The Season of Lent

The Season of Lent

By John Franke, Theologian in Residence

Lent is the season in the Christian liturgical calendar that begins on Ash Wednesday and lasts forty days in commemoration of the length of time, according to the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and John, that Jesus spent fasting in the desert and enduring the temptations of Satan before the beginning of his public ministry.

Some Christians will fast during Lent or give up something in order to express solidarity with Jesus, while others will adopt particular spiritual practices during the season to try and draw closer to God. All of this is done in preparation for Holy Week and the observance of Jesus’ passion as he goes to the cross, as well as the triumph of Easter and the resurrection.

In all of this, the church expresses its commitment to Jesus as the Word of God in human form, who forgives the sins of the world and shows us the way to live our lives. Because Jesus is the living truth, who has called us to follow him, we have the audacity to continue to insist that some things are true for everyone regardless of their social and cultural location:

  • that all human beings are created in the image of God and are therefore to be treated with dignity and respect no matter their circumstances or shortcomings;
  • that God is particularly concerned with the poor, the marginalized, and the oppressed and that their liberation from these circumstances should be a priority in human affairs; and
  • that God loves all people and none are beyond redemption.

Such commitments are aspects of Jesus’ teaching about the Kingdom of God, a community where everyone has enough, and no one needs to be afraid. The self-denial, temptations and sufferings we remember during Lent and Holy Week remind us of the cost of seeking to establish such a community in the world. It will not come easy, it will make demands on us, and it will be costly.

The joy of Easter morning and the resurrection reminds us that the price is worth paying. Living self-sacrificially for the sake of a better world is consistent with God’s intentions for creation and will produce a wonderful harvest in the form if a more just, equitable and peaceful world.

In this season of Lent, let us commit ourselves again to following Jesus. To share with him the way of self-giving and self-sacrifice for the sake of others. To forgive others as we have been forgiven. And to look forward with confidence to that day when, having shared in the fellowship of his suffering love for the world, we will share in the fellowship of his glorious resurrection.  

Go to Lent Home Page


Lilies and the Memorial Flower Fund
Donate Today

Lilies and the Memorial Flower Fund

Support the Memorial Flower Fund with donations in your loved one’s name. The fund provides chancel flowers for the Sanctuary every Sunday, poinsettias at Christmas and lilies at Easter. After worship, the Deacons distribute the chancel flowers to hospitalized members. The fund also provides poinsettias and lilies to homebound members during the holidays.

Make your donation online, or forms are available in pew and literature racks and at the reception desk. Names of those being remembered or honored will be published in the Easter Sunday bulletins on April 1.

For more information, please contact Melissa Elisha at (317) 253- 461, Ext. 367.

FIRM DEADLINE: Sunday, March 25, Midnight.


Guest Organ Recital
Friday, March 23, 7:30 p.m.

Guest Organ Recital

5th Symphony by Louis Vierne

Martin Jean, Director of the Institute of Sacred Music and Professor of Organ at Yale University, presents a free concert in the Sanctuary. He will perform the monumental Fifth Symphony of French composer Louis Vierne. Dr. Jean is a warmly communicative artist who plays with “visceral intensity…and exquisite excellence” (The Kansas City Star).


Theology on Tap
Tuesday, March 27, 7-9 p.m.

Theology on Tap

A Deeper Conversation About Faith, hosted by Young Adults

Want to talk a little more about your faith, God, the Bible? Have questions you’ve always wanted to ask a pastor but have never had the opportunity? We invite you to join us for our new monthly series, Theology on Tap. Bring a friend! Light snacks and non-alcoholic beverages will also be served. First pint is on us!
March 27: Dr. John Franke will lead us in a Holy Week discussion on doubt.

Rehm Guild Luncheon
Tuesday, March 27
Refugee Ministry Team

Rehm Guild - Refugee Ministry Team
Tuesday, March 27, 12 Noon


Refugee Ministry Team
Rev. Jim Montgomery

Bring a sandwich to the Common Room at noon on Tuesday, March 27. Salad, desserts and beverages are provided. All ages are welcome.

For reservations, contact Helen Frazier (317) 726-0025 by Thursday, March 22.


A Spiritual Trajectory for the Second Half of Life
Sundays, 9:30 a.m.

A Spiritual Trajectory for the Second Half of Life

Four-week Book Study


Life in Christ is intended to be an ongoing adventure, an exploration of the mystery and wonder of the long trajectory of God’s Story and our own… An ever-expanding experience of the very heart of God! An ever-deepening understanding of God’s BIG Plan! An evergrowing participation in the life of God, moving all of humanity toward the fulfillment of God’s purposes.

