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The journey to Easter

| Friday, Feb. 23, 2007

In holding with the pre-Easter tradition that has been observed for several years, the Connellsville Area Ministerial Association will again hold a series of Lenten lunches.

The lunches will be served at noon Tuesdays beginning next week and running through March 27 at the Connellsville Presbyterian Church, 711 Pittsburgh St.

Each lunch will feature a light meal and an inspirational message delivered by a member of the ministry from the area.

"It's a nice way to get the community together," Pastor Mark Van Bibber said. "It's an informal gathering that is perfect for fellowship while observing Lent."

The lunches have proven to be popular in the past, and Van Bibber and the ministerium hope the tradition continues.

"We have had nice turnouts in the past," Van Bibber said. "Every week you see a few new faces."

Although the Lenten lunches carry no official theme as they did in previous years, Pastor Mark Juengel, from Connellsville Presbyterian, calls the weekly gathering "our journey to Easter."

Each week will feature a different pastor from an area church, and each will deliver his or her own topic.

"We try to get different pastors every year," Van Bibber said. "Many times people have a tendency to follow their own pastor to hear them speak."

The speakers are scheduled as follows: on Tuesday, the Rev. Tim Irwin of the Church of God; March 6, the Rev. Joe McCarty of the Mt. Olive Evangelical Church; March 13, the Rev. Travis Dean of Calvary Assembly of God; March 20, the Rev. Chris Stillwell of the Christian Church; March 27, the Rev. Don Smith of the World Christian Outreach Ministries.

"This is an all-over community-wide event," Van Bibber said. "We have about 20 churches from the area that participate in these kinds of events. We encourage everyone from the community to join us for these lunches. They are always a nice, positive experience."

The lunches will last approximately one hour. A freewill offering will be collected.

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