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  • United Methodist Church

    Simpson M

    e sse

    n ge

    r Words from our Pastor

    As a general rule, we mostly agree that things

    worth doing are worth preparing for. If we

    didn't believe that, we wouldn't go through

    training and schooling for careers, dating and

    counseling and preparation for marriage, and

    we wouldn't put together cribs and changing

    tables before our children are born. We would

    have no need for driver's ed (or the test the

    BMV gives you afterwards). You wouldn't

    need licenses or credentials to do much of any-

    thing. And the world as we know it would

    probably fall apart.

    And Lent is the season of preparation for East-

    er. There are plenty of flavors of church that

    don't observe Lent at all, certainly. And if

    Easter is just a day, what's to prepare for? If

    it's just a day when you get up and put on fan-

    cy clothes, and marginally more people than

    usual show up to church, I guess there's not

    much point to Lent. But what if Easter isn't

    just another Sunday? What if Easter changes

    everything?

    I can understand why Lent isn't always terribly

    popular. It starts off with Ash Wednesday,

    and Ash Wednesday is the one day the church

    sets aside when we are asked to remember that

    we are sinners, and that we are unworthy of

    the grace that has been so freely and unreserv-

    edly poured into our lives. And you can see

    why that's an important thing to say once in a

    while, officially. And you can probably also

    understand why it's nobody's favorite thing to

    say, even just once in a while. Ash Wednes-

    day is never a particularly well-attended ser-

    vice, truth be told. And I can understand that:

    shame isn't a feeling any of us are particularly

    anxious to wallow in. But listen: Lent isn't

    forty Ash Wednesdays in a row.

    And of course Lent ends in Holy Week, the

    most famous part of which is Good Friday,

    when Jesus is murdered by popular de-

    mand. And there's probably no honest way

    to stand in the shadow of Good Friday and

    not feel some guilt for all the times we sid-

    ed with the shouting of the crowd instead

    of what we knew was true and pointed to

    Jesus, or all the times we (who swore we

    would never betray him) ran away from

    what he was telling us to do because it felt

    awkward or uncomfortable not to. And

    Good Friday can sting a little. Unless

    you're one of those weird medieval monks

    that would whip themselves bloody for

    every imagined slight, odds are pretty good

    you don't enjoy feeling guilty. But Lent

    isn't forty Good Fridays stacked end to end,

    either.

    Lent is supposed to be about reconnecting

    to God, when you go out into the wilder-

    ness (symbolically, he added hastily –

    please don't tell anyone I told you that you

    should go live in the woods for a month!),

    stripping away as many distractions as you

    can, to prepare us to make a more honest

    covenant with the Almighty, so that when

    you get to the point of the story where you

    remember the impossible grace of the res-

    urrection – that Jesus beat death and came

    back for you – you will be better equipped

    to recognize the enormity of that grace, and

    of the love that makes it true. Easter

    should be big enough to change everything,

    and especially everything in us, but to do

    that, it will need us to make some prepara-

    tion for it. I'm not saying it's impossible for

    Easter to work it's power in our lives

    Feb/Mar 2020

    Cont. Page 2

  • Simpson Church Messenger Page 2

    without it, but then it's also not impossible that

    somebody is either an incredible savant or just really

    lucky, and they could do a successful surgery on you

    with no training or credentials. If it's me they're op-

    erating on, I'd just as soon they took the time to get

    certified, thanks.

    Listen, I'm not the boss of any of you. If you want

    to go on doing that kind of vaguely churchy thing

    where you give up ice cream or red meat for forty

    days or whatever, who am I to tell you that you're

    doing it wrong? But I'm not sure that's accomplish-

    ing what we're aiming for (unless the 'Double-Stuf'

    Oreos really were what was holding us back from

    Jesus). But it might be more helpful to try to find

    some way to use Lent more as it was intended. That

    may be joining a Lenten study, or attending some

    other Lenten programming. It might be making time

    in your life for God where you didn't before, like

    setting aside time for a devotional or for prayer, or if

    something has been distracting you away from

    church, just committing to put that thing aside for

    these six weeks and give God back your Sunday

    mornings. It might be committing to service in

    some new way, to volunteer or join some ministry

    for a time. You know your own walk with God a lot

    better than I do. And if you're anything like I am,

    you probably have a pretty good idea what direction

    he's been nudging you in that you've been trying

    hard to ignore for a while.

