A Note from Senior Pastor, Rev. Kenneth S. Waclo

Every journey usually begins with a destination in mind. In the picture we witness the rising sun on a beautiful July morning off the coast of Virginia in 2018. Harriet Lane's crew is coming alive after reveille knowing that this day would be a test of its main battery in a gunnery exercise. The exercise will take place at a designated coordinate over the horizon. The picture captures the start of the day, the water we will cover, and the exercise that is before us and on everyone's mind. And in this picture we see the journey towards an important certification.

Harriet Lane's journey began months before with lots of preparation; crews were trained in the weapon's system and fire control radar, repairs were made to the system, parts were ordered, checks and rechecks were performed. The ship just didn't pull out of port go into the Atlantic and fire away. They undertook a journey involving the whole ship and the whole crew to ensure when the final testing arrived everything was ready. And it was.

Lent this year reminds me of this evolution that I took part in in 2018. The crew invited me in, welcomed me as one of their own, and invited me for the testing and the triumph. In the same way we have been on a journey for over a year and a half now. Once again Lent is upon us, and our goal is to behold the cross on our way to an empty tomb come March 31st.

Our journey will include intentional study, worship, fellowship, mission work, and the everyday challenges of life. Together on our Lenten journey we will face challenges with illness among our church family, we will strive to feed and shelter our community in times of great need, we will seek to keep our church physical plant up and running as the building's age continues to remind us that it is getting older. We will feel anxious about health, about money, about our denomination, about our country, about our world. Our journey in Lent will remind us that we truly need a Savior, and thanks be to God we have one!

It is good for us, to make a yearly journey to remind ourselves why Christ is so important in our lives, and what his teachings mean to us personally and as a community. I believe this Lent especially will remind us how precious unity and grace are within Chestnut Church. But it starts with a journey. A journey we will make together. And come Easter, we will stand and rejoice that "He is Risen!" Risen for you, Risen for me, Risen for His Good Creation. A triumph we can only appreciate by making a journey through calm seas and through towering waves together. Arriving at our safe harbor, so that we can begin our next journey.

God Bless and Peace, Pastor Ken