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Connellsville Community Ministerial Association Lenten Lunches kick off on Tuesday

| Friday, Feb. 15, 2013, 4:54 p.m.

Christians from all area churches are invited to attend Connellsville Area Ministerial Association's Community Lenten Lunches, which are kicking off on Tuesday.

The lunches will be held every Tuesday during Lent at the Connellsville Presbyterian Church, located on South Pittsburgh Street.

“The Protestant churches and the Catholic churches of Connellsville will join together at these lunches to better prepare ourselves for the Easter season,” said Karen Hechler, a member of the Presbyterian Church, which is in charge of the first luncheon being held Tuesday.

A different church or group of churches will prepare a meal each week, said Hechler. Those attending are asked for a free will offering to benefit the ministerial association, which organizes the event.

The luncheons begin at noon and end at 1 p.m. Following lunch, during the hour, one of the ministers from the ministerial association will offer a message in keeping with the season.

“I am happy that the Catholic community of Connellsville will be participating in this wonderful ecumenical event. My previous parish, St. John the Baptist in Perryopolis, had participated in the local ministerium's Lenten Luncheons for many years. I, along with many others, always found it to be very uplifting,” said the Rev. Bob Lubic, pastor of Connellsville's Catholic churches (Immaculate Conception, St. Rita and St. John the Evangelist). Lubic will speak at the Feb. 26 lunch.

On Tuesday, the Presbyterian church will prepare the lunch. Speaker will be the Rev. Will Hough of the First Baptist Church. Feb. 26's luncheon will be prepared by the Calvary Assembly of God. Lubic will be speaker. The March 5 lunch will be provided by the Connellsville Catholic community and the speaker will be the Rev. Matt Goldsberry of the Calvary Assembly of God. Lunch on March 12 will be provided by the Church of God and the speaker will be the Rev. Suzanne Zampella of the Presbyterian Church. The final week, March 19, lunch will be provided by Otterbein and Wesley United Methodist churches and the speaker will be the Rev. Jim Turnbull of Christian Missionary Alliance.

“Lent is the time when we look into ourselves and wish to control whatever is unfavorable while doing our best to improve whatever is beneficial,” said the Rev. Don Smith, president of Connellsville Area Ministerial Association.

“The Lenten lunches are a wonderful time for Christians from many different local churches to come together, share a meal and conversation and to hear a message from a different local pastor each week. It's a valuable time together as we prepare for Easter, to hear the Word of God proclaimed with the accents of the various faith traditions. In my three years here, I have watched the lunches grow in attendance from 50 to 80 or more last year,” said Zampella.

“This is a wonderful way to focus on the importance of this season of Lent. Please join us for food and fellowship at noon on the Tuesdays during Lent,” said Hechler.

Nancy Henry is a freelance writer.

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