It was good to be away for a few days, visiting family and friends in Houston, but it is even better to be home! I know Rev. Lemuel Garcia-Arroyo was warmly received, and I’m thankful he was able to be here in my absence. I’m glad to be back with you.
This Sunday, February 23, we will welcome our new Austin Seminary Intern, Kimbol Soques. Kimbol is in her second year at the seminary where, among other things, she is serving as an instructional aide for the Introduction to New Testament course being taught by Professor Margaret Aymer. Kimbol is a member of Shepherd of the Hills Presbyterian Church and lives in the Travis Country neighborhood. Please be sure to welcome Kimbol and her husband Marty when you see them.
Next Wednesday, February 26, is Ash Wednesday – the day that marks the beginning of the season of Lent in our church calendar. In just a matter of days, we move from the awesome mountaintop experience of God’s light and holy presence on Transfiguration Sunday to the dark and somber observance of our frailty and mortality on Ash Wednesday. We will observe this special day with contemplative worship services – one at 10:00 a.m. and one at 6:00 p.m. These services will be identical, so there is no need to attend both; come to the service that is most convenient for your schedule. The service will be a time for reflection, prayer, silence, music, and receiving the imposition of ashes. Marking the sign of the cross in ash on your forehead is a way we remember our frailty and our mortality, and it is also a way to remember our ultimate faith in the God who journeys with us through the valleys of darkness as well as in the light of the mountaintop experiences.