Tag Archives: Easter

Holy Week 2019 Pastoral Call to Fast and Pray

As we travel in our Lenten journey this year, our church once again encourages and will engage in an annual period of fasting and prayer from Good Friday to Easter Sunday. We started this practice 15 years ago, and for the past seven years we have emphasized making this special time be about becoming more attuned than ever to the work God would have us do as individuals and as a church.

In that time, we have focused our prayers on our church and its direction — on how to better do the work God has laid out for us. We have had significant growth in outreach to the community and to God’s people. The miracle stories seem to happen at a dizzying pace. With more than 20 years of history as a congregation, we celebrate our past and present — and we prayerfully look to our future.

It is only with your support that we have become a church that is affirming, inclusive and progressive in our ministry, and it is only with your help and prayer that it can continue.

The pastoral staff and I have been moved by God’s spirit to again call for this time of fasting and prayer. I hope that you will consider joining us in this spiritual practice — and in particular, to join me in Candler Park, near picnic pavilion 2, on Holy Saturday, April 20th between 10am and 2pm, to pray together and also to pray for those who are joining us in person or in spirit.

Here are the details of our time of fasting and prayer:

  • Our fast begins on Good Friday at the conclusion of the 7pm service at the foot of the Cross on the lawn of First Christian Church of Decatur.
  • Our theme this year is “Taking Our Inventory“.
  • On Holy Saturday in Candler Park, I will lead us through a day of prayer. If you have a signed covenant with our church, I appeal to you especially to participate in this sacred and holy time of reflection and of seeking God’s direction for this fellowship. (If you have small children, don’t let that stop you from participating; let us know you intend to be there and we can discuss arrangements for child care.)

For this year’s meditation, here are some questions I encourage you to focus on:

  • How does this year’s meditation translate for you in the life of Gentle Spirit Christian Church? What kinds of spiritual inventory have you pursued?
  • What can each of us do to witness a spiritual inventory through our vision and mission?
  • What do we need to do as individuals to continue to take a spiritual inventory?
  • Indeed, what does a spiritual inventory actually look like?

Easter is a special opportunity for us to set ourselves aside and focus on God, to allow God to speak to each of us individually and to all of us as a church. I hope you’ll join us in this spiritual practice beginning at with our Good Friday service and concluding with our Easter (Resurrection Sunday) Sunrise Service in Candler Park, picnic Pavilion 2.

In the meantime, I hope you’ll find this year’s Lenten readings useful in your spiritual practice.

God bless,
Pastor Paul

Lent 2019 Readings

The 2019 Lenten season commences on Ash Wednesday, March 6th, and ends on Maundy Thursday, April 18th.

Our theme this year is Taking Our Inventory. We all have our own ways of doing personal inventory — but how do you take a biblical survey based off the readings we have?

Three questions to consider:

  • In the readings, which verse stood out from the others?
  • Why did this verse ring a chord with me?
  • How does or should this influence my life today?

When I mentioned these three, Pastor Paul added a challenge: Sit in front of a mirror and look at yourself with your bible in hand. Consider that you were uniquely created in the image of God — who loves that image in the mirror, unconditionally. So can you say that you do too?

Take these steps in hand and read your bible day, taking time to inventory yourself in front of that mirror.

Readings and Sermon Titles:

  • Thursday, March 7: Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16; Exodus 5:10-23; Acts 7:30-34
  • Friday, March 8: Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16; Exodus 6:1-13; Acts 7:35-42
  • Saturday, March 9: Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16; Ecclesiastes 3:1-8; John 12:27-36

Sunday, March 10 (Lent 1): Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16; Romans 10:8b-13; Luke 4:1-13. Sermon: “Jesus’ Test is Our Test” (Vicar Alyce)

  • Monday, March 11: Psalm 17; 1 Chronicles 21:1-17; 1 John 2:1-6
  • Tuesday, March 12: Psalm 17; Zechariah 3:1-10; 2 Peter 2:4-21
  • Wednesday, March 13: Psalm 17; Job 1:1-22; Luke 21:34-22:6
  • Thursday, March 14: Psalm 27; Genesis 13:1-7, 14-18; Philippians 3:2-12
  • Friday, March 15: Psalm 27; Genesis 14:17-24; Philippians 3:17-20
  • Saturday, March 16: Psalm 27; Psalm 118:26-29; Matthew 23:37-39

Sunday, March 17 (Lent 2): Psalm 27; Philippians 3:17-4:1; Luke 9:28-36, (37-43a). Sermon: “Time’s Up” (Pastor Paul)

