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“The Messenger” February 2024 Is Here!

Bethel’s monthly church newsletter The Messenger has returned!  The first full monthly issue  debuted on July 1.  We look forward to regularly communicating church news and activities with you again.


Lent 2024: Rooted in God’s Love

Giving thanks to the Lord for Bethel Methodist Columbia!

The season of Lent starts this year on Valentine’s Day, February 14th. Though Valentine’s Day isn’t a religious holiday, the convergence is significant. Lent is a time of dedication to God, and (the Bible says,) God is love. What would it mean to anchor yourself in love and in God this Lent?


Christians often use the season of Lent for spiritual sacrifice or discipline; giving up
something that interferes with or hinders our relationship with God. For some, this means not eating sugar or drinking Diet Coke, abstaining from gossip or online shopping. This leads to Lent being widely associated with darkness, deprivation, emptiness, and suffering.


While these are elements of the Lenten journey, so is LOVE.


During Lent 2024, we at Bethel UMC are focused on being rooted in God's Love!


I encourage you to take on a Lenten practice that is rooted in love this year.
Here are three ideas for you:
  1. Lovingkindness Meditation – You can do a simple search to find many scripts for this, but the basic idea is to think warmly first toward yourself, then toward someone you love, and finally toward an enemy. A few minutes per day makes a significant difference.
  2. Practicing Self-Compassion – Every morning say to yourself, “I am God’s beloved child. God loves me unconditionally.” — Sounds simple, but how often do we neglect to extend love and hospitality to ourselves? Children seem to be better at this, though they too can struggle. If we are to remind them of their worth, we must see it in ourselves first.
  3. Scripture Memorization – Many of us know the beautiful and familiar words of 1 Corinthians 13 that begins, “Love is patient. Love is kind.” This love is not referring, specifically, to romantic love, but rather God’s perfect love. Perhaps, you’ll want to memorize the whole chapter this Lent? How would that change your spiritual practice?


Blessed Lent to all,

Read the Messenger February 2024

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