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This week’s message from our Pastor:

When Is Lent 2021? - When Does Lent Start and End This Year?

Dear Family,

January is almost gone and we continue to navigate this pandemic with all of its repercussions. One of them being how tired we are of the pandemic and of not seeing each other. We are tired of virtual events and hunkering down. But, we are not out of this yet. While we are tired, we must remain diligent and help each other. We must remain patient with each other and show grace to each other. We must continue to act in love. There is a light of hope on the horizon. Vaccines are making their way through our community. Hopefully, we can all help bring the number of Covid cases down so we can start doing things together again. Let’s continue to be cautious for now, but let’s start dreaming about the possibilities this year might bring.
As January comes to a close, I wanted to give you a few updates.

Worship. We will continue to LIVE stream Sunday mornings and continue placing a sound speaker and radio transmitter in the parking lot for those who would like to join us outside. Once the weather gets warmer, we will re-start Live worship in the parking lot. Right now, it is too cold for instruments to stay tuned and the weather is too unpredictable. As far as worshiping in the sanctuary, we will have to wait a little longer. Positivity rate of Covid cases is still high and the new strand of Covid is very contagious. However, there are glimpses of hope. While positivity rate continues to be high, it has gone down in the last couple of weeks. The rollout of vaccines will also help with having less cases. Session is considering returning to worship in the sanctuary when positivity rate has been 10% for 2 consecutive weeks.

Lent. This year the focus of Lent will be on healing based on Jesus’ different healing stories in the Gospel of Matthew. The worship series I’m working on is called “Holy Vessels” and will center us around different topics of healing. 2020 was a rough year on many levels and 2021 has not started off very kindly either. As we look for healing, we will talk about healing of the “self” and healing of the community. More information coming soon.

Ash Wednesday. Lent begins with Ash Wednesday on February 17. Since we will not be able to do the self-guided worship experience we have done the past few years, I will have different times for drive-thru Imposition of ashes. I will also post a virtual option for those who would like to participate from home.

Annual Congregational Meeting, Sunday February 7th, after worship via zoom. The Session is calling for the Annual Congregational Meeting of the church to approve the Church’s budget, Annual Report, Elect Officers and Pastor’s Terms of call. We will be doing this meeting via zoom, since we are not meeting in person at the moment. It is very important to count on your participation in the meeting so the church can comply with deadlines and continue daily activities. In order to have the meeting we need your help by replying that you can attend the zoom meeting on February 7. Next week, we will send out the documents we will be receiving and voting on ahead of the meeting and we will send the link to those who register for the meeting. 
To register for the congregational meeting, please send an email to  that you will attend.

This Sunday, we will be reading 1 Corinthians 8:1-13. Love is an important element for God’s creativity in our lives. Now how can we reflect that creative love to others? Let’s find out this Sunday. Connect with us for worship in the parking lot or online-only through Facebook or YouTube on Sunday at 10:30am. 

Food Pantry. Our food pantry ministry continues to make an impact in our community. One member stopped by today to drop off food. When she took the food to the storage room, she was shocked at how empty the shelves are. Sadly, we had already put a bunch of food away. The need is increasing. This Saturday, January 30, our food pantry will be open to distribute food from 10am-noon. Many thanks to all of you who have shopped and added items to your grocery list. They are being used in God’s ministry. 
If you would like to donate items to the food pantry, Below is a list of items most needed at the moment. There will be someone at the church Tuesday and Thursday to receive any donations. Or, you could drop them on Sunday mornings.  Tuna – very lowCereal – Hot & ColdCanned fruitCanned soup, cream and regularCanned veggies: beans, corn, peas, carrots, etc.Boxed potatoes: mashed, etc. Loaves of bread. 

Giving. Thank you for your support and commitment to our church. Please continue giving to the church during this time of “social distancing.” We need your help and your commitment to our church. ** Checks are processed and deposited at the beginning of the week. Depending on when we get them, it may take a week to deposit your check. Thank you for supporting HMPC. Here are a couple of options to continue giving.·      Take a drive and drop it off in our mailbox. Our mailbox is secure and has a key lock.Only a couple of people have keys to it. We process checks once a week.·      Set up “Bill Pay” through your bank’s online page. You can schedule when and howoften to send checks.·      Text “HMPC General $______” followed by the amount to 73256 and follow the prompts in the response.·      Give online through our website. (Realm service)·      Visit www.hamiltonmillpc.com; Select “Online Giving” tab on far right·      The first link is for “Guest” giving. Follow prompt to set up an account in Realm. A phone number, email, and credit or debit card or banking routing number and account number required. (As always, the church discourages the irresponsible useof credit cards. We offer the opportunity to donate by credit card as a convenience to those who manage their finances in a God-honoring way.)   

Prayer Concerns and Joys. Please email your prayer concerns and joys by replying to this email, emailing the church  or through Facebook message. We would like to include prayers in our weekly email so we can all be praying for each other. Below, you will find this week’s prayers. You are always welcome to call me or email me to talk or share concerns. My personal cell number is 727.465.3450.

God Bless You Family!
Dios Te Bendiga Familia!
Pastor Juan
Hamiton Mill Presbyterian Church | 5152 Braselton Highway, Hoschton, GA 30548