Ecumenical Lenten celebration speaker named

The Rev. Dr. John Charnock will be the guest speaker at the United Churches of Lycoming County 31st annual countywide ecumenical pre-Lenten celebration. This service will be held at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at St. Joseph the Worker Parish (Annunciation Church),

Charnock comes well-equipped to help begin the Lenten Season together as Christ’s family as the 50th anniversary of Vatican II also will be celebrated. He’ll bring a challenge to go out together to proclaim the good news. Charnock is the director of pastoral care and volunteer services at Susquehanna Health. He also is a United Methodist pastor who did his clinical pastoral education in our community and he now serves on the board of directors of United Churches as the chairman of the Ecumenism and Evangelism Committee.

In scheduling the major ecumenical event, organizers alternate between a Catholic and a Protestant church, with a speaker of the other tradition, each year. This is the year to share the celebration in a Roman Catholic Church with a Protestant speaker.

The service is based on the scripture Ephesians 4:1-6, 17-24. Charnock will help attendees to more fully realize how they are to go forth and proclaim the good news throughout the county.

The Rev. Brian Van Fossen, host pastor, is looking forward to the evening. Also participating in the service will be clergy and laity from many traditions. Special music will be provided by the St. Joseph the Worker choir and also an ecumenical countywide choir, both under the direction of Jeffrey J. Johnson Jr. The St. Joseph the Worker Parish also will provide a time of fellowship and refreshment after the service.

The Rev. Gwen Bernstine, executive director of United Churches, invites all be part of the celebration in preparation for the Lenten season.