Shrove Tuesday

While Shrove Tuesday is an ancient observance it is new to Union Presbyteriay. Shrove means this is the day to get shriven, which means the day to make confession and repent. The idea is that after the final preparations for the church season of Lent one goes and confesses and begins a season of repentance. The preparations for Lent include eating up all the fat that may still be in the house before the fast of Lent begins. That is where pancakes come into it. Pancakes are a good way to eat up all the butter and eggs that are left in the house.

Come and join us at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 4. We will have a pancake dinner and some fun, a pancake relay if you are up to it and some Mardi Gras music.

After dinner we will have a brief Ash Wednesday service. An authentic observance of the day would have us stay up until midnight to start Ash Wednesday, but we will get everyone home at a reasonable hour for the whole family.

Youth Work Trip

We had another successful youth work trip this summer. Our plan was to join a Presbyterian Disaster Assistance project working to help people in the Houston area who were still recovering from hurricane Harvey last fall. Jess and Kurtis and I left for Texas on Saturday, July 28. It was two 12 hour days drive to Beaumont, Texas, about an hour from Houston. The St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Beaumont let us stay in their youth lounge while we were working. They were very kind. They checked in with us everyday, stocked the refrigerator with sandwich makings and invited us to dinner with their committee one evening.

Our work assignment was to work with the church’s project manager. As it turned out it was a case of the cobbler’s children. The project manager “Buzz” had spent months directing volunteer crews and helping with the repair of many other people’s homes, but had never quite had time to finish up his own home. We did finishing work in his home, doors, wainscoting, closet doors, baseboards, crown molding and caulking. We worked 8-4 Mon. through Wed. and 8-3 on Thursday. Buzz’s wife was recovering from a broken leg, but insisted on feeding us. She made fabulous lunches for us, pulled pork sandwiches, gumbo, spaghetti and one day breakfast burritos. We all learned new skills and felt as though we left the home in much better shape than when we arrived. Buzz and Barbara were very grateful for the progress we made.

One night we went to a state park and swam in the gulf and toured a nature area. Another evening we met Jess and Kurtis’ aunt and uncle and sons and friends for dinner near Houston.

We had an uneventful drive home Friday and Saturday. Jess and Kurtis both reported on their experience in worship on Sunday. They are both remarkable young people. It was great to have this experience together and to be able to help out people who are still struggling to put their lives back together after the hurricane last fall.

Introduction to Mindfulness

We all have brains. Our brains have evolved with predictable default settings. Our experience and ways of thinking shape and reshape our brains. Mindfulness is a way for us to get our brains to run in healthier ways. Last year for his continuing education the pastor learned the practice of mindfulness. He has been sharing what he learned with people at the jail. In response to several requests, he has scheduled a short course for Monday evenings starting April 16 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the church. There is no charge. Everyone is welcome. Invite a friend. If you miss a session, that’s OK. If you have questions, please ask.

The Gospel in Folk Music

We are excited to present a program of Folk music and gospel reflections on Sunday, February 25 at 3:00 pm. The presenter is Karl Heimbuck. He grew up in Gernsey, WY. He went to UW and was instrumental in developing the student ministry of the Laramie church. Now he is that pastor at First Presbyterian in Mountain View. He is also a talented musician. He put this program together because he enjoys playing Folk music and it is a great opportunity to reflect on the gospel message that many songs carry.

Admission is free. A free will offering will be received.