Join us for FAMILY FRIGHT NIGHT SATURDAY, OCTOBER 15TH! Register by 10/2. Info below
Join us for FAMILY FRIGHT NIGHT SATURDAY, OCTOBER 15TH! Register by 10/2. Info below
Adoration/Stations of the Cross begin at 6:30 PM.
The following is the schedule for the weekly Stations of the Cross:
Thursday, 3/10: Shadow Stations
Thursday, 3/17: Taize Prayer
Thursday, 3/24: The Way of the Cross
Thursday, 3/31: Mary's Way of the Cross
Thursday, 4/7: Social Justice
Friday, 4/15: Traditional Stations (3:00 pm)
All weekly Stations of the Cross during Lent will be live streamed for those who are not able to attend in person.
Viewing Lent Through New Eyes
Written by Pauline Doerksen
“The season of Lent is upon us. However, as I reflect on my formative years, Lent was always that looming darkness, echoing over and over again to me: You’ll never be good enough, You’re just a bad kid, Who are you trying to fool?
Our teachers successfully taught us about Jesus being God’s Son, how He died on the cross and then rose again. They explained how we were all sinful and needed forgiveness.
It was many years later that I learned Jesus died so that I could have a relationship with Him. I surrendered my heart to Him and that became the start of discovering who Jesus is and what He really wants of me. I would love to be able to say that my struggle to be good disappeared that day or that I have since lived in spiritual harmony with the Lord without fail – but that has not been the case, and I dare say that no one else could say that either.
For many years, I avoided anything to do with Lent. I always associated it with failure and condemnation and wanted to be free from the feeling that God would never be pleased with me.
I have never really understood my resistance to Lent until I read something recently by Ann Voskamp that made total sense:
“Lent is not about making anybody acceptable to a Saviour – but about making everybody aware of why they need a Saviour.”
I used to think that Lent was about doing things to make me good enough. Now I understand that Lent makes me aware that I am not good enough, but Jesus is! What a shift. What pressure released. I get it now! As I prepare my heart for this Easter season, I am accepting His gift of something that I could never do.”
Just as Eve was tempted in the Garden and Jesus was tempted in the desert, we too are tempted daily. For example, in today’s high-stress world, we are often tempted to prioritize our outside obligations, causing us to lose sight of the precious blessings in our life, like Family and Friends, that should matter most.
What Really Matters – The 7 Most Important Things in Life
Written by Natalya Bannister
“Life is short and in a world of chaos, social media and divisiveness, precious things can easily become lost. Sometimes, circumstances out of our control cause loss, and sometimes our own choices cause us to lose the things that mean the most. We all have different needs and priorities in life, but we share one thing in common: the absence of certain things in life causes us to feel incomplete. While our lives and priorities may differ, there are some things vital to living a life of fulfillment… things we need to fight for… things that really matter.
Family & Friendship
Our relationships are our foundation. They are truly the things that make our lives richer and more complete. We must prioritize time with friends, family and loved ones to foster our relationships. Being busy is normal, but why not try to be busy with the people that mean the most to us?
Having people in your life that you can call family is priceless. Knowing that you have someone who cares for you and will always be there for you is the type of support we all need, even if we don’t always admit it. But it is so easy to forget just how much family means to us. They’re the people we typically take for granted because at the end of the day, we know they will still be family. Always remember, your family is irreplaceable. You must devote time, love and energy to nurture your family relationships – not just for the sake of your family, but for yourself.
You can’t choose your family, but you can choose your friends and make them members of your family. If you know a person you can call your best friend, then consider yourself blessed. Make the most out of your time with your friends and, more importantly, be the best friend you can be.
The unconditional love of family is an indescribable feeling and although you may not always see eye-to-eye, respect each other’s uniqueness and do your best to show your love more often.”
Like Jesus and our biblical ancestors (although ours pale in comparison), most of us have faced and will continue to face hardships and adversity, overcome fear of the unknown, had to have faith, be brave and stand true to our beliefs in order to discover who we truly are and fulfill God’s plan for us.
