Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent in the Western Christian calendar, occurring 46 days before Easter. According to the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus spent 40 days fasting in the desert, where he endured temptation by Satan. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of this 40-day liturgical period of prayer and fasting or abstinence. Of the 46 days until Easter, six are Sundays. As the Christian Sabbath, Sundays are not included in the fasting period and are instead “feast” days during Lent.
Ash Wednesday Service of Healing, Wholeness and Prayer—February 14th, 6:30 pm Ash Wednesday derives its name from the practice of placing ashes on the foreheads of Christians as a celebration and reminder of human mortality, and as a sign of mourning and repentance to God. Rather than the imposition of ashes, it is GBPC’s tradition to offer an Ash Wednesday Service of Healing and Wholeness, whereby individuals have opportunities for individual prayers and anointing with oil. This year, we will also include an intentional time of prayer for our country.
Preparing for Easter, April 5th, 5:15 pm This Family Experience will be a night for families to come together and prepare their hearts for the Easter season. During the Wednesday Night Live Dinner, the Prakash family will give us an example of the Passover Seder and the symbolism of that meal. Normal KICK and Bible Studies will be canceled for the evening. Following the dinner everyone will go to the sanctuary for the Junior Choir’s presentation and special Palm Sunday music performed by our Choir.
Palm Sunday, March 25th. Palm Sunday seems to be a joyful celebration of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, but there is clearly a recognition in our celebration that adulation turned to betrayal, and Jesus had come to Jerusalem to suffer and die for our sins. This year, Palm Sunday will also be a Family worship Sunday
Holy Week Palm Sunday also marks the beginning of what is known as Holy Week. Monday-Friday, we offer Holy Week Services & Lunch, March 26th-30th 12:10 pm. For several years, GBPC has hosted ecumenical services, inviting community ministers to lead worship followed by a lunch of soup and sandwiches. Designed for the business lunch hour time frame.
Thursday: Bishop Kim Brown, The Mount
Friday: Rev. Dr. Ralph R. Herbert, GBPC
Maundy Thursday Service, March 29th, 7:30 pm Maundy Thursday derives its name from John 13:34, where Jesus washed the feet of the disciples and said, “I give you a new commandment…”, in Latin, Mandatum novum. Communion is a central part of this service as we remember the “Last Supper” Jesus shared with his disciples and the institution of the sacrament. Join us for this very creative service! We’ll begin in the candle-lit Upper Room (fellowship hall) as we gather around the table for communion, then journey to the Garden of Gethsemane (sanctuary) to reflect on Jesus’ agony in the garden, then follow the cross to Golgotha (outside) to contemplate the crucifixion
Good Friday, March 30th Good Friday helps us to recall the crucifixion and death of Christ through the narration of the events of the day. Good Friday comes from the middle English from “God’s Friday.” Join us for our Good Friday service at 12:10 pm.
Easter Sunday, April 1st. Easter or Resurrection Sunday is the most important Christian celebration. Traditionally the service begins with the Easter acclamation, “The Lord is risen,” and with the reply, “He is risen indeed!” Lilies trumpeting the good news of the resurrection fill the sanctuary. Our worship schedule will be 8:15 & 9:30 am Traditional, and 11:00 am Contemporary.