Weekly thoughts and updates from Hanover's pastor.
March 12, 2015

In 1992 pastor, professor, writer, theologian, and storyteller Walter Wangerin Jr. wrote a Lenten devotional called Reliving the Passion.  For each of the 40 days of Lent, Wangerin offers a reflection on several verses from the story of Christ's passion in the Gospel of Mark.  For more than twenty years I have relived the passion with Wangerin; each year receiving new insights about life and suffering; faith and hope. 

Tonight, partly owing to a fever-induced lack of focus, I step aside and yield the floor to Wangerin...

The difference between shallow happiness and a deep, sustaining joy is sorrow.  Happiness lives where sorrow is not.  When sorrow arrives, happiness dies.  It can't stand pain.  Joy, on the other hand, rises from sorrow and therefore can withstand all grief.  Joy, by the grace of God, is the transfiguration of suffering into endurance, and of endurance into character, and of character into hope - and the hope that has become our joy does not (as happiness must for those who depend on it) disappoint us. 

In the sorrows of the Christ - as we ourselves experience them - we prepare for Easter, for joy.  There can be no resurrection from the dead except first there is a death!  But then because we love him above all things, his rising is our joy.  And then the certain hope of our own resurrection warrants the joy both now and forever. 

Today is day 20 in Lent; the mid-point in the journey that culminates at the cross.  As we approach that place where sorrow defeats happiness, may we, like Christ, experience the transfiguration of our suffering into the triumph of joy. 
Click here to read the verses we will hear in worship this Sunday: The Seven Last Words of Christ.
Mount Calvary is the academy of love.
St. Francis de Sales
The Fourth Sunday in Lent
March 15, 2015

Continental Breakfast

Discipleship Groups for All Ages

Message: The First and Last Words: Forgiveness & Redemption

Fellowship After Worship

Deacons' Meeting

Monday, March 16

Last Call!

The creation of small groups will be taking place very soon!  If you are interested in being a part of a group of 10-12 people that will meet three times this spring it's not too late to sign up!  The purpose of the groups is pure fellowship, and all are welcome.  Once we know who is interested we will be in touch with more details about who, what, where, and when.  Please contact our Church Administrator, Matthia McCracken, by March 16May God bless our relationships and connections as they grow deeper and wider! 
Once again this year we will take up the One Great Hour of Sharing Offering on Palm Sunday.  The offering supports the Presbyterian Hunger Program, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, and the Self Development of People programs. 
The Jeremiah Coffee House is back!  Come for a meal, fellowship, and entertainment on Saturday, March 21, at 5:30pm.  Among other guests, Jeff Jordan will offer an entertaining presentation on the power of hypnosis to control behavior.  There will also be music, poetry, jokes, and spontaneous offerings!
On March 22 and 29 after worship all are welcome to take part in an inter generational Mosaic cross project.  In the spirit of Lenten contemplative practice, we will decorate unfinished wood crosses with tile, glass, china, and sea shells.  Please be in touch with Nancy Long (764-8095) to sign up and $5.00 is requested, but not required.
Each Wednesday in Lent all are welcome to our annual pilgrimage to the cross through a soup and bread supper and study, beginning at 5:30pm.  After blessing and serving our meal we will use African-American spirituals as our guide for our journey through the wilderness with Jesus, and in community with one another.
As on every third Sunday, the little red wagon will pass through the sanctuary during worship hungry for your non-perishable food donaions!
The next gathering of Theology on Tap is Tuesday, March 17 at 7:30pm at the Ulysses Gastropub.
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