Jacksonville-area churches joining together for unified Lenten message

Published on Monday, 24 February 2014 09:42 - Written by

(MCT) -- Jacksonville-area churches are joining together this Easter season for a series of Lenten programs starting next week.

The United Methodist churches of the Holy Spokes Cluster will hold joint worship services each Sunday evening during Lent with this year's theme being “Vision.” All services will begin at 6 p.m. except for the Maundy Thursday service, which will be at 7 p.m. After each of the Sunday evening services there will be a fellowship time.

A new feature this year will be a pancake and sausage supper on Shrove Tuesday. It will be held at 6 p.m. at Asbury UMC at Lake Jacksonville. Following the meal, there will be a short service with Ramzi al-Massou, who is from Bethlehem, telling about Lent in the Holy Land.

The Rev. Beth Fender will lead a Bible study using the book “This Holy Mystery.” The study, which focuses on Communion, will be from 4:15 to 5:45 p.m. each Sunday at the host church. Fender is from Grace United Methodist and is coordinator of New Streams for the Illinois Great Rivers Conference. Study books, which are $10, will be available each Sunday or from the Grace United Methodist office.

This year's offering from the Lenten services will be divided between Chaddock in Quincy for its new school and Delta Grace Mission Station in rural Mississippi.

All services will be interpreted into American Sign Language for the deaf and hard of hearing.

The schedule for the services includes:

• March 4 at Asbury UMC, 6 p.m. Shrove Tuesday pancake and sausage supper and short service with Ramzi al-Massou speaking.

• March 9 at Brooklyn UMC, 6 p.m., the Rev. Dean Beals speaking.

• March 16 at Arenzville UMC, 6 p.m., the Rev. Douglas Rorex speaking.

• March 23 at MacMurray College's Annie Merner Chapel at 6 p.m., the Rev. Mike Fender speaking.

• March 30 at Murrayville UMC, 6 p.m. with the Revs. Chuck and Linda Trent.

• April 6 at Centenary UMC, 6 p.m. with the Rev. Dennis Powers.

• April 13 at Grace UMC, 6 p.m. with the Rev. Nancy Wood.

• Maundy Thursday, April 17, at Wesley Chapel UMC, 7 p.m. with the Rev. Jean Hembough.