MASON — A series of Lenten Luncheons have been announced in the Bend Area, all set to be held at the Mason United Methodist Church on Second Street.
The lunches will be held on Thursdays from noon to 1 p.m.
Meals are provided by area churches, with a different speaker each week. The service will include a song and a sermon of 10-15 minutes, in order to allow workers to use their hour-long lunch to attend.
According to Pastor John H. Bumgarner, a donation is taken for the lunch, but is not required. He added all donations this year will go to the Upper Mason Parish Scholarship Fund, which provides two $500 scholarships to Bend Area seniors who regularly attend a Methodist church.
The schedule of churches providing the meals and speakers are:
Feb. 15 – Fairview Bible Church, Pastor Donnie Dye;
Feb. 22 – First Baptist Church, Pastor Rob Grady;
March 1 – Northbend Church, Pastor Jason Simpkins;
March 8 – St. Paul Lutheran Church, Pastor Patrice Weirick;
March 15 – New Haven United Methodist Church, Pastor Tom Bechette; and,
March 22 – Faith Baptist Church, Pastor Josh Waybright.
In addition, the St. Paul Lutheran Church in New Haven is hosting its annual Friday evening Lenten fish dinners. The dinners will be held weekly at 4 p.m. up to, and including, Good Friday.
Those attending will have their choice of fried fish, baked fish, or a salmon patty, choice of sides, dessert and drink for a $12 donation. According to member Sheila Roush, proceeds go back into the community for a number of charitable projects.
The St. Paul Lutheran Church will also be the site of the Upper Mason Cooperative Palm Sunday evening service on March 25. It will begin at 7 p.m., with Rev. Patrice Weirick speaking.
Lent, as defined by the United Methodist Church, is a season of 40 days (not counting Sundays) that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday. The 40 days represent the time Jesus spent in the wilderness enduring the temptation of Satan.
Lent is traditionally a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter. It is a time of self examination and reflection. Christians focus on their relationship with God, often choosing to give up something or to volunteer and give of themselves for others, according to the church.
Easter Sunday will be April 1.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Pubilshing, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org