charles Dickens” – Adam and Randy are working on VBS for this summer
Evangelism & Concern: Put up new pictures of members and hung donated crosses
Liturgists for February are as follows:
Feb. 3 Marilyn Nolen
Feb. 10 Hannah Martinson
Feb. 17 Gordon Gay
Feb. 24 Phyllis Lester
In an effort to save on printing costs and due to spacing issues, the Lectionary Calendar for February 2013 is available either through a link on our website to the PCUSA lectionary page
or on the table in the Narthex.
December 23 -- 61
December 30 -- N/A
January 6 -- 46
January 13 -- 53
January 20 -- 54
January 27 -- 50
Feb. 1, 3 pm. Worship Committee
Feb. 2, 8 am. Men’s Prayer Breakfast
Feb. 3. Communion Sunday
Feb. 5, 7 pm. Property Committee
Feb. 6, 6:30 pm. Chancel Choir Practice
Feb. 7, 5 pm. CASA
Feb. 9, 8 am. Men’s Prayer Breakfast
Feb. 10, 11 am. Session Meeting
Feb. 13, 6:30 pm. Chancel Choir Practice
Feb. 14, 5 pm. CASA
Feb. 15. CHIMES DEADLINE
Feb. 16, 8 am. Men’s Prayer Breakfast
Feb. 17, 11 am. Evangelism & Concern Committee Meeting
Feb. 20, 6:30 pm. Chancel Choir Practice
Feb. 21, 5 pm. CASA
Feb. 23, Men’s Prayer Breakfast
Feb. 24. Cents-Ability Collection
Feb. 25, 9 am. Piece Maker’s Day
Feb. 27, 6:30 pm. Chancel Choir Practice
Feb. 28, 5 pm. CASA
Dorothy & Lee Straley
Aurora Zollars & Larry Loy
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