For the last several Wednesday MidWeek Fellowship services, we have walked through the valley of the shadow of addiction together. We explored the twelve steps of recovery, told our stories, listened with laughter and tears, surveyed the terrain of our family and friends, and attempted to set a course toward sobriety and serenity. It’s been tough terrain at times, but we are healthier and more hopeful having walked there.

Beginning this Wednesday, we will step outside our own valleys and give attention to the struggles of others in our world. This Wednesday, March 6, is Ash Wednesday. To begin the Lenten season, singer-songwriter Bobby Jo Valentine will be leading us in this worship experience. Bobby Jo recently lost his home in the California wildfires and has been playing benefit concerts for other victims of the fire. Who better to speak to us about finding hope amid ashes as we begin the Lenten season? On Wednesday, March 13, we will begin hearing from our primary mission affiliates about the work we are accomplishing with them in the world. Paula Dempsey of the Alliance of Baptists will be with us on March 13. Jay Kieve of the South Carolina Cooperative Baptist Fellowship will be our March 20 speaker. The newly appointed Executive Director of the national Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Paul Baxley, will be with us on March 27. The national CBF has been much on our mind lately given their discussions on hiring policies and the LGBTQ community. This will be a unique opportunity to hear from Paul concerning his views on our unity, diversity and mission. Finally, on April 3, Missy Ward-Angalla – field personnel (missionary) – in Kampala, Uganda, will share about her world mission experience.

We have gathered in good numbers these past few Wednesday evenings to share our common struggles. Let’s gather in good numbers in the coming weeks to give attention to the struggles of our neighbors in the world. Walking with others in their valleys will be a good way to spend our Lenten season moving toward Easter.

— Jim

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