Welcome to Olds United Church Located in the heart of Olds, Alberta, the United Church has witnessed the Christian faith through worship, service, and fellowship for 120 years (as of 2014). All are welcome to share in our ministry.
"I know there is nothing better for them, than to be happy and enjoy themselves." ECCLESIASTES 3:12
Lent as Wilderness time A reflection guide from Season's of the Spirit
During the Season of Lent we travel with Jesus on a journey. We start in the wilderness - away from the things that normally comfort and sustain us - and continue in the steps of Jesus' ministry and through to the last days of his life. At this - like maybe no other - time of year, we are invited to examine our spiritual lives and identify those parts of ourselves that need improvement. Where are we falling short? What relationships need attention? How do we dig deeper into our relationship with God? What parts of our lives have become too much about us and not enough about God?
The following is a weekly reflection guide for your Lenten journey. You're invited to use it for individual reflection, or perhaps for family conversation.
March 5 - And So It Begins
As part of Jesus' - and our own individual - spiritual journey, Jesus goes into the Spirit wilderness, where he's tested. It's during this time that Jesus chooses who he will be and whose he will be with his responses to the tempter's suggestions. The decisions we face about how we live our lives today are no different. The choices we make about what will feed us and sustain us physically and spiritually can reflect God's love in our lives.
This week, choose a "wilderness" area in your life - perhaps a place where temptations (physical or spiritual) seem to creep up on you. Invite God into this wilderness and depend on God when you are tempted.
March 12 - Glimpses of Grace
As our Lenten journey continues, we see in Nicodemus the parts of ourselves that struggle with the truth Jesus teaches about living in God's ways. Nicodemus only sees the impossibilities in what Jesus is teaching and does not hear the spiritual truths. How many times do we look at things only through our own personal experience without understanding other, deeper meanings? Trusting God and trusting the Spirit will help us see beyond the promises of this world and experience the fullness of God's love.
This week, spend at least 30 minutes outside that is dedicated to listening and feeling the wind blow and move around you. Listen for the movement of the Spirit.
March 19 - Finding Refreshment
We are reminded of the Lenten theme of deepening our relationship with God in this week's focus passage. The woman at the well engages with Jesus in a conversation about water - the drinking kind and the "living" kind. As she talks with Jesus, she comes to understand that he is the Messiah! The one everyone's been waiting for! With her own spiritual thirst quenched, she's empowered to go and tell others about Jesus.
This week, share a story about your faith journey with someone and see how it helps you draw closer to God.
March 26 - Seeing with Heart
Our journey through Lent can at times feel like we're searching in the dark for light; we're blinded by selfish ambitions and personal needs and can't see the spiritual fulfillment that comes from a life lived in God's light. The blind man's healing enrages the authorities, and his very real encounter with the divine has given him sight and he sees - physically and spiritually - more clearly. As we struggle in our own darkness this Lent, may we, like the blind man, see the movement of God in our lives and the world around us.
This week, at the end of each day, write down the ways and the people who helped you encounter the divine.
April 2 - Hope Against All Hope
At this point in Lent, we might feel some of Mary and Martha's despair after the death of their brother. In raising Lazarus - a foreshadowing of his own resurrection - Jesus shows us the hope that leads us out of despair, the light that can lead us out of the darkness. As we approach the end of our Lenten journey and Jesus' Passion, we, too, are called out of darkness and into light with new life and hope breathed into us.
This week, send a handwritten note to a friend (or even take her/him out for coffee or lunch) who is dealing with the despair of a personal loss.
April 9 - Passion Amidst Palms
Matthew 21:1-11 and Matthew 26:14-27:66
At the end of Lent we journey with Jesus through his final days and hours on Earth. But even in their final moments together, the disciples abandon Jesus - betraying him, falling asleep, denying they know him - and he is left alone to face his execution. We can identify with the disciples' fear and understand the great betrayal Jesus felt because we can point to times in our own lives when it seems we're all alone and forgotten. But we must remember that God's love endures and God is with us - with Jesus - even during the hardest moments of our lives.
This week, spend time reading and re-reading Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem and his Passion (the focus scriptures above). As you read, write down some of the moments from your own life when you are like the characters in the story (Jesus, Pilate, Judas, Peter, the angry crowd, the soldiers, and so on).
Easter Season, April 16 - Yes!
Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed! Much like Mary Magdalene at the tomb, we marvel at the Resurrection. The despair of only a few days ago has disappeared. Jesus' body is gone. Has he risen from the grave? Yes, he has. And the joy of this moment is contagious! Mary Magdalene shares the news of the resurrected Jesus with the disciples. We, too, must share the news of resurrection, the joy of a living and loving God, with everyone around us.
This week, look for the joy of the Resurrection that's around you. Find, read, and then share at least three joy-filled news stories with three people this week.
Blessings and peace, Tammy (Reverend Tammy Allan)
Olds-Sundre Pastoral Charge of the United Church
Church News & Events
March 8 PLANNING GET-TOGETHER We are working on celebrations for National Aboriginal Day (June 21st). If you would like to join us, please do.
March 17 ANNUAL STEW LUNCHEON We'll celebrate St. Patrick's Day together, over lunch. Tickets $13 ea and the fun runs from 11 am - 1 pm. Bring a friend!
March 25 MINI TRADE FAIR Please join us today and perhaps you will a treasure. Runs from 9 am - 5 pm.
From our Conference President
Rev. Paul Walfall
It is with joy that I invite each member and friend of the church in this Conference area to participate in a Season of Prayer during Lent (March 1 - April 15). During this time each person in our congregations is invited to join with the others to raise our concerns for the church before God in prayer ... This Season of Prayer is intended for us to change the focus of our discussions a little as we seek to discern the will of God and focus more on the Mission of the church. READ MORE HERE
You are a child of God. He created you in His own image. He chose the day for you to be born. Look up your birth date and see what Bible verse corresponds to it. Click the image above to look up your verse now.
How to get here
Olds United Church is located on the corner of 48th Avenue and 50th Street, just a couple of blocks west of Olds College. Click the map for an enlargement.