Take a Leap of Faith – Tips to Help You Confidently Step Forth
Written By: Bernadette Logue
“Can you recall one of those times in your life when you've had a gut instinct that you needed or wanted to do something new, but you felt hesitant? Maybe there was uncertainty or risk involved, going outside your comfort zone. Maybe you were worried that your gut instinct might be wrong, questioning yourself.
They are times in our lives when our inner voice is asking us to make change happen, and if we do, then our lives can elevate to the next level. But fear often rears up so intensely that it threatens to kill that possibility!
We all want to predict what comes next and define our exact path and outcomes. But that just isn't how life works. We can define what we want and how we want to go about making it happen, and then we have to give over to the uncertainty of life. We have to…
Here's the dealio. A leap of faith is NOT blind faith. There is nothing blind about it! A leap of faith is intuition. It's an innate, deep knowing that won't go away. It's a whisper that keeps calling to you. It's a passion, or an inspiration that draws you forward. You invest in faith, not fear.
One helpful thing I discovered on my journey, which I hope you will find useful to, is the realization that taking a leap of faith doesn't mean you leap off a cliff. I used to think that leaps of faith always involved big change, big risk and dramatic decisions. But that simply isn't true. It's not diving into the abyss. A leap of faith can be one small little step forward. Followed by one more small step forward. Followed by another. And over time you realize that your many little faith-based steps add up cumulatively to create a leap of faith.
I like to keep things real. So, let's address your worst fear. You fear that things won't work out. You'll take the leap of faith and regret it. You won't like the new career, the new location, the relationship. You'll look back and wish you hadn't done it. You'll feel upset at yourself, regretful or whatever other “worse case scenarios” your mind likes to come up with.
Well guess what… If you do something in life and it doesn't work out… CHANGE IT, DO SOMETHING ELSE, KEEP JOURNEYING. There is no failing when you leap. Someone who leaps is always a winner. Someone who follows their intuition is FULLY ALIVE.”
“To love yourself as you are is a miracle, and to seek yourself is to have found yourself, for now. And now is all we have, and love is who we are.” – Anne Lamott
Just like the woman at the well, most of us have, at some point, been willing to settle for less to “quench our thirst” or fill a void in our life. We need to see in ourselves what Jesus sees in us and not settle for the water that this world offers so that our “thirst” can be quenched and our voids can be filled.
If You Feel Like There's A Void In Your Soul You Cannot Fill, Read This
Written By: Laine Sterbenz
“Some of us are constantly seeking for meaning in our lives, always trying to be better and expand our horizons. Although it's great to constantly strive for better, in the long run, it leaves us feeling empty if what we keep searching for is the one thing that doesn't exist, perfection. Our lives could be extraordinary, yet we still feel a void that cannot be filled.
It's like we're never content with where we currently are in our lives. We can be rich but that doesn’t make us happy. We could have all the friends in the world, but not find love. It seems like nothing is ever enough. We take the good things for granted and focus on what's "lacking" according to our own perception of what a "perfect" life is supposed to be. Will we ever be truly satisfied? Will we ever stop aiming for perfection?
It is a trend to fit in and be accepted. Every day we are in search of contentment and meaning. Yet, we look for those things in all the wrong places. Instead of being content with ourselves, we look to superficial things that will make us perfect so we can fit into society. We spend our days trying to reach unrealistic expectations and comparing ourselves to others. Losing everything that makes us unique. Then we wonder why we can’t find meaning. There is no creation in filling a mold.
The pressures of society put a hole in our hearts that is hard to repair. If you don’t love yourself, someone else’s love cannot replace that.
The pressures of society shouldn’t change who we are as people. We are all different and beautiful in our own way and shouldn’t conform to be the same as one another. No one can fix our damage but ourselves. The void can only be filled by us making a change.
Be mindful of the life you choose to live. Be grateful for all the little things and accept yourself. You were blessed with the people and things around you, why take them for granted? Don’t compare yourself to others, they aren’t you. That’s not your life.
Be happy with how far you come, you have made it this far. Remember what makes you happy, your passion and your dreams. Stop looking beyond yourself, and letting the outside world bring you down. You are more than enough. Be confident in who you are.
When you love yourself unconditionally, you don’t have to look for validation elsewhere. The pressure from society can’t get to you. Your happiness won’t be temporary because loving yourself isn’t superficial.
Life has its ups and downs but loving yourself through it all fills a void that nothing else can fill. Forget about what society tells you to be, you are more than enough. Keep your chin up.”
It is important to always try to find the Light through the darkness in our own lives so that we can live our best life and so that our walk through this life as Children of God can be a reflection of His goodness, grace, kindness, truth and sincerity.
Looking For Light In The Darkness
Written By: Mark Arnold
“These times we are living in are hard, aren’t they?
It sometimes seems like a never ending ‘Groundhog Day’ and so dark and I don’t just mean the still short days and long, long nights. It’s harder and harder to get up in the morning, to be motivated for another day that seems just like every other day. And it’s still cold.
But there is something that we all too easily forget about darkness:
Darkness isn’t actually a thing, it’s an absence of a thing.
Darkness is an absence of light. Where there is light, darkness isn’t possible. It doesn’t exist.
What ‘light’ looks like for each of us at the moment will be dependent on our individual situation and that of our family. It will be personal. But if we peer hard enough into the darkness, we might see a glimmer of light still burning. And if we encourage it, if we feed it, if we focus on it, it will grow brighter and drive the darkness away.
It might be that we see light in the smile of our child, or in the first glimpse of a snowdrop or crocus fighting its way out of the ground. We might see light in the joy of baking a cake that is actually edible, or in the sound of a blackbird singing as we take a much-needed walk. We might see light in the progress that our child is making in their development. In times of ‘darkness’, I’ve found that looking for these signs of light and focusing on them really helps.
I read a book called ‘One Thousand Gifts’ by Ann Voskamp. In it, Ann encourages us to find three things each day that are good, three things to give thanks for, and to write them down.
Sometimes it’s hard to find three things, but look hard enough and it is there, look hard enough and we can all find three things to be grateful for. And if you write the three things down, over a year you end up with one thousand gifts!
One thousand positive things to look back on and be glad about.
One thousand glimmers of light that come together into a blazing brightness!
Maybe doing something like this would help you to see more of the light and less of the darkness.
To give you a list of things to be glad and grateful for. To help you see that even on the darkest of days, there is something, something, positive and bright, no matter how insignificant it may seem.
Light drives the darkness away.
In time, spring will replace winter and longer sunnier days will come.
But until then, let’s not stare into the darkness, but let’s look for the glimmers of light, and help them to burn brightly in our hearts!”
We all know that as Christians, God has promised us eternal life with Him once our life on this earth ends. Our life on this earth, however, is not eternal. We must always remember that God’s spirit lives in all of us and to bring our dreams back to life so that we can live our lives on this earth to their fullest.
“Feeling Alive” & “Dreams Coming Back to Life”
A combination of two blogs written By: Amanda Devine & Joel Osteen
“I wonder how many times we’re burying things alive. We thought the dream was dead. We tried, but the doors didn’t open. It’s been years, and now we’re convinced that we’ll never start the business or move into a nice house. We bury relationships. “Our marriage is done. We don’t get along.” We bury God’s promises. “I’ll never get well. I’ll never break the addiction. I’ll never live an abundant life.” At one time we believed. We talked like it was going to happen, we took steps of faith, but now we don’t see any signs of life. All the circumstances say it’s too late, so we buried it.
The good news is, it’s buried alive. You may not be able to see it, but there’s still a pulse. Those dreams you’ve buried, you need to dig them back up. Start believing again, start dreaming again. Start thanking God that it’s on the way. Every circumstance may say, “You’ll never get well. Just accept it.” If you agree and go around discouraged, you’re burying it deeper. But when you believe, you’re shoveling the dirt off. When thoughts tell you, “You’ve gone as far as you can. Just accept that you’ve reached your limits,” turn it around and say, “my latter days will be greater than my former days.” That’s how you remove the dirt, and you’ll see a dream that you’ve buried come to pass.” ~ Joel Osteen
“The passion for what we do, the enthusiasm for life makes us alive. When we feel alive, we are truly living a happy life. We find ourselves feeling awesome mentally and physically with lots of energy and we are eager to get up every morning to start another amazing day. And… we go to bed at night with gratitude for all the wonderful experiences that the day provided. Sounds like a tall order? Not at all!
