This coming Wednesday, March 1, millions upon millions of people will flock to their churches to receive a cross shaped smudge of ashes on their foreheads. This day is referred to as Ash Wednesday. It marks the beginning of the liturgical season of the year called LENT which involves 40 days (NOT COUNTING SUNDAYS) of fasting and penitential preparation leading up to Easter. Lent is a season of soul-searching and repentance. It is a season for reflection and taking stock. Lent originated in the very earliest days after the ascension of Jesus as a preparatory time for Easter, when the faithful rededicated themselves and when converts were instructed in the faith and prepared for baptism. By observing the forty days of Lent, the individual Christian imitates Jesus’ withdrawal into the wilderness for forty days. The early followers of Christ also observed Lent, believing it to be a commandment from the apostles. Now that you know when Lent begins this year, do you know when Lent ends?

Our BIRTHDAY SHOUT OUT today goes to Larry Olguin. Today is Larry’s day.

My hope is that we grow together as God’s people in God’s family. And to do that we need to strengthen our roots. STRENGTHENING OUR ROOTS is the what I am calling our new Scripture series on Sunday mornings here at Community. We studied in Psalm 1 on February 19th with A TALE OF TWO TREES. One tree had roots and stability and grew. The tree without roots died.

Have you heard the saying that goes: MUCH PRAYER, MUCH BLESSING, LITTLE PRAYER, LITTLE BLESSING, NO PRAYER, NO BLESSING? Sign up for the Impact Prayer Seminar that will be March 21-22. Registration cards are at the Information Center in the Lobby.

Claudia and I are taking few days vacation later this week to support the Los Angeles Dodgers in their spring training games in Phoenix, Arizona. We will be staying with former staff pastor here at Community, Ed Waken and his wife, Debbie. We will return this coming Saturday.

Colossians 2:6-7 is our verse for 2017. I will remind you of it as we go through this year. “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, 7 rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”

Weekly Alanon meetings will be starting here on campus this Wednesday evening at 7pm. Invite your friends, family and neighbors to attend. This is a support/encouragement group for people who have been negatively impacted by alcoholism (and yes, my family has been negatively impacted by alcoholism). These weekly meetings will be using our group meeting rooms at our 8031 Greenleaf building. Contact Theresa B. for more info at (626) 806-8704. Or talk to me.

Gods best to you

Passtor Richard