Ash Wednesday service starts Lenten season at Emmanuel
Lent arrives at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Prescott Valley this week, as with other Christian churches, as Christians begin to prepare for Holy Week.
At Emmanuel, the 40-day journey begins on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 10, at 7 p.m. The Lenten season begins with a practice of placing ashes in the form of a visible cross on the forehead of each worshiper.
"This is a sacred service which begins the 40 days of Lent," said Kirk Anderson, pastor at Emmanuel. "It is a very popular service, I believe, a very meaningful moment to hear the words: Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return."
During the Lent season, Emmanuel has chosen to participate in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's national campaign - 40 Days of Giving - to address world hunger. The ELCA hopes to raise $2 million dollars, throughout the nation, to benefit the ministries of ELCA World Hunger, kicking off a five-year goal of $115 million.
That's especially important when people start really looking at hunger, in America and globally, Anderson noted. Statistics from ELCA World Hunger show that 795 million people worldwide cannot access the food they need to live active lives, and 46.7 million Americans are living in poverty.
The community is invited to join the congregation for a soup supper, beginning Wednesday, Feb. 17, at 5:15 p.m., prior to the 6 p.m. Lenten Service. This will continue for the next five weeks, through Wednesday, March 16.
The Lenten services are designed to challenge those attending to experience and sense the effects of world hunger in the world around them, Anderson explained.
"We hope to learn how to open our hearts, our mind, our ears and eyes in new ways," he said.
If one counts the days, there are a few more than 40 days in the calendar from Ash Wednesday to Easter. That is because Sundays are not counted among the 40 days of the Lenten observance. The Sundays are little celebrations within the rather serious and solemn preparation time toward Good Friday.
Emmanuel's weekend worship starts with a contemplative Saturday evening service at 5 p.m. and Sunday worship at 8:15 and 10:15 a.m. The 8:15 a.m. service is more traditional, the 10:15 a.m. service more contemporary.
Emmanuel Lutheran Church is located at 7763 E. Long Look Drive, Prescott Valley. We are an inclusive faith community that seeks to live the Word and Way of Christ's unconditional love. This means that, like Christ, we believe each person is a beloved child of God. We give thanks to God for the unique identities with which we are created, and have found here a fellowship of believers that accepts us just as we are. Come worship with us and enjoy full participation in all aspects of our life together, including baptism, confirmation, communion, marriage and burial.
For more information, call 928-772-4135.