Lent 2018


WHAT IS LENT?

Lent is a season of preparation leading up to Easter. It is the forty days plus the six Sundays before Easter. It is a time for self-reflection and prayer. This Lent at First United Methodist Church of Belmont, we’ll focus together on the means of grace, the ways in which we experience God’s love and power in our lives. Join us throughout the season as we seek to deepen our faith and live more fully as disciples of Christ.

MEANS OF GRACE

Sundays in Lent: Means of Grace

Grace is God’s free, unearned gift of love and power.  But how do we receive this gift?  How do we experience it?  Each week during Lent, we’ll explore what John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, called “means of grace,” those ways God works in our lives to show us love and forgiveness and to empower us to be more like Jesus in our lives.  Through the season we’ll talk about five practices outlined in the New Testament as ways to know and experience God:  prayer, “searching the scriptures,” The Lord’s Supper, fasting and “Christian conferencing.”

Small Groups
Click here to register.

During Lent, our small groups will be reading and discussing the book Five Means of Grace: Experience God’s Love the Wesleyan Way by Elaine Heath.  In this study participants will consider the practices at the heart of John Wesley’s teachings about spiritual growth.  The practices we will look at are the very practices Jesus taught and encouraged his followers to do in order to experience God’s love.  Join us, and experience God’s love with others by participating in one of our daytime or evening offerings.  Dr. Heath currently serves as the Dean of Duke Divinity School in Durham, North Carolina.

Experience Grace Workshops
Wednesdays, February 21 – March 21, 7:00 p.m.

Join us in Carpenter Hall each Wednesday night during Lent for an experiential workshop and conversation about the spiritual practices we know as “means of grace.”  How can we keep them from becoming mere rituals, or simply “going through the motions”?  How do these spiritual practices become ways to really meet and experience God?

February 21 – Prayer, led by Sally Lingle, former Director of Discipleship at FUMC.

February 28 – Searching the Scriptures, led by Dr. Melanie Dobson, Minister of Faith Formation, Myers Park UMC in Charlotte

March 7 – The Lord’s Supper, led by Pastor George and Kristen Surratt

March 14 – Fasting, led by the Rev. Shane Page, Pastor at Harrison UMC in Pineville

March 21 – Christian Conferencing, led by Margie Ligon

LENT BEGINS

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper
Tuesday, February 13 at 6:00 p.m.

Join us for a traditional pancake supper on the night before Lent begins. Why a pancake supper? Pancakes were a good way to use up ingredients like sugar and butter not needed during Lenten fasts. It’s a time of feasting and celebration before the season of penitence begins. Sponsored by our Family Life Team. Join us for a fun night of fellowship, including Pancake Races!

Ash Wednesday Service of Worship
Wednesday, February 14 at 11:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent. This moving service includes the Imposition of Ashes, a reminder of our penitence and mourning, and special music from our choir. All are welcome.  Nursery care will be available in the children’s wing during worship.

SERVING AND GIVING

Canned Good Drive
Wednesday, February 14 – Sunday, March 25

Our youth will be hosting a Lenten canned good drive from February 14 – March 25. While grocery shopping, be mindful of our neighbors in Belmont who are in need and pick up five canned goods each visit to the store. Canned goods will be donated to the BCO. Donations may be placed at the base of the cross in our sanctuary.

Feeding the Children
Weekdays, March 30 – April 6

Feeding the Children returns on weekday mornings during the school break. Each day we will deliver hot lunches to children whose parents request assistance. Teams will prepare, package and deliver meals. For more information or to sign up to assist, click here.

Family Promise
February 25-March 4

We will be hosting Family Promise the last week in February.  Volunteers will sign up to provide meals and fellowship for our guests.  There are also general hosting needs such as set up and clean up.  To sign-up to volunteer, click here.  Our guests will arrive on Sunday afternoon and will stay through the week until the following Sunday.

WEDNESDAYS

Meet in the Middle Meals
Wednesdays, February 14 – March 28, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Join us in Carpenter Hall to enjoy food and fellowship with our church family. The cost is $5 per person. No reservations needed.  Click here to check out each week’s menu.

Midweek Eucharist Service
Wednesdays, February 14 – March 28, 6:30 p.m.

John Wesley called Holy Communion the “grand channel” of God’s grace.  At the Lord’s Table we meet and know the real presence of Jesus Christ.  What better way to remain focused and centered during this holy season?  The service each week is brief, concluding by 6:50 p.m.  Join us!

