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We will keep Lent at St. Thomas’ in a few different ways this year. On Thursday evenings we will have Evening Prayer at 6pm. Also, at 6:30pm the Rev. Joe Zollickoffer will host “Sharing Our Stories,” an opportunity to hear stories of faith given by several members of our congregation. Sharing our Stories gives us the opportunity to better get to know one another, and offers a chance to deepen our own faith as we hear the stories of others.

The Sunday Forum will also be led by Joe. He will continue teaching about “The Way of Love,” begun during Advent. You can read more about both of these Lenten offerings inside this newsletter.

On Sunday March 24, the vestry will meet with our consultant, the Rev. Mark Stanley, Rector of Old St. Paul’s. Mark comes to us with 28 years of experience as a priest. He brings new perspective, wisdom, and the ability to listen to our discussions of where and how St. Thomas’ will move into the future. Please pray for the Vestry, and for me. We need your prayers.

In fact, I encourage you, as a Lenten discipline, to pray specifically for our church and our leaders – the Vestry, officers, and me. Find a time to pray daily – during your morning commute, or at other times. Prayers do not have to be long, and you can find appropriate prayers in the Book of Common Prayer. You can also simply talk to God, as if God were sitting in the seat next to you. Years ago, I read a story about a child that was very sick. The parents and the doctor called a woman who had a ministry of healing. She came to see the child, prayed for him, and he was healed. Later that year, the little boy had an opportunity to pray for someone’s healing. So he prayed: Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep…

Prayer can come in many forms, and God hears them all, even when we don’t know the words to say. God looks upon our hearts, and listens to the intentions of our heart, even if our words seem like not enough. No doubt if you prayed Now I lay me down to sleep, and intended to pray for the church, God would hear you.

We are on a great, and at times scary adventure. But as we continue to walk this path, know that God holds us in the palm of his hand, desiring the best for us, and for others we may work with. We do not see what God sees. Now is the time to activate our faith, our trust, and our hope that God will work on our behalf.

Rev. Loree A. Penner