Everyone is welcome to join in this four-week study, based on the book, Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Second Half of Life, by Fr. Richard Rohr. The class will be led by Rev. Robert L. Hunter and Dr. David A. Chaddock, Director of CenterPoint Counseling at Second Church.

March 18:  The Two Halves of Life: Identity, Security, Mirroring, and a clear sense of Self in the first half of life is essential.

March 25:  Overview of the Two Halves of Life: Ascent – Descent… Suffering, and the opening to the mystery of life.

April 8:  God’s BIG Story, and our Small Part

April 15:  Moving Forward – Toward God’s Shalom

Steak Dinner 2018
Wednesday, April 25
LaVall Jordan

Steak Dinner 2018

Register Now

Join us for our 35th Annual Steak Dinner featuring Butler University Head Basketball Coach LaVall Jordan.

Everyone is invited for this inspirational speaker over an excellent meal.

All the donations and proceeds from the Steak Dinner go to support the inner-city Youth Ministry at Shepherd Community Center. This ministry trains inner-city youth for bettering their lives spiritually and preparing themselves for the responsibilities of working at a job.

Adult Steak $35 (EARLYBIRD DISCOUNTS - $25 before 4/21)
Youth & children’s Steak $15
Youth & Children’s Hamburger $10

If you would like to make a donation to Shepherd Community Center now, please click here to log in to your e-Giving account. Additional donation opportunities will be available at the event.

Greenbriar Elementary
Seasonal Volunteer Opportunity

Put Your Faith into Action

Help students and teachers at Greenbriar Elementary.

Weekdays during school

The bright students and motivated teachers at nearby Greenbriar Elementary School need some helping hands to read with children, help in the classroom, go on field trips and host PTO events, like book fairs and Grandparents Day. Sign up to help every week or once in a while.

Contact Jan Millholland for more information.


Make a Difference
While You Shop

Make a Difference While You Shop

Did you know that many grocery stores, such as Kroger, offer some type of community rewards program? These programs donate a percentage of each of your purchases to your favorite local organization. It’s usually just a matter of logging in to your online account and choosing the organization you would like to support. Several organizations that are affiliated with our church participate in Kroger’s Community Rewards Program, including Greenbriar Elementary School and Westminster Neighborhood Services.
Sign up today and help ensure that your shopping dollars help support not only your family, but our wider community.

Five Good Books: Paul's Letter to the Romans

Five Good Books for March

Paul's Letter to the Romans


  1. Karl Barth, The Epistle to the Romans (Oxford, 1968)
  2. Beverly Roberts Gaventa, When in Romans: An Invitation to Linger with the Gospel According to Paul (Baker Academic, 2016)
  3. A. Katherine Grieb, The Story of Romans: A Narrative Defense of God’s Righteousness (Westminster John Knox, 2002)
  4. N. T. Wright, Paul for Everyone: Romans, Part 1 (Westminster John Knox, 2005)
  5. N. T. Wright, Paul for Everyone: Romans, Part 2 (Westminster John Knox, 2005)

Families in Christ
Sundays, 9:30 AM

Families in Christ

SUNDAYS, 9:30 AM, ROOM 112

Adults of all ages are welcome to this Sunday morning class where we circle up to discuss and grow in faith together! Social and service opportunities are offered throughout the year.

Join us this Sunday for a Bible study using The Wired Word. This adult bible study lesson is designed to apply scripture to current news and events. We have a new topic every Sunday to study together and it will serve as an easy way to weave current events into our weekly Bible Studies. Hope to see you!

Sundays, 9:30 a.m.


SUNDAYS, 9:30 AM, ROOM 402
All are welcome to join us for fellowship and conversation as we read and study together The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by authors Douglas Carlton Abrams, Desmond Tutu and Dalai Lama.
Nobel Peace Prize Laureates His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu have survived more than fifty years of exile and the soul-crushing violence of oppression. Despite their hardships or, as they would say, because of them they are two of the most joyful people on the planet.
In April 2015, Archbishop Tutu traveled to the Dalai Lama's home in Dharamsala, India, to celebrate His Holiness's eightieth birthday and to create what they hoped would be a gift for others. They looked back on their long lives to answer a single burning question: How do we find joy in the fact of life's inevitable suffering?

They traded intimate stories, teased each other continually, and shared their spiritual practices. By the end of a week filled with laughter and punctuated with tears, these two global heroes had stared into the abyss and despair of our time and revealed how to live a life brimming with joy.

This book offers us a rare opportunity to experience their astonishing and unprecendented week together, from the first embrace to the final good-bye. 
Contact Wendy Drook with questions.