Rev. Dr. Wayne Chasney
Pastor Wayne began his ministry at Monroeville in August, 1993, after graduating from Lancaster Theological Seminary in Lancaster, PA. Pastor Wayne has his Doctorate of Ministry from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary with a focus on ministry in the small church.
In his spare time, Pastor Wayne loves running, reading and cheering for the Minnesota Vikings.
Pastor Wayne is married to Rev. Wendy Schindler-Chasney, pastor of St. John's UCC, Milan. They have two daughters.
"He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished." (Matthew 4:2)
During the ninth month of the Islamic year Muslims throughout the world fast from dawn to sunset each day. One of the 5 pillars of Islam, the month of Ramadan is intended to be a period of spiritual growth and a deepening of faith, commemorating the revelation of the Quran. The month ends with Eid al-Fitr, a special feast and time of celebration.
The season of Lent in the Christian year is similarly intended to be a time of spiritual growth and a deepening of faith. We may not fast from dawn to sunset each day, but some choose to "give something up" for Lent as a spiritual fast. Many people misinterpret this act as a form of self-denial and suffering. Instead, the intention is to "give up" whatever may be standing between you and a deeper relationship with God. It goes back to the first commandment to "have no other gods" before God.
In our busy lives and busy world today, giving something up, sort of, is about as far as we go in Lent. I know I often start out strong with an extra daily devotion and increased time of meditation, but then the demands of life shrink my devotional time and after a few weeks (if I'm lucky) many of those practices fall by the wayside. It doesn't help that I have NO self control when it comes to giving something up.
My goal for Lent this year is to try to slow down and take time to reflect on and appreciate my relationship with God. As I've read about Mr. Rogers for my Lenten worship series I've grown to appreciate his often slow, intentional way of being in the world. I think it truly helped tune him in to those around him. I know I'll never be Fred Rogers but I also know I can be a better me.
And perhaps that's what Lent is about; striving to be the best each of us can be and realizing the full potential God has given us. That starts with making time to be with God; listening for the many ways God is speaking in our world and looking for the many ways God is present in our world. I believe the more we are attuned to what is God, the more we are attuned to one another.
I encourage you to carve out some time and space to make these next 40 days a holy season of spiritual growth and a deepening of faith. Then, when Easter morning comes, may we all be even more eager to celebrate God's gift of new life.