MASON — They might look a little different this year, but the Upper Bend Area Ministerial Lenten Luncheon series will continue, despite the Coronavirus pandemic.
The weekly services, which were formerly held at the Mason United Methodist Church, will be held at the Mason park each Thursday at noon through April 1. On most weeks, a bagged lunch will be provided, according to Pastor Paula Napier of the New Haven United Methodist Church.
The Mason United Methodist Church will be providing a heater for the speaker, along with a sound system and radio transmitter. Pastor Napier said those attending can sit in their vehicles and listen to the message on their radios, or if weather permits, bring lawn chairs and sit outside. Social distancing will be observed.
Pastor Napier said it was decided to continue the series this year because people “just want to have some kind of church.” Some churches in the Bend Area have not been meeting regularly in person since COVID-19 began, including her church, she added.
Lunches will begin at noon, followed by a short message. They will end prior to 1 p.m. to allow those working to be able to attend during their lunch hour.
The scheduled speakers and the churches providing lunch are:
Feb. 25 – Dr. Barry Ball and Mason United Methodist Church;
March 4 – To be announced
March 11 – Jason Simpkins and Northbend Church;
March 18 – Jake Marburger and Northbend Church;
March 25 – Paula Napier and tentatively Broken Bread Catering food truck, with lunch available for purchase; and,
April 1 – Isaiah Pauley and Faith Baptist Church.
Lent is the 40-day period in the Christian calendar that comes before Easter. It begins on Ash Wednesday, and is meant to be a time of reflection and repentance. During Lent, many Christians observe a period of fasting, self-denial and spiritual discipline.
The final week of Lent is known as Holy Week, starting with Palm Sunday. It includes Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and ends with the celebration of Easter Sunday.
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Mindy Kearns is freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at email@example.com.