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Pastor's Message

Lent for you and me


What are your memories of Lent? Possibly if you have been a member of Martin’s for a few years you have memories of the Lenten season at the old church building and the new building. Like many Lutheran churches, Martin’s celebrated Lent the same way at the old church building as we do at the new church building. In fact, my experience in the ministry over the years tells me that there is a similarity of Lenten worship throughout the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. That similar Wednesday midweek worship begins with a communal meal… like a few kinds of soup and bread and dessert bars … prepared and served by a volunteer group of adults and youth. You likely have served such a Lenten meal at Martin’s! This informal, friendly, community meal with family and friends welcomes all to gather at the end of the day. Following eating and conversation, all move to the sanctuary for a relaxed and renewing time of worship. This common Lenten experience has evolved over the years.


In Casselton, Grand Forks, Minneapolis, and Waukegan, Illinois … Wherever you find yourself during Lent … there are ELCA churches and many other worship gatherings of Christian sisters and brothers that welcome you to sing the melodic and faith enriching songs of Holden Evening Prayer, composed by Marty Haugen. You will know these words. Come join others at Martin’s during the Wednesday evenings in March and discover God’s presence in a new way. This is the first verse of the first song. Come join with others in the melody.


Joyous light of heavenly glory, loving glow of God’s own face,

You who sing creation’s story, shine on every land and race.

Now as evening falls around us, we shall raise our songs to you,

God of daybreak, God of shadows, come and light our hearts anew.


Lent is all about one’s journey on the path to the Risen Christ of Easter. From the waters of Baptism, we walk with the cross of Christ on our brow. Ash Wednesday’s mark of ashes reminds us that amidst our shortcomings, Christ’s reconciling love has generously been given to us. We walk along with others to see God’s marvelous light.

Lent is a time for seeking , for asking questions, for pondering why in the world does God care about me. Lent is a time for community, for prayer, for singing, for discovering how God’s Spirit might lead me and my faith-filled community to be about Christ’s work in the world. Hear the verses. For Martin’s this Lenten season is a time to reflect on how is the Holy Spirit guiding us forward in ministry. Seekers are we all. All grateful for Christ’s love.


You who made the heaven’s splendor, every dancing star at night,

Make us shine with gentle justice, let us each reflect your light.

Mighty God of all creation, gentle Christ who lights our way,

Loving Spirit of salvation, lead us on to endless day.


See you along the Lenten path.

Pastor Mark

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