Thursday, March 20, 2014
Betty Matthews is a member of Second Providence Baptist Church; however, she and several other church members attended Grace United Methodist Church last Wednesday for a mid-day Lenten service.
Matthews, and Grace’s pastor, the Rev. James Dennis, said the Lenten service is open to people of all denominations.
“We enjoy the community togetherness and seeing different people from different churches come and visit and worship in the same house,” Matthews said. “A service during the middle of the day gives you that extra boost, and it’s just a good lift that feeds you spiritually.”
This year’s Lent season began with Ash Wednesday on March 5 and will end on Easter Sunday which falls on April 20. Several churches throughout the area will have Lent services during the 40-day season.
Grace’s service began at 12:30 p.m. right after a noon lunch and right before another lunch at 1 p.m. Church member Bobbie Williams has been attending Grace for more than 60 years and helped man the cookie station while more than 170 participants ate lunch in the fellowship hall.
“We reach more people that way, and it doubles the chances of people attending the service,” she said. “It’s always very well attended, and its just an open door for all people to come and worship with us.”
During his sermon, Dennis spoke about the need to resist temptation, reminiscent of the 40 days Jesus spent resisting temptation in the desert.
“Temptations ... so often they seem harmless,” Dennis said during the sermon. “But they will blow up in your face. There are so many bright, shiny things out there vying for our attention.”
“Lent is a time to examine yourself,” he said. “It’s a time to figure out when you need to grow and what you need to grow away from.”
Formerly, Grace United Methodist Church has held a Lenten service every Wednesday during the season. This year, Dennis said they will have four services with last Wednesday’s being the first. For the next three, Dennis said everyone is invited to attend.