The Significance of Lent in a Feel-Good Era

The title of this post is taken from a recent article by Rev. Steve Harper, a retired theological professor, who taught for more than thirty years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. He is also a retired Elder in the Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. Harper’s article appeared in the latest Cokesbury Commons newsletter.

Harper says when we equate a response to God’s grace with grace itself, which “leaves us falsely to believe that we are godly when we “feel like it,” and ungodly when we don’t. Falling for this, we go in search of feel-good religious experiences rather than the foundational ones that can build life in Christ. We become captives to a “if it feels good, do it” mindset which leaves us addicted to stimulations, even religious ones.”

If we look at John Wesley’s characteristics of a Christian life – loving God, rejoicing, giving thanks, praying, and loving others – we will move into an “engaged” Christian life and away from one motivated by emotions. Developing our Christian life based on Wesley’s characteristics we can “give us unnecessary things for Lent” and add those things that will fill us with the Holy Spirit to live an engaged faith beyond Lent.

Click here to read Harper’s entire article.

 

Reaching New People Workshop

connecting

How To Reach New People Workshop

Sponsored by the Columbia, Hartsville, and Rock Hill Districts

February 26-27, 2016
Shandon United Methodist Church
3407 Devine St.
Columbia, SC

Cost – $20 per person, includes meals

Time: February 26, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
February 27, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Who should attend: pastors and lay persons attend together as a church team.

Topics include:

  • Strategic differences between 1955 and today
  • Re-introducing your church to the community
  • Pastor’s and congregations’ role in reaching new people
  • Networking ideas and techniques
  • Developing an action plan to take home

Registration will be available online at www.umcsc.org. Registration deadline is February 19.

2015 Children in Poverty Lenten Prayer Calendar

Lenten prayer calendar logo

2015 Lenten Prayer Calendar
Children in Poverty

Lent begins on Wednesday, February 18, 2015. Please share the prayers and/or the prayer calendar with your church, friends, family, and online using the hashtag #pray4kids. The full calendar is available for download from the SC United Methodist Conference web page.