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Dear Congregational Family,

1. Lenten Services and Soup & Sandwich Suppers: Our Lenten Service continue every Wednesday at 2:00pm and 7:30pm as we journey through Psalm 23 and listen to the “Song of the Shepherd”. Come and enjoy some wonderful fellowship together during our Lenten Suppers as well from 6:00 – 7:00pm! (Even if you come for the 2:00pm service, you can return for the Lenten Supper!)

2. The Suffering Church: Terrorist attacks have been much in the news of late, especially regarding the attack which killed 50 at the Muslim mosques in New Zealand. As I mentioned on Sunday we grieve the loss of all life, regardless of one’s religious conviction. I do wonder though, why has the media been absolutely silent about the massive and daily killings of Christians in the “Middle Belt” of Nigeria, Africa?

The population of Nigeria is almost evenly divided between Muslims and Christians. That religious split largely follows geographic lines: The northern part of the country is predominantly Muslim, the eastern and southern parts of the country heavily Christian.

In the “Middle Belt” part of the country, Christians have been victims of “religious cleansing,” as the Muslims attempt “to eradicate Christianity” from the region. One of the most notorious Islamist groups in the world, Boko Haram, is responsible for killing thousands of Christians and displacing countless more in northern Nigeria. But Boko Haram isn’t the only group targeting Christians there. In June of last summer, Christian leaders claimed that “over 6,000 persons—mostly children, women and the aged—have been maimed and killed in night raids by armed Fulani herdsmen.” The Fulani are an ethnic group that are overwhelmingly Muslim. Along with the killings, there is the continuous abduction of under-aged Christian girls. These girls “are forcefully converted to Islam and taken in for marriage without the consent of their parents.”

The situation has now become one of genocide, although the Nigerian government refuses to acknowledge it, as the president is the son of a Fulani chief. Just since last month, nearly 300 Christians have been killed and thousands more displaced.

3. Unplanned: This Friday (29th) the movie “Unplanned” is being released. It is the story of former Planned Parenthood clinic director, Abby Johnson who left her career in the abortion industry after overseeing 22,000 abortions in eight years. She is now an advocate for the unborn. The company, Pure Flix, also released the “God’s Not Dead” movies. This comes on the heels of the “Gosnell” movie which was also recently released and exposed the chilling story of Pennsylvania’s most infamous abortion doctor who was found to have been knowingly committing infanticide. The slide from pre-birth abortion to post-birth infanticide is measured in just inches and seconds.

In speaking of the issue of slavery, the great British abolitionist, William Wilberforce said, “You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again that you did not know.” In much the same way, the cloak of secrecy is coming off, and the truths of abortion are being revealed. Pray for our nation as we continue to struggle to love and value life!

God bless you as we continue,

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

Pastor Carlson

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