Absecon Presbyterian Church 

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Febrary 20, 2009

This Sunday our youth will be leading us in Family Worship at 9:30.  Traditional worship will take place at 11:00.  Pastor will be speaking from Mark 9:2-9.  Join us! 

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Next Wednesday we have been invited to join with the Pleasantville Presbyterian Church at 7:00 p.m. for their Ash Wednesday service.  The van will leave Absecon at 6:30.  All are welcome!

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The Fellowship Committee will be having their second soup sale of the season this Sunday.  A wide variety of soups will be available by the quart in Madden Hall between services.

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New members were received last Sunday.  If you’ve not welcomed them yet be sure to do so!  View photos of Amos, Sherry, Jack & Dee and Jose, Gloria, Elena and Joseph here.

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Our church website is up and running again!  We have a brand new domain name – abseconpresby.org so be sure to update your list of favorites. 

Many thanks to Louise and Ken for their many hours of research and assistance in getting us back online.

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Please remember in prayer ~

Olive Brown

Dick Waters

Evelyn Cashner

Sharon Miles (coworker of Vic Abelson) - cancer

Fred Davies

Those losing jobs

Our Lenten journey

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Why Ashes on Ash Wednesday?

As you know, Jesus retreated into the wilderness and fasted for forty days to prepare for his ministry. It was for Him a time of contemplation, reflection, and preparation.

By observing Lent, most Christians join Jesus on His retreat.

Lent consists of the forty days before Easter. In the western Church, we skip over the Sundays when we count the days of Lent, because Sunday is always the joyful celebration of the Resurrection. Therefore, the first day of Lent in the western Church is always a Wednesday.

Biblical societies relied very heavily on wood fires for heating and cooking, which meant that keeping ashes under control was a major housekeeping task. Then as now, if a person was preoccupied with something serious, they didn’t always tend to the housekeeping—it’s the least of their concerns. Imagine that there is a death in the family. A friend stopping by to pay their respects might gently say, “Did you know you have ashes on your face?”

So ashes became a sign of remorse, repentance, and mourning. Today someone might wear a black armband to signify that they are in mourning; back then people put ashes on their foreheads.

You can find biblical examples of this in 2 Samuel 13:19, Esther 4:1-3, Job 42:6, and Jeremiah 6:26. During Lent, ancient Christians mourned their sins and repented of them,

so it was appropriate for them to show their sincerity by having ashes on their foreheads. The custom has persisted in the church as secular society has changed around us. It is most appropriate on Ash Wednesday, when we begin a period of sober reflection, self-examination, and spiritual redirection.

Traditionally, the ashes for the Ash Wednesday service come from burning the palm fronds from the previous year’s Palm Sunday celebration.

Some people only celebrate the happy times in Jesus’ life: Palm Sunday, Easter Sunday, and Christmas. But I think as true friends, we should also watch and pray with Him on

Maundy Thursday, stand by Him at the cross on Good Friday, and retreat with Him into the wilderness during Lent.

Today the word ‘fasting’ means a total abstention from all food. In the historic Church, it means a boring but balanced diet so that your animal appetites become a sort of spiritual snooze alarm. If you “fast” by abstaining from all food, you can endanger your health.

Copyright ©1995-2004 by the Rev. Kenneth W. Collins

All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission.

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This Week in Our Church . . .

Sunday            Transfiguration Sunday

              8:45 Breakfast

              9:30 Family Worship

            10:45 Refreshments

            11:00 Worship & KFC

              7:00 History of Christianity

Monday           Good News Deadline

              1:15 Bible Study

              6:00 Senior Youth

Tuesday     

Wednesday     Ash Wednesday

            12:00 Evergreens

              7:00 Ash Wednesday Service at Pleasantville Presbyterian Church       

Thursday        

            12:00 Serve at Sister Jean’s

              4:30 Lions & Lambs

              6:30 Handbell Choir Rehearsal

              7:45 Chancel Choir Rehearsal

Friday

Saturday         

            12:00 Prime-Timers

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Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. - I Corinthians 13:7
 
The Presbyterian Church at Absecon
208 New Jersey Avenue
Absecon, New Jersey 08201