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Lent 2024: Wandering Heart

This Lent, we are focusing on the life and faith of one of Jesus’ most famous disciples. In Peter, we see a person who is both steadfast and unsteady, a dear friend and a betrayer, a follower and a wanderer. In Peter, we often see ourselves. By following Peter’s journey, we watch the story of Jesus unfold through the eyes of a normal human trying to figure it all out – just like we are.

We want to affirm that faith is a constant journey of steadfast pursuit, one that ebbs and flows, seeks and wanders. We want to affirm that wandering is exploration, not necessarily distance from God. We want to affirm the ways Peter keeps going: he drops his nets, he walks on water, he runs to the empty tomb, he swims to the shore to meet the risen Christ. He keeps searching and yearning and loving, even after missteps or mistakes. Ultimately, in Peter’s story, we are reminded that God loves imperfect people – in fact, time and again, that’s precisely who God claims and calls.

As we wander together, let us tune our hearts to sing God’s grace. May we rest in streams of mercy, never ceasing.

Special Services:
February 14, 7pm, Ash Wednesday – On this rare occasion when Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day fall on the same day, Rev. Jordan Bucey will examine just how much these two holidays have in common (after all, you can’t spell VaLENTine without LENT). All are welcome in person or via livestream as we mark the beginning of Lent, the season of preparation leading us to Easter. Ash Wednesday acknowledges and emphasizes that we have come from dust and will return to dust someday. In the meantime, we take time to intentionally confront our mortality in community, reminded that at the end of Lent we remember Christ’s resurrection and victory over death. This contemplative service will include communion, music, and the imposition of ashes.

March 24, 10am, Palm Sunday – As Jesus entered Jerusalem, crowds gathered on either side of the road. As he passed, people waved palm branches and shouted, “Hosanna – blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!” Palm Sunday is an opportunity for us to worship together in a festive atmosphere even as we prepare our lives and hearts for the sharp contrast that lies ahead. Rev. Jordan Bucey leads the service.

March 28, 6pm, Maundy Thursday – The Latin word mandatum means mandate and refers to the new commandment Jesus gave to his disciples on the night he shared the Last Supper with them. Please join us as we faithfully and joyfully observe Jesus’ mandate as a community. We will begin with a light meal (soup and salad) and Communion, followed by prayer stations and a meditative labyrinth walk in McKeith Hall.

March 29, 7pm, Good Friday Concert – Join us in person or via livestream for a Good Friday concert featuring the AHCC Choir singing “St John Passion” by Bob Chilcott. Chilcott’s mighty setting of words from St John’s Gospel is a dramatic yet optimistic re-telling of the Passiontide story and combines 13th and 17th century English poetry with the King James Bible text settings. We will be taking a free-will donation to support the Music & Arts Ministry of AHCC.

Sunday, March 31, 6:15am Easter Sunrise, Elizabeth Park Overlook (corner of Prospect and Asylum Avenue). Scripture says that on the third day a group of women arrived at the tomb while it was still dark. Celebrating the resurrection of Christ we gather to watch the sunrise over the horizon and proclaim the Good News of that indeed, He Lives!

Sunday, March 31, 10am AHCC Sanctuary – This celebratory worship service, where the symbols of death are cast aside and the light of the resurrection shines forth in hymns of praise, offers words of hope, and fabulous music. Oh, and Easter lilies galore!