Awe came upon everyone

Everyone around was in awe—all those wonders and signs done through the apostles! And all the believers lived in a wonderful harmony, holding everything in common. They sold whatever they owned and pooled their resources so that each person’s need was met. They followed a daily discipline of worship in the Temple followed by meals at home, every meal a celebration, exuberant and joyful, as they praised God. People in general liked what they saw. Every day their number grew as God added those who were saved.                    – Acts 2:43-47, The Message

 

I am nearly blown away with joy as I think of all that Cason is and “is doing!” Yesterday, at our in-SPIRE worship service, how wonderful to hear what we have done and the goals for the future at Cason.   The mission, ministry and outreach are so exciting to share with others. The day reminded me of Acts 2, Pentecost, when believers came together because of the power of the Holy Spirit.  I sense that kind of stirring at Cason!  The list of what we are into and what will come seems to go on: In-SPIRE Sunday and ministry; Music Ministry Appreciation Sunday; Ash Wednesday; Lent; food distribution; Children’s Sunday School; Small Group Studies; partnerships with Eat Better, Live Better, and Living Hungry and CROS ministries; Holy Communion to those who cannot get out; office volunteer ministry and so much more that you will see as you read through your editions of The Good News. 

 

My prayer is, first of all, that over this next year, you will pray for Cason.  And next, that you would consider how you will be part of the ministry here at Cason.  Some roll up their sleeves and dive into a ministry event.  I call them sparklers.  Others hear God calling them to long term ministry as an office volunteer or serving as a chairperson or committee member on one of Cason’s in-SPIRE pillars or through an administrative ministry as a member of Finance, Trustees, Staff/Pastor Parish or Nominations.  I call these persons candles.  Whether a sparkler or a candle, God needs you at Cason to promote and further His Kingdom.  Will you take part in our Vision:  Where All Will Find and Know the Love of God? As we continue to make important decisions and understand what God desires, we are entering into another sacred season in the calendar year. 

 

The Lenten season gives us six weeks to contemplate all God has planned for us as a congregation. As Dr. Luke writes in Acts 34: [to live] in a wonderful harmony, holding everything in common. As we continue in the Spiritual and Temporal growth of individuals at Cason, I am anticipating a Lenten Season: Marks of Love, rich with opportunity to nurture a deeper relationship with God, in Christ Jesus, and with our relationships with each other at Cason. There are so many ways that we can participate in growth opportunities.

 

February 17 is Ash Wednesday.  You will be able to be part of the service in-person, live stream or Zoom. This year, we will focus on the joy of coming closer to God amidst any encroaching darkness from a season of pandemic, unrest and loss. Because we are unable to have the distribution of ashes on the forehead, your Worship Design Team has prepared an alternative. For this sacred service, gather a piece of paper that you can make a heart on, a candle with holder, and a bit of oil in a small bowl or cup.  For your convenience, you can come by beginning Monday, February 15th to pick up a kit with the heart, candle/glow cross and oil. Plan to worship on Ash Wednesday.

 

Beginning Sunday, February 21st, we will focus on Christ’s love for us in Sunday Worship as Pastor David and I bring you messages reminding you of the Marks of Love Jesus shows us.  Each week will be complete with praise and worship, special reading by three guests and prayers that will stir us closer to God.

 

Imagine sixty of us studying God’s Word together in Small Groups. Beginning the week of February 22nd, you can participate. Each week, we will Experience Lent for just over an hour together.  See more details in this edition or check out the study introduction at casonumc.org.  Study times will be Monday, 7 p.m.; Tuesday, 3:30 p.m.; Wednesday, 7 p.m.

And what about a Daily Devotional?  Have a four-minute Lenten devotional sent right to your email each day beginning Ash Wednesday. 

 

So you see, as we continue to be in ministry together, during Lent, Cason wants to offer to you more than this world offers.  Consider joining in during Lent to get stronger, wiser and more thoughtful in all the Lord has for you. 

 

And, during this season, watch for meetings and ministry and outreach mission work that are designed to in-SPIRE you and cause you to think of God and others. So just as the believers in Acts, we can be exuberant and joyful, and praise God.  And watch as people in general like what they see….so that every day our number grows as God adds those who are saved.

 

Loving, Serving, Growing…

Joy, joy, Pastor Alexis


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