Dear friends in Christ,
I hope you’ve all gotten a chance to enjoy the lovely spring-like weather before we get snow on Friday. As we approach Lent, there are a number of things going on In the life of the church;
Last week Church Council met and updated some of our COVID procedures:
- Coffee Hour returns this Sunday, 2/27
- We’ll be adding another hymn and the Gloria Patri back into worship on the first Sunday in Lent, 3/6
- We’re retaining masks being required for worship
Church Council will revisit our COVID procedures at our March meeting and make adjustments as conditions continue to change.
Jambalaya to Go!: Tuesday 3/1 from 5-6:30pm
This Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras, Jambalaya is back! We’ll have Jambalaya available to go for $5 from 5-6:30 on March 1st. Pick up is at the kitchen/Social Hall door. Preorders recommended. For pre orders, contact Ellen A or Jeanine in the Church Office.
Upcoming Worship Plans
Sunday, 2/27: Pulpit Exchange with the First Congregational Church of Watertown
- It’s traditional for clergy at neighboring churches in our denomination to occasionally exchange pulpits to foster fellowship among neighbors, hear a different voice than usual, and get a chance to meet a pastor who often provides emergency coverage for the church. MCC and FCC Watertown have decided to do a pulpit exchange on 2/27. So, this Sunday I will be in Watertown, and the Rev. Dr. Cindy Carr will be here at MCC.
Ash Wednesday, 3/2: 7pm Service at First Congregational Church of Watertown
- The Watertown church has invited us to their 7pm Ash Wednesday service. I will be preaching, and Cindy and I will lead the service together.
Soup Sale Update
Everything has been counted, and we sold out of soup and made $370 from the Mission Board Soup Sale! Thank you to everyone who purchased soup, and thank you to all our wonderful cooks for making such great homemade soups!
This coming Tuesday is Shrove Tuesday, the last day before Lent starts on Ash Wednesday. A number of you have asked me at various points why that day is called Shove Tuesday, and I have some answers for you. So, “shrove” comes from the word “shrive” which basically means “absolve” Throughout a lot of church history, the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday was a day to go to confession to get absolved, or shriven, of your sins so you would start out Lent on the right foot. Sometimes the day has been focused on self-examination and figuring out what people should work on repenting or improving during Lent.
That penitential aspect of Shrove Tuesday, has pretty much always been in tension with the other traditions associated with the day. Lots of English speaking areas also call Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Tuesday because pancakes were a really good way to use up all the rich foods you would not eat during the fasting period of Lent: butter, eggs, and fat. Other areas celebrate or have celebrated the time before Lent as Carnival, so then the Tuesday before Lent is Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras. Those celebrations are about eating all the food and doing all the fun things you would not be able to in Lent. As I imagine is not at all surprising to you, Carnival often got/gets quite raucous, and for much of history the church has tried to calm down the festivities.
On Shrove/Fat Tuesday, we’ll have our Jambalaya to go, which is a pretty tame Mardi Gras celebration as far as these things go, but we’ll definitely still have some delicious food, and a fun time before Lent.