] [ MINISTERIAL FAMILY
] [ OUR BUILDING
] [ SANCTUARY
] [ OUR CALENDAR
] [ DAILY DEVOTIONAL
] [ MISSIONS ]
Dear Sisters and Brothers In Christ,
May God Bless Your Journey Through Lent
This Lenten season can be very powerful for us here at Marceline UMC if each of us will truly submit to Jesus Christ. Lent is the time of preparation for Easter, the highest Holy Day in the life of the Church. The date for Easter is the first Sunday following the full moon that occurs on or after March 21. The date varies between March 22 and April 25. This year Lent begins with our worship on Ash Wednesday March 5th @ 7pm, and ends on Thursday of Holy Week as we celebrate the Lord’s Last Supper. Easter is on April 20th. From the time of the early chruch, the forty days of Lent are counted from the First Sunday of Lent until Holy Thursday. The term Lent comes from a Middle English word that means springtime. Like the season of spring, Lent is a time of renewal and rebirth, as our baptism symbolizes.
During Lent, we are asked to focus on changing our lives through prayer, repenting of our sins, fasting, and love. These are means of grace that can help us open up to God’s grace as we try to become more like Christ in his love for God and others by his dying and rising to new life. In the early church persons new to the community would use the Lenten season as a time of preparation for their baptism on Easter Sunday morning.
It is helpful to see that our baptism is not just an event that happened long ago. God adopts us into God’s family and baptism can change us so radically that we are different, “marked” forever, if we open to God’s Holy Spirit. Baptism gives us a spiritual mark. Once we are baptized, the promises of our baptism and the life of Jesus we find in the gospels should influence our decisions for the rest of our lives.
Our youth are leading us in fasting from Saturday March 8-Sunday March 9 on a 30 HOUR FAMINE!! Support our youth, by Praying, Volunteering, and Giving!! (More information inside the newsletter.) I invite you to join our youth in fasting on Saturday March 8th and Sunday March 9th in preparation for our Sunday worship on March 9th, the first Sunday of Lent. This worship will begin a day of Prayer and Repentance.
I hope and pray that each of us individually will use these means of grace: prayer, repenting of our sins, fasting, and love, as vehicles 1) to let Jesus lead us, 2) to see Jesus for who he really is, and 3) listen closely to Jesus. I believe if we each follow these steps we will truly follow Jesus and “Make More New Disciples for Jesus Christ.”
Grace and Peace,
Pastor Doug is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church, and currently the pastor of Marceline UMC. He has been a pastor for 15 years previously serving Trinity in Mountain Grove; Open Hearts Church and Wesley-Smith Chapel in Wright City, St. Mark in Florissant, and The Village Church of St. Louis.
Prior to attending seminary, he was a teacher in the Ferguson-Florissant School District for 18 years, 12 years in a 5th/6th grade classroom and 6 years at the district’s nature area. He worked for two years with St. Louis County’s Parks and Recreation Department’s award winning Wayfaring Program as an outdoor adventure educator. He holds an associate degree in liberal arts from St. Louis Community College, a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Missouri University-Columbia, and a master’s of divinity from Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis.
Doug has been on one or two short-term Volunteers In Mission Teams every year since 1994 in the United States, and also to Mozambique, Kenya, Haiti, Turkey, and Mexico. His volunteer activities included serving on the Missouri Conference of the UMC Mozambique Initiative Committee, and is currently on the Mark Twain District Committee on Ordained Ministry, and Conference Social Justice Team. In Marceline Pastor Doug is already a part of the Ministerial Alliance, the Rotary Club, a Unit Commissioner for the Boy Scouts, and Chaplain for Serve Link Hospice program.
At his previous appointment he was part of the Mountain Grove Ministerial Alliance, Mountain Grove Chamber of Commerce, chair of the Wright County Resource Team, board of directors of Ozark Action, Inc., the board of directors of Kid Fest: Coming Together In Love, the Lions Club, and was one of the WATCH D.O.G.S. (Dads Of Great Students) at Mountain Grove Elementary School.
Pastor Doug lives with his wife of 30 years, Hope, in the church’s parsonage at 105 W. Huntoon; with their dogs Pete and Derby; and their cats Sophie and Phoebe. Their son, Jacob, attends Missouri State University in Springfield and their daughter, Sarah, graduated from Missouri University-Columbia last year and works for Macy’s in their executive training program in Chicago. Doug’s mother, Norma Kraus, lives in Chesterfield, MO near Doug’s brother, Daniel Kraus and his family. Hope’s father Irving Heritage lives in Wright City, MO with Hope’s sister Liz and our niece, Emily.