Churches gear up for Lent

A local organization is gearing up for a weekly Lenten tradition.

The Wapakoneta Area Ministerial Association (WAMA) Lenten worships and lunches will begin next week on Ash Wednesday and will follow the theme, “He was … for our sins,” which is found in Isaiah 52-53.

“Across the years, the church has reviewed these words as describing Jesus as the servant,” WAMA President the Rev. Mark Bauer, of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, said. “He was ‘wounded for our transgressions … upon him was the punishment that made us whole.’  Since Jesus took our sin upon himself and suffered in our place we have forgiveness and life forever with God.”

Each week different pastors from local churches will speak on this theme, as they each will take a different word from this passage. The first week on Ash Wednesday, WAMA Secretary the Rev. Pat Sloneker, of St. Joseph Catholic Church, plans to talk about the servant being “marred.”

Bauer noted the event  is a traditional event that has been held for many years.

The unique part of this event is very few communities in the area host this type of daytime service for their community.

The average turnout for the services is 150 people, and this number keeps consistent throughout the whole six weeks.

“It’s a time for us to think about our relationship with the Lord and reflect on repent and to grow stronger in faith,” Bauer said.

The WAMA Lenten lunches will be held at noon every Wednesday leading up to Easter and all will be held at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 309 Perry St., Wapakoneta, with the exception of the March 29 Good Friday service, which will be held at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 302 E. Pearl St., Wapakoneta.

Lunch will be provided by local churches after each service, except on Good Friday. Each service with lunch is expected to last an hour.

Lunch is free of charge and donations are accepted. The donations go to cover the cost of the meal and the leftover money is put into the Servants Day fund, which is a community service day event held each September.

The money will help pay for supplies and materials used to fix and repair homes and properties.

The money also is used for the WAMA fund, which helps provide assistance for housing, meals and gas support.

Bauer noted he has found this worship series to be a good devotional experience.

“We are grateful for the many churches and pastors who make these worships and lunches possible,” Bauer said. “We appreciate the wonderful response from the community as we join together — all the churches in the Wapakoneta area — to reflect on the suffering, death, and resurrection of our Lord.”