Written by Marie Wedderburn.

February 11th, twenty-one people gathered for the worship service at 11 a.m. along with Mark who delivered Julia’s last reflection in her series “Tell Me the Stories of Jesus.” Mark told the story of “No Place to Lay His Head” from Mark 10:17-31 where Jesus asks that the one who follows detach oneself from worldly attachments. As we detach ourselves from worldly attachments, we store up our treasures in God’s way. God’s way is not the world’s way for no one can serve two masters. So how do we follow Jesus today is the question we are left with in our own lives.

Following the worship service most of us went down-stairs and enjoyed a pot-luck feast as we waited for Julia to come from the service in Okotoks so we could assemble for St. Andrew’s United Church’s Annual General Meeting at 1 p.m. At this meeting the 2023 annual report, the budget for 2024, and the election of a board chair and a representative to the Ministry and Personnel Committee and Chinook Winds Region were voted on and passed.

On this year’s First Sunday in Lent, February 18th, nineteen worshippers joined with Julia as she began the Lenten series’ theme “Facing the Cross: Finding the Holy in Hard Times.” Reading from Paul’s letter to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 1 18-25) Julia spoke of “The Foolishness of God.” Paul writes that “God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength” (1 Cor. 1:25 NRSV). During the message Julia asked “how can we find the Holy in the cross?” The answer to this question lies partly in our willingness to admit our vulnerabilities as the Holy most often shows up when we are weak and vulnerable. So let us be attuned to when the Holy shows up in our lives during this Lenten season and beyond.

As we no doubt already know, Lent began on Ash Wednesday (this year February 14th) and lasts for 40 days (the same amount of time Jesus was in the wilderness following his baptism) and ends on Holy Saturday (this year March 30th) when Jesus lies in the tomb. Sundays are not counted in the 40 days of Lent as each and every Sunday is a day of resurrection.