From the Pastor’s Desk

Pastor Jen Hoffman                                         Email: pastorjenhoffman@sslcwausau.com

 

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your
mind, and with all your strength.” Mark 12:30

Well, 2021 certainly brought with it a reminder that a new year does not erase the
brokenness of the world in which we live and the people who inhabit it. But, as every year
before this one, we face any and all challenges ahead secure in the knowledge that God is
with us, behind and before us, equipping us through the Holy Spirit for the work ahead.

This month we will enter into the season of Lent, which invites us to explore, once again, what it means that
everything we have and everything we are comes from God, and that God desires all of us: heart, mind, body,
and soul. So we ask ourselves, how do my words and actions and thoughts honor God? How do they reflect the
boundless love that God has already shown us? How are they in service to God, who became incarnate, lived
among us, and died for us? And we ask forgiveness for every answer that reveals we fall short and are
desperately in need once again of what only God can offer.

Our Lenten mid-week series this year will be, “You Shall Love the Lord Your God”. A group of local pastors and I
will be putting together a series of videos to be used in a round robin format for our mid-week services, which
will be shown on our Facebook page at 6pm on Wednesdays. Week 1: Hear, O Israel. Week 2: You Shall Love
the Lord your God with All Your Heart. Week 3: You Shall Love the Lord Your God with All Your Soul. Week 4:
You Shall Love the Lord Your God with All Your Mind. Week 5: You Shall Love the Lord Your God with All Your
Strength.

But first, we will mark the entrance to Lent with an Ash Wednesday service. On February 17th, I will be live
streaming the service from the sanctuary at noon. Then, from 4-6pm, I will be standing outside the church so
you can drive up and receive the imposition of ashes. We ask that you wear masks and simply roll down your
window when you drive up. In order to help with traffic, if you could approach the church from 6th street, that
will allow us to avoid having to cross the street.

If you have any family or church friends that you know will be unable to come to the church, we will have kits
containing ashes, the words of imposition, and a prayer for you to take with you and bring to them.
We encourage you to place the ashes on their foreheads and pray with them!

Even now, as the pandemic wears long and our desire to be together once again continues to grow, we can
continue to show Christ’s love to each other in so many ways. I will continue my prayers for strength, peace,
patience, joy, and healing for all of us in the year ahead.

 

Pastor Jen