Kindred in Christ,

This Sunday, February 14, we’re wrapping up our series Reignite where we have been looking at the early sparks that started the movement known as Methodism. We have been exploring what these sparks might mean for us today as we move into our own future of doing church in new and relevant ways. This week, we consider the spark of evolving faith. For Wesley, our lived faith is never stagnant. Rather, God is intimately involved in our personal, real lives, moving us toward “perfection [or wholeness] in love.” This is a dynamic way of being open to God in every given moment. And it grants me hope, for it insists that our lives and the world is not yet finished. And we can partner with God in moving toward greater perfection in love. This is what it means to be more fully alive.

Also, this upcoming Wednesday, February 17, we’re gathering for a time of prayer and reflection on Ash Wednesday, which marks the first day of Lent (Zoom link below). While unintentionally placed in the same week, I find that the Wesleyan spark of evolving faith and the upcoming season of Lent have much in common. For Lent is a time when we are invited to self-examine and begin to give up the things that get in the way of our true selves and God. Lent is an evolutionary journey where we are invited to be open to God bringing us into greater wholeness in love. I look forward to beginning this journey with you, even as we gather across spaces and screens. I invite you to bring your whole self and I will, too. See you on FB Live and Zoom!

– Rev. Paul Ortiz