As we move into the Lenten season, we are reminded of the story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37. The Priest and Levite did everything they were supposed to do according to the Law. On their way to the temple to worship God, these two religious leaders knew that touching blood would make them unclean. These leaders avoided the man who was lying beside the road in great pain. They knew the law, but they overlooked the call to put their faith into action. No Matter the situation, love needs to win. We are to love god and love our neighbor at all times and in all situations.

At Lovely Lane, we seek to put our faith into action an express love to those in need. Special Offerings are a way to do this. Offerings for Lent will start on February 26. Recipients are Matthew 25, Fire & Fragrance South Africa, UM Church Camps, and Youth Mission Trips. Giving to others is a spiritual discipline and expression of Christian love.

2023 Lenten Offering Recipients

  • Matthew 25 is a local non-profit that exists to strengthen core neighborhoods on Cedar Rapids’ west side. It partners with them to work in the areas of Neighborhood Building, Youth Development, and Cultivating Hope. Lovely Lane will partner with Matthew 25 again during Transform Week in late June. This past year Matthew 25 successfully opened the Cultivate Hope Corner Grocery in the Time Check neighborhood.
  • Fire & Fragrance South Africa is part of the “Youth With a Mission” family. Ellen Stines, who grew up as a Lovely Lane member, is currently serving as a full-time missionary with them in South Africa. Ministries include evangelism, discipleship of women in a rehab center, worship and prayer, and promoting events helping to spread the body of Christ across South Africa.
  • United Methodist Church Camps in Iowa are Lake Okoboji camp and Wesley Woods Camp in Indianola. These camps have been a vital part of youth and adult ministry of the UMC over the years. The business model is changing, necessitating that the camps become financially self-sufficient. In order to continue operations at previous levels, they need financial support from IA UMC churches.
  • Youth Mission Trips have always been a great growth and learning activity for church youth. This year we have two trips planned for our youth. The first is to the Texas-Mexico border where they’ll experience the work faith-based organizations are doing with immigrants entering our country. The second trip, to Minneapolis, will focus on our Christian response to racism.

You can donate by several methods:

  • Make a check out to Lovely Lanle and mailing to the church office at Lovely Lane United Methodist Church, 2424 42nd St. NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402.
  • Bring a check to church and put it in the offering plate with “Lenten Offering” in the subject line. There are cards in the pews with the organizations in case you wish to designate to certain ones.
  • Visit our online giving portal and select the organization(s) you wish to support.

We also encourage you to join us for Worship Services this season, in-person or online. The Lenten preaching series will focus on the theme, “Learning to Live Inside Out.” We might also add our special services…

  • February 26, First Sunday in Lent
  • April 2 and 6, Living Last Supper Presentations, 7:00 pm
  • April 7, Good Friday Worship, 7:00 pm
  • April 9, Easter Sunday Services, 8:30 and 10:30 am, with Brunch at 9:30 am

May God richly bless each of you! Please contact the office for more information.

Peace and Blessings,

Pastor Scott and Pastor Kristina