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Cowan and the Season of Lent and Easter Sunday

The season of Lent in the Christian tradition is a time when the followers of Christ enter into prayer and reflection on what it means to be a disciple - specifically, what it means to be a disciple of the one who embraced the world with such love that he gave his life.  On the one hand, we use these 40 days prior to Easter as a time to give glory to Christ who would make such a sacrifice for the people whom he loved.  People everywhere.  But we are called by our Lord not just to say nice things about Jesus.  We are called to follow him.  To model our lives on his life, which includes giving ourselves away with the same sacrificial love that he did.  In the covenant of Baptism we affirm that we, too, are called to "die in Christ".  To "take up our cross".  Lent is a time to reflect on what this means.

The churches of the Cowan Ministerial Association are united on this.  We celebrate Lent together.  One way that we enter into the spirit of Lent is worship, and here is our worship schedule of some of our gatherings and where they will be happening:

  • Ash Wednesday, February 18, 7pm, at the Cowan Cumberland Presbyterian Church.  This service is our entry into the season of Lent.  As a part of this worship, we will receive the sign of the cross on our foreheads from the ashes that were used at last year's Palm Sunday service at St. Agnes Episcopal Church.  Joshua Haun, pastor of the Cowan Church of the Nazarene will be preaching.
  • Maundy Thursday, April 2, 6pm, St. Agnes Episcopal Church.  We will celebrate the sacrament of Holy Communion together across all our denominational barriers in a service of love and unity that gives glory to Jesus who celebrated the Seder, or Passover meal, with his disciples, before he was arrested and crucified by the powers of the world that hated him, and the evil that would deny him.  Passover is a celebration of deliverance from slavery.  God's stand against the powers that would enslave us and keep us from the life of promise that he intends for us.  Jesus is that deliverer who destroys the barriers that would keep us apart from the promise.  In addition to celebrating the Lord's Supper, we will offer foot washing, commemorating the servanthood of Jesus who washed the feet of his disciples.  The word "maundy" comes from a Latin word that means "command", namely, Jesus' command to us to love one another, even as he loves us.
  • Good Friday Stations of the Cross, St. Agnes Episcopal Church to Cowan Fellowship Church.  5pm.   This is a prayer walk in which we will observe the traditional stations of the cross as we go through the town of Cowan and offer our prayers on behalf of the town specific to that places that we stop along the way.  Andy Gay, the pastor of the Cowan Fellowship Church, will lead this walk.
  • Easter Sunrise at the Cross, Montgomery Cemetery.  6:30am.  Ronnie Pittenger, pastor of the Cowan Cumberland Presbyterian Church, will lead this, the oldest of our Lenten/Easter traditions in Cowan.  This service is the original worship that brought our churches together as a community for Easter.  Poised under the great cedars at the head of the cemetery, looking out on the coves and the mountains that embrace Cowan, it is stunningly beautiful.  In case of rain we will meet at the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.  Music will also be a part of this time of praise.   

There are other events going on in Franklin County besides what the ministerial association is sponsoring, and we will be glad to use our web site to link and/or publicize what others are doing.  Here are a couple:

  • Community Lenten Bible Study, taught by Sherwood Ebey, Thursdays of Lent, 6:30-8pm, at the Cowan Fellowship Church.  This is a study of Exodus based on the Kerygma curriculum.
  • Lenten Lunches in Winchester.  12 noon each Wednesday, beginning Ash Wednesday, February 18 at First United Methodist Church in Winchester.  Each Wednesday a different preacher and church will lead these brief services, followed by a community lunch in the Fellowship Hall. 


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