St. Stephen's United Methodist Church 9203 Braddock Rd., Burke, VA 22015 • (703) 978-8724 St. Stephen's Preschool: (703) 978 9024 Sunday Worship: 8:30 AM (Traditional) | 9:45 AM (Contemporary) 11:00 AM (Classic) | 6:30 PM (Chapel)
He said to his disciples, ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying. For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, strive for his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
‘Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper, Lenten activity stations, and worship service.
Donations will be accepted to benefit the Youth Summer Mission Trips
Schedule of Activities:
5:30 pm – 7 pm: Pancake Supper, hosted by youth in Fellowship Hall
6 pm – 7 pm: Lent stations, activities, devotions & crafts for all ages to help us focus more fully on following Jesus during the Lenten season
7 pm – 7:30 pm: Worship service, featuring youth band in the Sanctuary
No Need To RSVP All are welcome! Please stop by any time during the event – and stay for some or all of the activities!
Child care is available in the Nursery during the event.
What is Shrove or Fat Tuesday (Mardi
The day before Lent begins is known as Shrove Tuesday. For those who practice fasting during the
season of Lent, all tempting foods are used up in a great feast (eggs, butter,
sugar, meat) prior to Ash Wednesday. In
our church, we serve pancakes to remember this tradition.
What is Lent? Lent
is a Christian season 40 days (excluding Sundays) prior to Easter. Lent is observed in several Christian
denominations with a variety of traditions, all with the focus of prayer and
preparation for Easter.
What is Ash Wednesday? Ash
Wednesday is the first day of the forty-day Lenten period. It gets its name from the practice of rubbing
ashes on your forehead. At our service,
everyone is invited to come forward to receive the ashes. One of the pastors will smudge the ashes in a
cross on your forehead. You are invited
to participate, but it is NOT required.
How much does this event cost?
Pancakes & Ashes is a free event.
For the Pancake Supper hosted by the Youth Ministry, a free-will
donation is accepted. All donations will
go towards Youth Summer Mission Trips.
The Lenten activity stations are also free.
What ages are allowed? All ages are invited and
allowed at this event. You are invited to stay for as short and as long as you
want. Our church offers childcare for major events, including this one.
However, we hope you’ll stay together as a family and enjoy the activities. Children
are definitely a welcome part of our church experience.
Is there stuff planned for kids? Yes.
In fact, all of our activities are designed to be experienced as a household.
We have crafts which can take as little or as much time as you’d like, and
plenty to take home with you to finish and enjoy later. Specifically, families
will be able to assemble Lenten centerpieces to take home, eat pancakes, play
board games, and much more! The supper
is served from 5:30-7:00pm. The stations
are open from 6:00-6:55pm. The 7:00pm
worship service is especially designed for children to understand and
Do I have to be a member of the church to attend? No.
This is a chance for us to share with our community a part of our church’s
culture. You do not have to be a member to attend.
Do I have to be a Christian to attend? No.
This is a chance for us to share with our community a part of our culture. You
will not be asked to join the church or proselytized to. We intend this to be a
gift given to all, without price or expectation.
Is there food? Yes. We will have a Pancake Supper with pancakes, sausage and juice, free for all. A free-will donation will be accepted to support Youth Summer Mission Trips.
What time should we arrive? You
may arrive any time between 5:30pm and 7:00pm.
Please come when you can and stay for any or all of the activities. The
Pancake Supper will be served during this time. Craft and activity stations
will be open from 6:00-6:55pm. If you visit every station, it should take you
about 45 minutes to enjoy. At 7:00pm
there is a 30-minute family worship service featuring the Youth Band. Part of the service will include a Bible
story and the imposition of ashes.
What is there to do at Pancakes & Ashes? A
lot! The main event is a Pancake Supper.
We’ll have a variety of stations for you to visit during your time. Stations
include a Lenten centerpiece station where you may make your own candle
centerpiece (all contents provided for free), a family board game room, and
several other hands-on-activity stations for exploring the practice of fasting
during Lent. You can also help us make tissue paper flowers to prepare for
Easter. After 7:00pm, there is a short
Why is Lent 40 days? The
number 40 is found several times in the Bible– it rained 40 days and nights
during the flood, the Israelites wandered for 40 years in the wilderness, Jesus
spent 40 days in the wilderness fasting and praying, and was tempted, at the
start of His earthly ministry. The
Lenten season mirrors these Biblical stories.
So, why ashes and where do they come
Ashes are a symbol of our temporary earthly bodies, which will one day
decompose. Ashes also connect us with
the ancient practice of heaping ashes of your head as a sign of your
repentance. Our church tradition is to
save the palm branches from Palm Sunday and burn them the following year for
Ash Wednesday. You are invited to
participate, NOT required.
What is fasting? Fasting is a Biblical principle that we find in both the Old and New Testaments. The references to fasting in the Bible present a time period of prayer during which one abstained from food. Often we hear people say, “I’m giving up _____ for Lent.” Lent is a personal time of self-reflection. Some choose to fast from a certain food item (ex. coffee or chocolate), while others in the spirit of fasting, choose to restrict their activities (ex. digital fasting). Fasting is an opportunity for you to get closer to God. It is a means to empty yourself of your desires, opening yourself to God.
Get Thinking about Lent
Will I give something up this year? What does the Bible
say about fasting? How does fasting work with kids? This year’s
Lenten stations at Pancakes & Ashes focus on fasting. To get you
thinking ahead, check out these resources on fasting, and find ideas of how you
can practice Lent with your family this year.
And Ezra said: ‘You are the Lord, you alone; you have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. To all of them you give life, and the host of heaven worships you. You are the Lord, the God who chose Abram and brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans and gave him the name Abraham;and you found his heart faithful before you, and made with him a covenant to give to his descendants the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Jebusite, and the Girgashite; and you have fulfilled your promise, for you are righteous.
‘And you saw the distress of our ancestors in Egypt and heard their cry at the Red Sea. You performed signs and wonders against Pharaoh and all his servants and all the people of his land, for you knew that they acted insolently against our ancestors. You made a name for yourself, which remains to this day. And you divided the sea before them, so that they passed through the sea on dry land, but you threw their pursuers into the depths, like a stone into mighty waters. Moreover, you led them by day with a pillar of cloud, and by night with a pillar of fire, to give them light on the way in which they should go.
He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt: ‘Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax-collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, “God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax-collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.” But the tax-collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.’
We’re going to West River UMC Retreat Center on the Chesapeake Bay and are challenging students in 3rd-6th grades and AT LEAST ONE of their parents to explore together what it means to live courageously for Christ.
Saturday, March 23, 12:00 PM –
Sunday, March 24, 3:00 PM
Cost $80 per person includes lodging, 4 meals, & one outdoor challenge activity.