POINT PLEASANT — The Season of Lent is under way as is the annual Lenten Luncheon Series hosted by the Mason County Ministerial Association (MCMA).
Secretary of the MCMA Charles Marker shared the next meal in the luncheon series will be at 11:40 a.m. today (Wednesday) and be provided by the First Church of the Nazarene with Pastor Doug Hendrixson delivering the message. The luncheon series is held each week through the season of Lent at the Trinity UM Church fellowship hall in Point Pleasant, with different churches providing meals and messages each Wednesday. On Good Friday, the series will wrap up with a community service at the the Point Pleasant Presbyterian Church at noon with Pastor Chip Bennett speaking.
The following churches, and their pastors, have confirmed to participate on the following days: Wednesday, Feb. 28 at 11:40 a.m., Point Pleasant Presbyterian Church, Pastor John Holland; March 7, 11:40 a.m., Heights United Methodist Church, Pastor Charles Marker; March 14, 11:40 a.m., Krebs Chapel/Union Charge United Methodist Churches, Pastor John Bumgardner; March 21, 11:40 a.m., Bellemead United Methodist Church, speaker to be announced; March 28, 11:40 a.m., Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, Pastor Matt Dotson.
According to the United Methodist Church, the season of Lent lasts 40 days, not counting Sundays, and begins on Ash Wednesday, typically continuing up to Maundy Thursday or Easter Eve. Lent comes from the Anglo Saxon word lencten, which means “spring” and the 40 days represents the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, enduring the temptation of Satan and preparing to begin his ministry.
The UMC also describes Lent as a time of repentance, fasting, and preparation for the coming of Easter. It is a time of self-examination and reflection. In the early church, Lent was a time to prepare new converts for baptism. Today, Christians focus on their relationship with God, often choosing to give up something or to volunteer and give of themselves for others.
Sundays in Lent are not counted in the 40 days because each Sunday represents a “mini-Easter” and the reverent spirit of Lent is tempered with joyful anticipation of the Resurrection, according to the UMC.
Marker shared the luncheons are open to the public so anyone come and enjoy the fellowship. He said the luncheons are free, but donations will be accepted at the door to be used by the Samaritan Fund, a ministry of the ministerial association.