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Local churches partner for Lenten observance
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The centuries-old Christian traditions of Lenten observance returned this week, heralded by the Wednesday devotionals offered by various Warren County churches.The Greater McMinnville Ministerial Fellowship organizes the seven weekly services in the sanctuary of the historic First United Methodist Church at 12:05 p.m. Participating churches and the host congregation invite the general public to attend the 20-minute meditations and to join them in a complimentary luncheon immediately afterward.Christ Community Church minister Paul Roberts, chair of the multi-denominational fellowship, said the devotional and the fellowship meal are designed to fit within an hour so attendees can return to work by 1 p.m. Special accommodation is made for those with mobility issues as they are invited to proceed to the front of the serving line.Another long-standing tradition is the broadcast of the mid-week Lenten meditations on McMinnville public radio WCPI 91.3. The recorded program will be on the air at 11:05 a.m. and 11:05 p.m. on the Friday immediately following the live event, according to Mary Cantrell, program director for the non-commercial radio station.The 2016 Lenten series started Wednesday with First United Methodist senior pastor James Johnson in the pulpit and organist Eulalia Jones providing musical accompaniment.According to the schedule, the following ministers will lead devotionals as follow: Harry Green, First Presbyterian Church, Feb. 17; Father David Cooney, St Catherine’s Catholic Church, Feb. 24; Don Spencer, Centertown United Methodist, March 2; Ricky Lee, Christ United Methodist, March 9; Marcus Hayes, Liberty Cumberland Presbyterian, March 16; and Paul Roberts, Christ Community Church, March 23.Lent is a 40-day period of personal self-examination, study, discipline and rededication, often including intensive prayer and fasting, in spiritual preparation for the Easter Sunder celebration of Christ’s resurrection.