Experience Grace Workshops
Wednesdays, February 21 – March 21, 7:00 p.m

Click here to read more about these exciting workshops, helping us dive deeper in practicing the Means of Grace.

LENT AND EASTER WITH CHILDREN

Children’s Service Night
Tuesday, February 13, 5:30 – 6:00 p.m.

Is your family planning to attend the Shrove Tuesday pancake supper?  Come early and drop off your child (kindergarten through fifth grade) or join us as a family (preschoolers) to learn about the importance of serving others and how Jesus instructs us to care for one another.  From 5:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. there will be a service opportunity for children to prepare treats and cards for our home-bound members.  Families will then deliver the goodies.  Click here to register your child’s attendance and deliver treats.

Walk With Jesus
Saturday, March 24, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Family are invited to walk the way of Jesus from Palm Sunday to Easter at our Walk with Jesus event. Guided, interactive stations will tell the story of God’s great love and prepare us to celebrate what Easter is all about.  Click here to register.

Easter Egg Hunt and Butterfly Release
Easter Sunday, April 1, 9:45 – 10:30 a.m.

Children fifth grade and younger are invited to participate in an Easter Egg hunt on our playground, searching for words or pictures to help tell the Easter story.  Following our egg hunt, children and adults will hear a story about Easter and then celebrate Christ’s resurrection with a butterfly release.  Adult Sunday School classes are encouraged to join in!

HOLY WEEK

Palm/Passion Sunday
Sunday, March 25 at 8:30 and 11:00 a.m.

Join us for worship as we remember Jesus’ Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem, marking the beginning of his final week leading to the cross. Our guest preacher for the morning will be our bishop, the Resident and Presiding Bishop of Charlotte, Bishop Paul Leeland.   Our 11:00 service will begin on the church lawn and include a traditional palm processional.  After our 11:00 service, join us in Carpenter Hall for a special luncheon.

Prayer Labyrinth
March 26 – 30, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. 

Returning this year is the labyrinth, available in Carpenter Hall throughout Holy Week. Labyrinths are an ancient method of prayer and meditation, inviting us to experience sacred space and explore our life with God.  Also provided will be prayer stations at tables for participants to experience prayer in a variety of ways.  This prayer experience is appropriate for children and adults alike.

Lenten Prayer Vigil
Tuesday, March 27, 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Our Lenten prayer vigil in the Sanctuary will include interactive prayer experiences and a prayer guide. Click here to sign up.  A sign-up sheet will also be available in the narthex on Sundays.

Maundy Thursday Service of Worship
Thursday, March 29 at 7:00 p.m.

Maundy Thursday is named for the mandatum (Latin for “commandment”) Jesus’ gave on this night to love one another as he shared his Last Supper with the disciples.  This year, we gather on this night to feast with him again in the celebration of Holy Communion.  The service also includes beautiful music and will conclude with a “stripping” of the altar, removing ornamentation and color from the chancel to mark the solemnity of the occasion.

Community Cross Walk
Friday, March 30 at Noon, Lutheran Church of the Holy Comforter

Join our brothers and sisters in Christ from around Belmont for a moving walk through downtown Belmont, remembering Christ’s journey to the cross.  The walk concludes at First Presbyterian Church.

Good Friday Tenebrae Service
Friday, March 30 at 7:00 p.m.

Our Tenebrae Service, or “Service of Shadows” retells the story of Good Friday through Scripture, music and a gradual dimming of the sanctuary to total darkness.  We remember on this night what makes Good Friday good, for on this day God’s deepest love for us was revealed in the death of Jesus Christ.

Community Easter Sunrise Service
Sunday, April 1, Greenwood Cemetery

We’ll gather as a community with our brothers and sisters from around Belmont to celebrate the resurrection.

Easter Sunday Service of Worship
Sunday, April 1 at 8:30 and 11:00 a.m.

Join us for Easter Sunday Worship with Holy Communion and special music.  It will be a grand day as we celebrate Christ’s victory over sin and death and claim our place as God’s “Easter People!”

Easter Sunday Breakfast
Easter Sunday, April 1, 9:15 a.m.

Join us for breakfast in Carpenter Hall as we celebrate the resurrection together!

Easter Egg Hunt and Butterfly Release
Easter Sunday, April 1, 9:45 – 10:30 a.m.

Click here to learn more about our Easter Egg Hunt and Butterfly Release, happening as part of Easter Sunday worship this year!