    I know I'm a pastor, so of course I'm going to say

    this, but I think Easter is important. I think it still

    matters. I think it can still change everything. But

    like anything else worth doing, we need to prepare

    for it. Lent is that time, and that time is now. I pray

    that this will be for you a holy time, a set-apart time,

    when you are able to prepare your heart and soul for

    the grace of the resurrection, and the love that makes

    it true.

    Yours, In Christ,

    Pastor Ben

    WHAT ARE UMW CIRCLES ALL ABOUT?

    Mary Ruth Circle meets on the 3rd Tuesday each

    month at 10:00 AM. Their programs are usually an

    outside speaker from a non-profit agency, a short

    business meeting and dessert. Laura Martha Circle

    meets on the 3rd Tuesday each month at 6:00 PM

    with a program about local and/or world mission, a

    short business meeting and dessert. We’d love to

    have you join either or both as we seek to know

    God, experience freedom throught Jesus Christ and

    develop a creative, supportive fellowship while sup-

    porting children, youth and women around

    the world.

    UMW UPCOMING EVENTS

    Legislative & Advocacy Day

    Thursday, March 5th

    North UMC, Indianapolis, IN

    (see flyer for details)

    Pancake Breakfast by the UMW

    Entertainment by Simpson youth

    Date TBD

    Visit to Lucille Raines Residence

    Indianapolis, IN

    Watch for details

    SW District Spring Meeting

    April 18th at 9:00AM

    Boonville Main UMC

  • Simpson Church Messenger

    All records have been moved to the old second floor

    classroom at the northeast corner of the building and

    spread out on the tables by year. I have been working

    with others where possible to determine what records

    need to be retained, for how long, and what can be dis-

    posed of. All records to be disposed of, will need to be

    shredded. I have been through a lot of the records up to

    about 2014. My plan is to re-box and label boxes to be

    kept since many are currently in bad shape.

    As a reference I will be referring to the Annual Confer-

    ence "Guidelines for Managing Records of the Local

    Church". The storage room has been thoroughly

    cleaned and all shelves have been secured and two file

    cabinets cleaned.

    ~Maurice Hahn

    Wednesday, February 26th, 7:00 pm

    Service of Ashes

    Sunday, April 5th, 8:45 a.m. & 11:00 a.m.

    Palm Sunday Services

    Thursday, April 9th, 7:00 p.m.

    Maundy Thursday Service

    Friday, April 10th, 12:15 p.m.

    Good Friday Service

    Sunday, April 12th

    7:00 a.m. Sunrise Service

    8:45 & 11:00 a.m. Easter Services

    Sunday, April 12th, 10:00 a.m.

    Easter Brunch

    Sunday, April 12th, 10:30 a.m.

    Easter Egg Hunt

    Page 3

    Lenten Bible Study this year will be

    RESTORED, FINDING REDEMPTION IN

    OUR MESS

    Often we make a mess of our lives and wonder if

    there is any redemption. In this book, pastor and

    author Tom Berlin helps us see our mess through

    the eyes of Christ to find redemption and restora-

    tion. Using Scripture, devotional tools, and the

    writings of Ignatius of Loyola, John of the Cross,

    St. Augustine, John Wesley, Evelyn Underhill, and

    others, Berlin encourages reflection and medita-

    tion through our own brokenness. Only then can

    we focus on the cross as the place where we truly

    surrender control, leave our mess, and find re-

    demption. Study begins on Sunday, March 1st at

    10:00 a.m. Books are available in the church

    office for $10.00. Please sign up in the annex if

    you p