I saw a lady that I met a 2 years ago who told me that after our meeting she made a huge change in her life that turned everything around. She was very unhappy in the job she had and decided to find the one that would make her satisfied. She found the perfect job and she is very happy at it. Because of that change her entire life went on to a new level. It affected her family life and now, she feels alive.
But, feeling alive goes beyond our professional careers. It is about being happy in every aspect of our lives. We need to have great relationships, health, etc. The feeling of being alive starts from the inside.
Realizing how abundant we already are, by feeling gratitude for what it is that we already have, no matter how much or how little. When we feel love and gratitude we become alive and we have so much to be grateful for! Do you realize how blessed you are? When we look at everything that way, before we know it, the list of things that we already have is longer than we have ever realized. When we feel gratitude, we feel good. When we feel good we manifest in our lives what we want. We create more things to be grateful for.
When we recognize the things that we have, we love them and feel grateful for them, our lives go on a completely new level. When you say to yourself, every day, what it is that you are grateful for, you will truly become happy and feel alive. You will have the passion for life. You will eagerly get up in the morning to give more thanks for what you have. When you do that diligently, you will be surprised how quickly the list of things that you have is going to become longer and longer…and before you know it, your life will become truly magical.” ~ Amanda Devine
We live in a world where communication is advanced, but the quality of communication is deteriorating. It is against this backdrop that we must embrace unity. Not unity of thought or practice but the bond shared by members of a community who, without fear of disgrace or shame, humble themselves (as Jesus did) and listen to one another, take care of one another and love one another.
“Listening As A Hobby”
Written By: Arlene Koktavy
“One of my favorite hobbies is being a mindful creative listener. Although I don't think listening is usually considered to be a hobby, I think it is one of the most insightful things I can do.
In today's fast paced world, it seems that people in general would rather talk than listen. I feel that by being a good listener I can learn many things and do good for myself and others. I learn about different approaches to life, mistakes to avoid, traps not to fall in and to value myself and my ideas, thoughts and opinions.
I have always been searching for good role models and a way to get ahead and live a better more joyful life. Hearing the stories of others joys and sorrows helps me do this. Like about hearing somebody talk about overcoming great obstacles and crawling out of a deep well of problems and how they went on to make a success of their lives is very inspirational. I feel like if they can do it so can I. It gives me hope. Listening is good for me. When I am absorbed in the story of another person, my focus is on them and not myself. I feel myself relax and let go of my daily problems.
Mindful listening lets me let go of my past for a while and not worry about the future. I feel my body relax as I lean back with a cup of coffee and an attentive ear. I focus on the other person and time slows as I am fully present to the moment. If someone asks me, I will give them advice. I will help them if I can if I have been in their shoes before. When I hear advice from them it can give me a different perspective on my problems. We all come from such different backgrounds and have so many stories. By talking about our problems instead of just keeping them to ourselves, good is done.
People love to be heard. It makes them feel understood and validated. Having a helpful ear can make a big difference in someone's life and can make them feel less lonely. It is fun to get to know people from different backgrounds and people with different perspectives and lifestyles. Different things come up that I hadn't thought of before. Different ways of handling things.
Listening can go beyond using your ears. Sometimes we listen with our eyes. A persons face and body posture can tell a lot. Eyes that won't meet you directly says the person may be shrinking away in fear. A joyful bubbling of excitement is fun to see and hear. We listen with intuition trying to see the needs of another. Listening to a child to see how you can help them. Listening with confidence as you try to alleviate a person’s fear. We look beyond the obvious to try to get a feel from them of what they need.
When I think back on the loved ones I have lost, I think oh what I wouldn't give for a five-minute conversation with them. Parents need to be good listeners for their children. They are their first and primary sounding boards. Children need someone to go to with their problems hopes and dreams. I think listening requires a kind heart, a lively curiosity, a desire to help others and a strong desire to learn about life.”
“Being a good listener makes you a better friend and family member. Be the kind of listener you would want to talk to. Someone supportive and understanding. The more we try to listen and understand others, the more we understand the world we live in. Have empathy, listen, and be kind.” ~ Cait