Please continue to pray for the Pastor Search Team as they continue their work. They have completed the second round of interviews and are in the process of contacting candidates they wish to move forward. The Search Team will offer an update in worship on Sunday, January 29th.

          In worship we will continue our series on the Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations. We will be talking about Passionate Worship, Intentional Faith Development, Risk Taking Mission and Service, and Extravagant Generosity in the weeks ahead. This series will take us to the first Sunday of Lent.

          We will begin the Lenten season with an Ash Wednesday service on February 22nd at 7:00 p.m. in West Memorial. Plan to join us for this meaningful time of worship and reflection.  On Sundays during Lent we will be looking at the topic of forgiveness. We’ll talk about God’s pre-emptive grace and forgiveness, what happens when we fail God, forgiving others, and perhaps the hardest of all, forgiving ourselves.  Invite someone to join us in worship as we begin this special season in the life of the church.

          This year we will be offering a Lenten devotional guide similar to the Advent devotionals we provided in December. We hope this will be a meaningful addition to your own growth as we journey through this season together.

          On the journey with you,


Tracy's Moment

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My Dear Friends, If you have not already, you will soon hear and see the signs, sights, and sounds of Christmas. And I am writing this ten days before Thanksgiving! I don't think I would get much disagreement if I said that the celebration of Christmas has in too many cases become a secular event. Yes, we still have Baby Jesus and such, but the radical invasion of God Al...

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My Dear Friends, In the month of November we have the opportunity to stop and celebrate the one holiday a year that is just about totally non-sectarian and one that folks of every persuasion can join in. Yes, Thanksgiving Day has football and the day after a wild shopping experience (if desired). But just sitting down with family and friends and sharing our stories of ble...

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My Dear Friends, As we are putting the September newsletter together, we are quickly reminded that many of our ministries will once again be at "pedal to the metal" velocity. And that's how it should be. Every Sunday at the time of our offertory, I always thank you, our church family, for your faithful support of all of our ministries and missions. But your support goes ...

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My Dear Friends, As August comes upon us, I am reminded of my last job in the Navy, that of compiling and editing a book of biographies of our Navy chaplains. Among the data that I compiled was the date of the marriage. I didn't do a thorough "count" for each month of the year, but it was soon evident to me that more weddings occurred in August than in the more traditiona...

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My Dear Friends, As a freshman English major at Marshall University, I was interested to learn that languages, including English, never remain static. You can find a good example of this by reading the King James Version of the Bible (1611) and compare it with a more modern translation. Languages change over time! As do human institutions, including churches. As I look o...

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Years ago I ran across "A Psalm of Summer". It is a light-hearted look at how some look at the summer months that are now upon us. I offer it to you, hoping you will get a smile if not a chuckle from it! Now it came to pass that spring turned to summer again. God's people raised their voices and said: "Recreation is my shepherd, I shall not stay at home;Hemakethme to lie...

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My Dear Friends, As the month of May is upon us, I am sure nobody will be sad if the weather improves a bit and the flowers and plants come to full bloom. "April showers bring May flowers", as we say. This is occasion to stop and praise our heavenly Father for the wonderful gift of the beautiful earth. It is occasion to see how the created order is a powerful testimony f...

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My Dear Friends, As our Lenten season begins to wind down, we look forward to Easter Sunday. On Sunday, March 3, we saw the Alleluia banner being marched out of the sanctuary on the final hymn. This symbolic act is meant to emphasize the penitential nature of our journey through Lent. "Alleluia" is the song of thechoirs, a song we do not sing during our days of repentance...

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My Dear Friends, The arrival of the month of March, with its wind and fury, also signals that the holy season of Lent is upon us. I like to look at Lent as an appropriate way to prepare for Easter Sunday. During Lent we ponder the brevity of life, we think about our sins (and confess them), and we meditate on the long and treacherous journey Jesus traveled on his way to ...

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