UNION — A local church will hold a celebration of World Day Prayer in conjunction with its continuing celebration of Lent.
In a statement released Monday, Grace United Methodist Church announced that it will be hosting a celebration of World Day of Prayer on Wednesday, March 7 at 12 p.m.
The press release states that “World Day of Prayer is a worldwide ecumenical movement of Christian women of many faith traditions who come together to observe a common day of prayer each year on the first Friday in March. World Day of Prayer was founded on the idea that prayer and action are inseparable in the service of God’s kingdom.”
World Day of Prayer is truly global in nature as “services begin at sunrise in the Pacific and follow the sun across the globe on the day of celebration. Each year a different country’s committee serves as the writers of the World Day of Prayer worship service. The host country for WDP 2018 is Suriname, which lies in the northeastern part of South America. The focus is on Genesis 1, the story of Creation, with the theme, “All God’s Creation Is Very Good.”
The press release states that Grace United Methodist Church “will be the host church for Union County “but adds that it will be “celebrated in conjunction with the fourth Community Lenten Service on Wednesday, March 7, at twelve noon in the Grace sanctuary. Rev. Jeff Farmer, pastor of Sardis United Methodist Church, will bring the message with a focus on prayer as we commemorate the World Day of Prayer. An offering will be taken which supports the work of World Day of Prayer USA. The sanctuary will be open for prayer and meditation until 3 p.m.”
Following the service at noon, a lunch prepared by church members will be served in the church social hall. The meals are $6 per person.
The press release concludes by urging the public to “please join us” for the celebration of World Day of Prayer and Lent.
Lent is the six-week period that begins with Ash Wednesday and ends approximately six weeks later before Easter Sunday. It is traditionally described as lasting 40 days, the number of days Jesus Christ spent in the wilderness before beginning His earthly ministry and during which He faced — and rejected — three temptations offered Him by Satan.
The institutional purpose of Lent is to the prepare Christians through such things as prayer, doing penance, mortifying the flesh, repentance of sins, almsgiving, and self-denial. Its institutional purpose is heightened in the annual commemoration of Holy Week, which commemorates the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, beginning on Palm Sunday when Christ entered Jerusalem, through His crucifixion on Good Friday, and culminating with His resurrection on Easter Sunday.
Lent is celebrated by the Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Lutheran, and Methodist churches as well as some Anabaptist and evangelical churches.
Each year, Grace United Methodist Church hosts a celebration of Lent with a service each Wednesday during the Lenten Season. The Lenten services begin at noon and are lead and the Lenten message delivered by a different minister from a different church in Union County. After each ceremony, worshippers adjourn to the GUMC Social Hall where they enjoy a lunch meal prepared by church members at $6 a plate.
This year’s Lenten services at Grace United Methodist Church are continuing and are being held on the following dates and lead by the following ministers with the following lunches served:
• Wednesday, March 7
The speaker will be the Rev. Jeff Farmer from Sardis United Methodist Church.
The after service menu will include chicken casserole, green beans, fruit salad, rolls, dessert, tea & coffee.
• Wednesday, March 14
The speaker will be the Rev. Lee Moseley from Union Presbyterian Church.
The after service menu will include marinated chicken breast, potato casserole, broccoli salad, rolls, dessert, tea & coffee.
• Wednesday, March 21
The speaker will be the Rev. Richard Lewis from Buffalo United Methodist Church.
The after service will include hot dogs with chili, coleslaw, baked beans, potato chips, dessert, tea & coffee.
• Wednesday, March 28
The speaker will be the Rev. Dr. A.L. Brackett from St. Paul Baptist Church.
The after service menu will include fried chicken, green beans, macaroni/cheese, biscuits, dessert, tea & coffee.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.