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Lent prepares believers for Easter

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by MATTHEW NASH
Sequim Gazette

On Feb. 17, many Sequim Christians took part in special Ash Wednesday services for the beginning of Lent.

The time from Ash Wednesday to Easter is meant for prayer, fasting and sacrifice.

Trinity United Methodist, Dungeness Valley Lutheran and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church congregations met together for a noon service.

Their ministers — the Revs. Bill Gordon, Trinity; Robert Rhoads Rhoades, St. Luke’s; and Jack Anderson, Dungeness Valley — led the service and marked worshippers’ foreheads with ash crosses as a sign of repentance.

For many in attendance, Lent is a time to focus on God through personal sacrifice.

Stephen and Terri Lillquist said they intend to give up wine.

“It’s going to be hard because I have a glass every night,” Terri said.

Judie Sharpe is planning to volunteer more.

“It’s not so much giving up something but taking on other things,” Sharpe said.

She volunteers and conducts with the North Olympic Men’s Chorus and Grand Olympic Chorus and is organist at Trinity. She wants to find more opportunities to serve in those roles.

Pamela Godsey, a St. Luke’s member, said she intends to spend one morning a week with a spiritual companion in prayer or reading the Bible.

“I want to spend more time in prayer to deepen my faith so when Easter comes it’s truly a celebration of the gift that is given to us in Christ,” Godsey said.

Gordon said Lent takes him back down to Earth and to the basics of his beliefs.

“It’s a season to reflect on the purpose and mission of Jesus and recommit my life again,” he said.

“I recognize it’s not always easy, but God’s love sustains me.”

Some Christian denominations fast or avoid meat on Ash Wednesday. Gordon said he would fast for the day and probably one day a week during Lent, read scripture or spend time in prayer during his lunch breaks.

Lent lasts 40 days. Holy Week commemorates the death and Easter resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Reach Matthew Nash at mnash@sequimgazette.com.

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