  • Monday, March 18: Psalm 105:1-42; Exodus 33:1-6; Romans 4:1-12
  • Tuesday, March 19: Psalm 105:1-42; Numbers 14:10b-24; 1 Corinthians 10:1-13
  • Wednesday, March 20: Psalm 105:1-42; 2 Chronicles 20:1-22; Luke 13:22-31
  • Thursday, March 21: Psalm 63:1-8; Daniel 3:19-30; Revelation 2:8-11
  • Friday, March 22: Psalm 63:1-8; Daniel 12:1-4; Revelation 3:1-6
  • Saturday, March 23: Psalm 63:1-8; Isaiah 5:1-7; Luke 6:43-45

Sunday, March 24 (Lent 3): Psalm 63:1-8; 1 Corinthians 10:1-13; Luke 13:1-9. Sermon: “One More Year” (Pastor Paul)

  • Monday, March 25: Psalm 39; Jeremiah 11:1-17; Romans 2:1-11
  • Tuesday, March 26: Psalm 39; Ezekiel 17:1-10; Romans 2:12-16
  • Wednesday, March 27: Psalm 39; Numbers 13:17-27; Luke 13:18-21
  • Thursday, March 28: Psalm 32; Joshua 4:1-13; 2 Corinthians 4:16-5:5
  • Friday, March 29: Psalm 32; Joshua 4:14-24; 2 Corinthians 5:6-15
  • Saturday, March 30: Psalm 32; Exodus 32:7-14; Luke 15:1-10

Sunday, March 31 (Lent 4): Psalm 32; 2 Corinthians 5:16-21; Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32. Sermon: “Is this Plain Enough?” (Pastor Paul)

  • Monday, April 1: Psalm 53; Leviticus 23:26-41; Revelation 19:1-8
  • Tuesday, April 2: Psalm 53; Leviticus 25:1-19; Revelation 19:9-10
  • Wednesday, April 3: Psalm 53; 2 Kings 4:1-7; Luke 9:10-17
  • Thursday, April 4: Psalm 126; Isaiah 43:1-7; Philippians 2:19-24
  • Friday, April 5: Psalm 126; Isaiah 43:8-15; Philippians 2:25-3:1
  • Saturday, April 6: Psalm 126; Exodus 12:21-27; John 11:45-57

Sunday, April 7 (Lent 5): Psalm 126; Philippians 3:4b-14; John 12:1-8. Sermon: “Priorities!” (Pastor Paul)

  • Monday, April 8: Psalm 20; Exodus 40:1-15; Hebrews 10:19-25
  • Tuesday, April 9: Psalm 20; Judges 9:7-15; 1 John 2:18-28
  • Wednesday, April 10: Psalm 20; Habakkuk 3:2-15; Luke 18:31-34
  • Thursday, April 11: Psalm 31:9-16; Isaiah 53:10-12; Hebrews 2:1-9
  • Friday, April 12: Psalm 31:9-16; Isaiah 54:9-10; Hebrews 2:10-18
  • Saturday, April 13: Psalm 31:9-16; Leviticus 23:1-8; Luke 22:1-13

Palm Sunday, April 14 (Lent 6): Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29; Luke 19:28-40. Sermon: “I Love a Parade” (Pastor Paul)

Holy Week:

  • Monday, April 15: Isaiah 42:1-9; Psalm 36:5-11; Hebrews 9:11-15; John 12:1-11
  • Tuesday, April 16: Isaiah 49:1-7; Psalm 71:1-14; 1 Corinthians 1:18-31; John 12:20-36
  • Wednesday, April 17: Isaiah 50:4-9a; Psalm 70; Hebrews 12:1-3; John 13:21-32
  • Holy Saturday, April 20: Job 14:1-14; Psalm 31:1-4, 15-16; 1 Peter 4:1-8; Matthew 27:57-66 or John 19:38-42

Easter Sunday, April 21: Acts 10:34-43 or Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24; Acts 10:34-43; Luke 24:1-12. Sermon: “The Empty Tomb” (Pastor Paul)

Vicar Alyce Keener

About Vicar Alyce Keener

Born in Columbus, Ohio, Alyce has been called in two directions from an early age: Teaching and God. She has been active in churches all her life, prays every day and studied at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. She has lived in Georgia since 1995.

Easter Sunrise Service and Holy Week: The Complete Guide

The Easter Sunrise Service at the Church Without Walls in Atlanta’s Candler Park at 7am on Sunday, April 21st caps the 2019 Holy Week and Lenten observance for Gentle Spirit Christian Church, which includes:

Click here for this year’s Lenten readings.