Happy mardi gras!

Happy Mardi Gras!!

I hope that the next 6 days (yes, I am including today) will be full of revelry for all of you, with whatever you need to receive a respite from the ordinary. Whether that means heading to Every.Single.Parade.; or carousing on Bourbon St.; or spending some time in your nice, quiet home; or leaving town on a ski trip, I pray for your restoration and renewal.

If you are in town on Sunday, please join us for a finger-food breakfast from 9-10am in the sanctuary. We’ll start the day with the FPCNO community, breaking bread and sharing prayers. The Morning Prayer Service will begin at 9:15.

We’ve invited guests from Program of Hope to join us for breakfast, so may have some new faces at the table.

Remember, that is the ONLY event scheduled for FPCNO this Sunday.

 

Curbside Ashes to Geaux!!

The day after Mardi Gras Day, February 14, is Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent, a season that continues until Easter. Lent is a season of reflection. Traditionally, that reflection has centered on either our need for forgiveness or the reality of our own finitude. You can see those different foci in the phrases used when people receive the ashes:

“Repent, and believe the gospel,”

or

“Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

 

I have needed each of those reminders at different times in my life.

 

We will be offering ashes on Ash Wednesday to church members and friends as well as to anyone who drives up or walks over to the corner of S. Claiborne and Jefferson who would like to receive them. Some of you have heard me talk about my first experience of “drive-by” ashes, which happened a couple of years ago. I was skeptical of the idea, but I was walking by Munholland United Methodist Church in Metairie and decided to give it a try. It turned out to be the most meaningful experience I have ever had on Ash Wednesday.

 

The women who was offering ashes asked me what I needed prayer for. I told her and she incorporated my personal need into the prayer she offered as she marked my forehead with ashes. I walked away with tears in my eyes, reminded that while I am mortal and finite, God’s love for me is not.

 

We hope to offer the same kind of personal experience next Wednesday. Together with Ann Philbrick and our friend from Virginia Steve Earl (who many of you met when he served as the cow in the live nativity play after Christmas), we will listen to people, offer them a personal prayer and ashes. Ashes will be offered from 11am-1pm and from 4:30-5:30pm. The sanctuary will be open for meditation during that time. I look forward to seeing many of you that day.

 

If you would like to be part of offering ashes, please let me know when you can help.

 

Grace and peace,

 

Pastor Kim

 

Presbyterian Fun Fact

There are about 75 million Reformed/Presbyterian Christians worldwide and about 2.5 million belong to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

 

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