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Dear Congregational Family,

1. Lenten Services and Soup & Sandwich Suppers: Our Lenten Service are every Wednesday at 2:00pm and 7:30pm. In addition, this year we are also having Lenten suppers from 6:00-7:00pm. Come and enjoy some wonderful fellowship together! (Even if you come for the 2:00pm service, you can return for the Lenten Supper!)

2. Repentance (or lack thereof) in a self-righteous world (and church):
What does it mean? This is especially a great question during this Lenten Season.

“To believe that Christ is your savior, you have to believe He has saved you from something, which sinners will never understand if Mama Church keeps telling Papa God to have a Snickers every time He’s acting a little too Old-Testamenty.” – Hans Fiene

Lutheran pastor, Hans Fiene, has written an outstanding article in The Federalist. It is written in the wake of some of the LGBT controversy in the United Methodist Church, but the wider context which is addressed is that of how the church in North American does (or doesn’t) address sin. Connected with this is the truth that if sin is minimized, does that also minimize God’s saving grace and mercy?

Has “Mama Church” downplayed sin so much, that “Papa God” is now perceived as obsolete in speaking of holiness? Fiene states that in a sense what the church today is saying is that, “The church exists to make it easy as possible to be a Christian. So get out of the way and let Mama Church do her job by telling us that she talked some sense into Papa God and now we don’t have to choose between our souls and our idols anymore.”

Fiene does a wonderful job in presenting the pure Gospel when he concludes by saying: “Christ has invited every sinner in this world to receive forgiveness, life, and salvation from His church. When sinners can’t possibly imagine that freedom in Christ is better than slavery to Eros [Greek word for erotic expression of love, which can be romantic and beautiful, but used here in reference to immorality], you can’t help them by being nicer than God [that is, to excuse sin]. You can only help them by asking them to look at their chains long enough to know what it means when Jesus melts them with His mercy.”

I encourage you to read the entire article “Christians need to stop assuming LGBT sin matters more than God’s mercy” in thefederalist.com. Simply google the title.
(PS – This is not an endorsement of thefederalist.com, but this particular article accurately puts its finger on what is taking place within the church in North America today.)

God bless you as we continue,

“Growing Together in our Faith as the Family of God”

Pastor Carlson

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