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.
Sundays in Lent: Covenant: Trusting God’s Eternal Promises
If you’ve ever borrowed money, purchased a house or a car, or rented an apartment, you know the experience of “signing on the dotted line.” Contracts undergird so much of our lives. But they are built on distrust, protecting ourselves just in case something goes wrong on the other side. What about our relationship with God? Does God make some kind of contract with us? Is that how things work? Healthy and hopeful relationships can’t be built on a lack of trust, especially our relationship with God. So it is, again and again, that God undergirds our hearts and minds with a deep, secure and eternal trust. God gives everything to be with us, to keep God’s promises and even to help us keep ours as well. God forms a special bond with us, rooted in love, that we call COVENANT. Join us this Lenten season as we experience a deeper trust in God’s eternal promises!
GROW IN YOUR FAITH
During Lent, we will read and discuss One Faithful Promise: The Wesleyan Covenant for Renewal by Magrey de Vega. As our church seeks to be more like Jesus, this book explores one of the defining prayers of the Methodist movement, written by John Wesley in 1755, renewing Methodists each year in their promises to love and serve God and their neighbor. Groups will meet online and/or in person to share in this powerful book, drawing us deeper into a life rooted in God’s faithful promise of grace.
Lenten Devotional Booklets
Our annual Lenten Devotional, The Sanctuary for Lent, new again this year, will be available for pickup on Sunday mornings and outside the church office through the week. Be sure to pick up your copy!
Family Lent Kits
Families can sign up to receive a Family Lent Kit, which will include With Your Whole Heart: Family Devotions and Activities for Lent as well as resources for easy and meaningful missions opportunities. Sign up here by February 14 to reserve your Family Lent Kit.
Shrove Tuesday Pancakes
Tuesday, February 16 | 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Let’s celebrate Shrove Tuesday together! Drop by the church from 5 to 6 p.m. to pick up “to go” pancake dinners, complete with festive decorations to help you celebrate at home. Why pancakes? 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.
Ash Wednesday Services of Worship
Wednesday, February 17 | 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 a time of recommitment to our relationship with God. Both services will follow our indoor worship guidelines. To ensure safety, ashes will be imposed using pre-measured individual cups of ashes, given one per family. The 6:30 pm. service will be live-streamed on our Facebook Page.
Ash Wednesday Drive-Up Imposition of Ashes
Wednesday, February 17 | 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.
For those not comfortable worshipping indoors, ashes will be available in pre-measured individual cups for pick up from 12 to 1:00 p.m. under the Carpenter Hall portico. All are welcome.
SERVING AND GIVING
Stock the BCO Sunday
Sunday, February 7
We will be collecting canned goods and staples for the Belmont Community Organization (our local food pantry) as we do the first Sunday of every month. Drop your donation off in the bin located in the breezeway by Carpenter Hall between 8:30-12:00.
Clothe the Children
Last 2 weeks in February
We will be working with Project Agape by collecting clothing for children in need. We will be collecting new or gently used clean clothing for size newborn to child 16-18. To read more about the war stricken area of Armenia and details to participate in our collection please Click Here
March 17 – 18
We will be working with A Roof Above to provide 600 sandwiches for the homeless. Click here for details on sandwich preparation and when to drop off your donation to help feed the hungry.
Feeding the Children
Weekdays, April 2 to 9
We are coordinating with Gaston County Schools to determine the best way to ensure our Feeding the Children ministry continues. Look for more information soon.
LENT AND EASTER WITH CHILDREN
Holy Week and Easter Scavenger Hunt
Saturday, March 27 | 10:00-12:00
Families are invited to come to FUMC Belmont and follow a self-paced scavenger hunt full of Easter fun and preparation for Holy Week. The Scavenger Hunt will take place outdoors and is for all ages.
Get Egged – Egg Hunt with a Twist
Sunday, March 28 | 3:30-4:30
Families can sign up to “Get Egged.” Youth will come to your house and hide Easter eggs and leave a small treat bag with Holy Week craft and activities. Kids can enjoy the egg hunt and afterwards families can have a devotion time to prepare for Easter. Sign up for the fun here.
LENT AND EASTER WITH YOUTH
Connect: One True Story
Beginning February 21
Youth will be talking about the One True Story which is the gospel message of the resurrected Christ.
Encounter: 1 John
Tuesdays | 7:30 p.m. | On Zoom
Youth will be engaged in looking at the message of Light and Love as revealed in the crucified Christ.
Youth Retreat: Twisted Priorities
Using the book of Ecclesiastes we will be examining our lives and how we prioritize those things that are important to us and how this shapes us into our true selves. Various participation options will be available to maximize opportunities of safe engagement.
March 28 | 8:30 and 10:00 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 10:00 service will be live-streamed to our Facebook Page.
Holy Wednesday Prayers
Wednesday, March 31 | 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
On Holy Wednesday, our Sanctuary will be open for personal prayer and reflection. A Lenten Prayer Guide will be available.
Maundy Thursday Service of Worship
Thursday, April 1 | Outdoors at 6:30
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 will be held outdoors this year on the lawn near the Scout Hut and will include beautiful music and a “stripping” of the altar, removing ornamentation and color from the chancel to mark the solemnity of the occasion.
Community Cross Walk
Friday, April 2 | 12:00 noon | Lutheran Church of the Holy Comforter
Join our brothers and sisters in Christ from around Belmont for a moving, socially-distanced walk through downtown Belmont, remembering Christ’s journey to the cross. The walk concludes at First Presbyterian Church.
Good Friday Tenebrae Service
Friday, April 2 | 6:30 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. The service will be live-streamed to Facebook. 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 4 | 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 4 | 8:30 and 10:00 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!” Our 8:30 service will be held outdoors on the lawn near the scout hut. Our 10:00 service will held inside our sanctuary (following safety protocols) and will also be live-streamed on our Facebook Page.