Lent at Pender

DURING THE FORTY DAYS OF LENT Christians have a special opportunity to engage in “acts of piety” and “deeds of mercy”. These acts do not help us earn God’s favor, but do cause us to focus on our faith in Christ. Thereby, we grow spiritually.

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” ~ Matthew 5:16-17

2023 Lent and Easter Events at Pender
Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday, Wednesday, February 22, 7:30PM

Join us for a service blending contemporary visual and musical elements with traditional and familiar ones. Receiving the ashes is an ancient practice that began to occur just a few hundred years after Christ’s death and resurrection. You’ll have the opportunity to receive the sign of the cross on your forehead with ashes from the burnt palm fronds from last Palm Sunday. Come participate in the mystery of our faith.

Ash Wednesday is an inside-out act of worship. We come and confess and are reminded of both our sinfulness and our mortality. And yet we are given a visible mark in the imposition of ashes, a way of letting the world know that we are people of faith.

Pender Lead Pastor Will White will preach on "The Fast We Choose" based on Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21. This message is from the new series "Learning to Live Inside Out".

Lent is a 40-day season (not counting Sundays) marked by repentance, fasting, reflection, and ultimately celebration. The season of Lent is essential for those who truly seek to be disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Because a part of what we learn in this time of self-examination is that we are what might be most in need of transformation. We might find that what might need to grow in faith and discipleship is the church and that the transformation of the world begins with building bridges and gathering up rather than with condemnation. We hope you’ll join in with churches around the world as we seek to be gathered up in Jesus.

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday April 2, 2023 - Pender Lead Pastor Will White will preach on "This is the Day" based on Matthew 21:1-11.

This is the day that the Lord has made. For us. Because of us. It could be argued that out of all these high and holy days, this one is the most … human. “Well, of course,” you might think. This week is a divine and human encounter; in fact, we might argue it is THE divine and human encounter. This is true; but hear me out. This day, this slash day, this Palm/Passion Day is the most human day of this whole event.

"This is the Day" is the first sermon in the Holy Week series titled "In Awe of Grace". Every day is a holy day if you live into the truth of the ever-present God. Every moment is a moment rich with possibility and hope; every relationship is a potential insight into the activity of the Spirit; every conversation is a living word of grace and peace. “Best of all,” John Wesley supposedly said as his last words, “God is with us.” Amen. Yet there are times and seasons that seem even more holy. There are moments that reverberate with the living presence of the living God, and our only proper response is to fall to our knees in awe of grace. These eight days are one of those times. Some argue they are the preeminent days when history, our history, and our understanding of self and God and life itself all changed. From Palm Sunday through Easter, the world is remade, a new creation, and we are blessed to be a part of it, blessed to receive a gift beyond words, which is nothing less than eternity itself.

We look forward to seeing you!

All of Pender's services are streamed live and in person. Masks are currently optional.

Join us live at Pender UMC
12401 Alder Woods Drive, Fairfax, VA US 22033

The Next Traditional Service will be April 2 at 9:00 am

The Next Contemporary Worship will be April 2 at 11:15 am

The days leading up to Easter often have an understandably somber feel to them, particularly as we contemplate Jesus’ arrest, trial, and execution. It’s easy to forget that the week begins with a joyful event: the Triumphal Entry!

Sunday, April 2, 2023, is Palm Sunday, the first day of Holy Week. On Palm Sunday, we commemorate Jesus’ celebrated entry into Jerusalem just a few days before his arrest, trial, and crucifixion.

The “palm” in Palm Sunday refers to the palm branches waved by the adoring Jerusalem crowds who welcomed Jesus and proclaimed him King. The event is commonly referred to as the Triumphal Entry. Here’s the account from Matthew 21:1-11:

As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”

This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:

“Say to Daughter Zion,
‘See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”

The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

“Hosanna to the Son of David!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”

The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

From Chuck Knows Church — Palm Sunday. Have you ever waved a palm branch in a worship service? If so, do you know why? Chuckle along and learn about Palm Sunday with Chuck

Help Fill Eggs

We're going to be packing Easter eggs for the children to find on April 8. 

Please sign up to help!

Holy Thursday

Holy Thursday, April 6

Holy Thursday, or Maundy Thursday, commemorates the events that occurred in the Upper Room. The following is our schedule for the evening:
6:30PM – Soup, Bread, and Salad Supper, in The Gathering Place
7:30PM – In Person only Worship Service, The Sanctuary

This isn’t a holiday feast like we might serve at Christmas, but rather a simple meal, as we’re approaching the time Jesus offered himself up for us. It will be tasty, healthy, and nourishing. Donations will be accepted to cover the cost.

After supper, move to the sanctuary for a service that brings to life the night in which Jesus began the practice we call the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper or Holy Communion. On that first Holy Thursday, there was tension in the air as religious authorities had been conspiring against Jesus. There will be a little tension in our service too as you’ll be invited to become a part of the events of that night. But relax, you can simply watch if you wish. In the United Methodist tradition, all are welcome to receive sacrament of Holy Communion. Both the traditional and Common Ground musical teams will be participating.

Good Friday

Good Friday, April 7, 6-10AM and 5-8PM, The Sanctuary

“Meditations on the Cross”
Walk, pray, and meditate on Jesus’ betrayal, trial, and crucifixion. Come before or after work to pray in our recently renovated sanctuary. Join in this self-guided journey that helps participants explore the relationship of the cross with resurrection, new life now, and eternal salvation.

Easter Egg Hunt

Easter Egg Hunt, Saturday, April 8, 1-3PM

Bring your children and grandchildren to our church parking lot. We will have ample Easter Eggs for them to hunt down after a resurrection story by Rev. White. We’ll have a gentle donkey, a colt, and some rabbits to pet too.

Resurrection Celebration, Easter Sunday, April 9

6:45AM Sunrise, Baptismal Remembrance
If you enjoy lighting candles, an outdoor fire, and being among the first to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, join us! Just as Jesus brought life from death in the resurrection, baptism is a symbol that ‘dying with Christ’ (through baptism) we’ll be ‘raised with him’. We’ll remember our baptisms that morning. If you, or your child, hasn’t been baptized, and want to be, please contact Rev. White. A portion of the water will be from the Jordan River in Israel. Even if you haven’t been baptized, come and witness one of the great mysteries of our faith early Easter morning.

Hot Drinks and Hot Cross Buns
Immediately following the Sunrise service, participants may join in having hot cross buns and hot drinks in the Gathering Place.

Resurrection Worship on Easter Sunday, April 9

At both our 9AM and 11:15AM services, Rev. White’s sermon will be titled, “The End that Wasn’t” based on Matthew 28:1-10.

9:00AM, Traditional Service This resurrection celebration features music from our Sanctuary Choir directed by Brian Stevenson.

10-11AM, Easter Breakfast, The Gathering Place
Come to the Gathering Place for this Pender tradition. We’ll have an ample breakfast waiting for you. Come for the food, fellowship, and fun. Our thanks are extended to Keith Saddler for coordinating food. Let him know if you can make a casserole or help that morning! Use the Church Life app to contact Keith.

11:15 AM, Common Ground Service
This resurrection celebration features music from our Common Ground Band led by Uriah Moore.

Jesus' Journey to Bethlehem

Palm Sunday

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Holy Monday

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Holy Tuesday

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Holy Wednesday

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Holy/Maundy Thursday

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Good Friday

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Holy Saturday


Lenten Devotion Podcast Episodes: