Ash Wednesday emphasizes a dual encounter: we confront our own mortality and confess our sin before God. It kicks off a season of introspection and renewal of our commitment to God. Throughout Lent we focus on the dual themes of sin and death in the light of God's redeeming love in Jesus Christ. Let us take up an attitude of prayer and reflection.
Opening Prayer & Hymn

L: Rend your hearts and not your clothing.
P: Return to the Lord, your God.
L: For God is gracious and merciful, God is slow to anger.
P: God is abounding in steadfast love, and he relents from punishing.
L: Come let us draw near to God!
Have Thine Own Way Lord
Prayer of the Day - United Methodist Hymnal No. 353

O God
maker of everything and judge of all that you have made,
from the dust of the earth you have formed us
and fro:1-6, 16-21m the dust of death you would raise us up.
BY the redemptive power of the cross,
create in us clean hearts
and put within us a new spirit,
that we may repent of our sins
and lead lives worthy of your calling;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Scripture Lesson: Mark 6: 1-6, 16-21
“Be careful that you don’t practice your religion in front of people to draw their attention. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.
“Whenever you give to the poor, don’t blow your trumpet as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets so that they may get praise from people. I assure you, that’s the only reward they’ll get. But when you give to the poor, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing so that you may give to the poor in secret. Your Father who sees what you do in secret will reward you.

 “When you pray, don’t be like hypocrites. They love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners so that people will see them. I assure you, that’s the only reward they’ll get. But when you pray, go to your room, shut the door, and pray to your Father who is present in that secret place. Your Father who sees what you do in secret will reward you.

 “And when you fast, don’t put on a sad face like the hypocrites. They distort their faces so people will know they are fasting. I assure you that they have their reward. When you fast, brush your hair and wash your face. Then you won’t look like you are fasting to people, but only to your Father who is present in that secret place. Your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

 “Stop collecting treasures for your own benefit on earth, where moth and rust eat them and where thieves break in and steal them. Instead, collect treasures for yourselves in heaven, where moth and rust don’t eat them and where thieves don’t break in and steal them. Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
L: This is the word of the Lord
P: Thanks be to God
Pastor Kevan's Message: We come from dust and to dust we shall return. Pastor Kevan challenges us to take advantage of the great opportunity given us in these 46 days of Lent.
Special Music - What Wondrous Love - Miles Walter, Music Director, pianist
Invitation to the Observance of Lenten Discipline

Brothers and sisters in Christ:

The early Christians observed with great devotion the days of our Lord's passion and resurrection, and it became the custom of the Church that before the Easter celebration there should be a forty–day season of spiritual preparation.

During this season converts to the faith were prepared for Holy Baptism.
It was also a time when persons who had committed serious sins and had separated themselves from the community of faith were reconciled by penitence and forgiveness, and restored to participation in the life of the Church.

In this way the whole congregation was reminded of the mercy and forgiveness proclaimed in the gospel of Jesus Christ and the need we all have to renew our faith.

You are invited, therefore, in the name of the Church, to observe a holy Lent: by self–examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self–denial; and by reading and meditating on God's Holy Word.
The Lord's Prayer - Let us pray the prayer Jesus taught us:

Our Father, which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done in earth,
as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,
the power, and the glory,
For ever and ever. Amen.

Psalm 51: 1-17

Have mercy on me, God, according to your faithful love!
    Wipe away my wrongdoings according to your great compassion!
Wash me completely clean of my guilt;
    purify me from my sin!
Because I know my wrongdoings,
    my sin is always right in front of me.
I’ve sinned against you—you alone.
    I’ve committed evil in your sight.
That’s why you are justified when you render your verdict,
    completely correct when you issue your judgment.
Yes, I was born in guilt, in sin,
    from the moment my mother conceived me.
 And yes, you want truth in the most hidden places;
    you teach me wisdom in the most secret space.[a]
Purify me with hyssop and I will be clean;
    wash me and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and celebration again;
    let the bones you crushed rejoice once more.
Hide your face from my sins;
    wipe away all my guilty deeds!
 Create a clean heart for me, God;
    put a new, faithful spirit deep inside me!
Please don’t throw me out of your presence;
    please don’t take your holy spirit away from me.
Return the joy of your salvation to me
    and sustain me with a willing spirit.
Then I will teach wrongdoers your ways,
    and sinners will come back to you.
Deliver me from violence, God, God of my salvation,
    so that my tongue can sing of your righteousness.
 Lord, open my lips,
    and my mouth will proclaim your praise.
 You don’t want sacrifices.
    If I gave an entirely burned offering,
    you wouldn’t be pleased.
A broken spirit is my sacrifice, God.[b]
    You won’t despise a heart, God, that is broken and crushed.
Lord, Who Throughout These 40 Days
The Benediction

May the almighty and merciful God,
who desires not the death of a sinner
but that we turn from wickedness and live, accept your repentance, forgive your sins, and restore you by the Holy Spirit to newness of life. Amen.
Valhalla United Methodist Church | 200 Columbus Avenue, Valhalla NY 10595
914-949-6252 | valhallaumc@verizon.net | https://valhallaumc.org/