Lenten Lunch Series
Wednesdays at 12:00pm
The Times They Are A’Changing: Stories of Conversion
The Christian Formation Team is hosting the annual Lenten Luncheon Series again this year, in person. We will gather in the fellowship hall and enjoy sack lunches from Lenny’s and bottled drinks. And, until our protocols change, we will use facemasks (unless eating) and sit reasonably distanced from one another. The schedule is: 12 noon meal, 12:20 Music and Prayer, 12:25 Speaker presents an informative and uplifting lecture on some powerful stories of conversion. This is a timely topic as we engage in catechesis in our church.
March 9 — The Conversion of Peter
Reverend Tom Clark, has been Pastor of Ascension Lutheran Church in Jackson, Mississippi since December of 1987. Born in Louisville, Mississippi, Tom enjoys singing, liturgy, leading Bible studies, especially the Old Testament prophets. His wife Susan is director of UMMC’s Rowland Medical Library. They have two daughters and one grandson. Tom’s hobbies include birdwatching, gardening, walking in nature, reading, genealogy, and watercolor painting.
March 16 — The Conversion of Paul
Dr. David A. Michel grew up in a Baptist pastor’s home and felt called to the ministry in 1970 while playing football at Mississippi State University. He pastored churches in Texas while in seminary and completed his Doctor of Ministry in 1979 while pastoring Prentiss Baptist Church. He joined the staff of the Mississippi Baptist Convention in 1984 and retired in 2016 as Associate Executive Director for Mission Strategy. He and his wife Marilyn have two children and seven grandchildren.
March 23 — The Conversion of Dorothy Day
Dr. Kristi Richard Melancon is an Associate Professor in the Department of English and Philosophy at Mississippi College. Her areas of expertise include African American literacy, rhetoric and race, composition pedagogy, and civic engagement. Kristi attends Holy Savior Catholic Church and is a Board Member of The Or Project, an anti-sex trafficking non-profit in Jackson, MS. She is originally from New Orleans and enjoys all things seafood.
March 30 — The Conversion of Martin Luther King, Jr.
B. Anne Lovelady is a native of Scott County (Forest), Mississippi. She attended Alcorn State University and Purdue University majoring in English education; she earned a Master’s in Counseling and held positions in higher education administration at Purdue and Tri-State University in Indiana. Anne returned to Mississippi to be near family and work in racial reconciliation with the Home Mission Board of the SBC. Currently she is the Director of Board Development for the Mississippi School Boards Association.
April 6 — The Conversion of the Church in Phyllis Tickle’s Writings
Dr. David Miller is a Professor in the Department of English and Philosophy. His areas of expertise include early American literature, British Romantics and information literacy. A native of Pennsylvania, a graduate of Nyack College in New York and Baylor University, David is a distinguished professor and scholar. He has been a valued part of Northside since 1991 and has shared his gifts as chief liturgist and as a choir member.
The Season of Lent
Lent is a forty day season of penitence leading to Easter. (Every Sunday is a celebration of the resurrection, and they are not included.) The forty days recall the Israelites’ forty years in the desert and Jesus’ forty days in the wilderness. Lent invites us into a season of exploring the depths of our estrangement from God’s love.
Traditionally, Lent is a season of prayer, penitence, fasting and almsgiving. These are ancient Christian practices of restoration. They are aimed at restoring relationships with God and with our communities, relationships we have broken through sin.
The conclusion of the Collect for Ash Wednesday from A New Zealand Prayer Book reads,
“God of the desert, as we follow Jesus into the unknown, may we recognize the tempter when he comes; Let it be your bread we eat, your world we serve and you alone we worship.”
Pay attention to the phrase, “may we recognize the tempter when he comes.” It’s not a matter of if temptation comes, but how, when, and in what form. In the Sundays during Lent, the sermons will focus on the Hebrew Bible scriptures appointed for the day. In each one, we will explore parts of their story that seem to speak to the human journey of spirituality, things like having our eyes opened, leaving home, questions of God’s presence, fearful change, and the tension of death. Each of these figures, like us, needed to recognize the tempter when he came. And while temptation manifested itself differently in each of these stories and figures, one common temptation remains, the temptation to stay put-for things to remain the same. So, as we look into the lives of Adam, Abram, Moses, Samuel, and Ezekiel, may each of us to resist the temptation to stay put.
Go on a journey this Lent, follow Jesus into the unknown, follow the driving of the Holy Spirit into your own personal desert. As you do, know you do not journey alone. Take some time to prepare your spirit this season. Challenge yourself through daily scripture reading, regular participation in worship, and engage in a Lenten fast. All are encouraged to attend the Lenten Lunch Series on Wednesdays at noon.
Lenten Banner – The three banners represent the bold call to Lent, the journey to the cross, and finally the invitation to prayer. The color purple is the color of preparation and also of repentance.