Greeting EM family,
I hope this email finds you well.
The past Wednesday is Ash Wednesday. It means that we are less than six weeks away from Easter!
You probably saw a lot of people having a marking of an ash cross on their forehead on the past Wednesday.
Ash Wednesday, also called the Day of Ashes, marks the beginning of Lent as Christians focus on repentance and prayer, personal and communal confession.
It is a day of prayer and fasting, accepting the fact that from dust to dust, “All go to one place, all are from the dust, and to dust all return.” (Ecclesiastes 3:20, ESV)
The Bible did not specifically talk about Ash Wednesday practice; our church does not hold any service on this day, either.
And the word “Lent” is derived from the old English word “lencten,” which means Spring or refer to the springtime season.
It is a 40-day period of prayer, penance, and spiritual endeavor in preparation for Easter. It is meant to be a time of reflection and repentance before the celebrations of the Holy Week.
With a little research, I believe the expressly commanded observance of 40-day fast can be dated by to the fourth century at the Council of Laodicea (360 A.D.).
Though we may remember Jesus’ sacrifice through our practice of Lent, may we every day present our bodies “as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” (Romans 12:1, ESV). After all, “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24, ESV)
- If you recently returned from Asia, please self-quarantine 14-days before attending any church function.
- Bible Study tonight, we will continue to study the book of Numbers.
- This Sunday, Pastor Nathan Willems will be sharing God’s word:
- Title: A Prophet Like Moses
- Text: Deuteronomy 18:15-22
- Coworker reminders can also be found here.
- EM Sunday School, this quarter is using the “alpha course.” Sunday School starts every Sunday in room A202 at 9:45 am.
- Youth Pastor Nathan is now having office hours from 2:00 pm ~ 3:30 pm every second and fourth Sunday of the month by advanced appointment (three 30-minute slots). You may contact Pastor Nathan Willems directly or email him at Nathan.firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Lunch will be served in the coming Sunday (3/1).
- The church-wide retreat will be held during the Memorial Weekend (5/23 ~5/25). Here is the online registration link. http://bit.ly/cbcglretreat2020
- Mark your calendar for April 5, 2020, EM townhall meeting 9:45 am ~ 11:15 am.
- All other announcement items can be found here.
- Please pray for the coronavirus situation and victims. May God protect His church from harm and grant peace and vigilance to His people.
- Continue to pray for Elder Sam for his speedy recovery on heart and kidney function, as well as his anemia.
- Pray for the EM pastor search. May God’s guidance lead us to call His desired shepherd.
- Pray for our newcomers and newcomer-to-be! May God provide us enough wisdom to make them feel welcome and feel at home.
- Pray for brothers and sisters who are looking for work opportunities.
- Pray for Ken Ngai’s (Empower Fellowship) upcoming mission trip to Chicago. You may also support him financially. https://app.managedmissions.com/Donations/Donate/49602
Here is his latest prayer request:
Depending on when you receive this message, I will either be on my way to Chicago or already there. As you may know, I will be spending my Spring Break in Chicago on a mission trip to help at-risk youth and the homeless around the community of Chicago (specifically the South-side). I just wanted to thank you all for your support, both financially and in prayer. Because of your donations, I was able to raise double the amount I initially asked for!
While I am on the mission trip, I ask that you continue to pray for me. Specifically, I ask that you pray for a spirit of boldness among the team to share our testimonies with great expectation that God will use our stories to begin new ones in the community of Chicago. Also, I ask that you pray for spiritual protection around my team, knowing that wherever God’s work is being done, Satan wants to disrupt the advancement of God’s kingdom.
Again, thank you for your support over the past month! I hope to see you all soon,
- Pray for CBCGL 2020 focuses: outreach, prayer, and discipleship groups.