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Feast Facts Celebrating God's Feasts

THE SPRING FEASTS

And the Lord spoke to Moses saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: the feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts.” Leviticus 23:1-2

The Spring Feasts consist of four festivals: Passover, The Feast of Unleavened Bread, The Feast of Firstfruits and Pentecost (The Feast of Weeks). These feasts are extremely important because they teach us to honor God for who He is and for what He has done for us. In addition, they teach us about God’s plan for humankind and how He powerfully intervenes in human affairs! Revelation 21:3 says “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.”

Passover Seder

Passover for 2018 begins at sundown, March 30th and ends at sundown, March 31st. This feast celebrates the Israelites’ deliverance from Egypt through Moses and humanity’s deliverance from sin and death through Jesus Christ. Passover is observed through the Passover Seder Meal.

The Passover Seder Meal is a family gathering established by God to celebrate the liberation of Israel from Egyptian captivity and humanity’s redemption from sin and death. It is a celebration meal to be shared by family members and friends. The Church Family Seder Meals will be held March 30th - April 1st, 2018 at The Power Center.

The Feast of Unleavened Bread

THE FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD

Exodus 12:14-20 and Leviticus 23:5-8 explains the origin and purpose of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The Feast of Unleavened Bread begins the day after Passover and continues for seven days (sundown, March 31st – sundown, April 7th). The observance of the Feast of Unleavened Bread is a symbol of our commitment to turn towards righteousness and turn away from sin. During this week-long feast, nothing with leaven in it may be eaten. Abstaining from leavened bread for seven days is symbolic of God’s people separating themselves from sin and turning towards a holy relationship with the Lord. The Lord requires us to clean our homes of any food products that contain leaven, yeast, baking powder, baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate. Foods with leaven include breads, cereals, cakes, pies, crackers, and soups. Read the labels on all of your foods, especially in the pantry and freezer.

Preparing for the Feast of the Unleavened Bread

The observance of the Feast of Unleavened Bread offers us an intentional time to “spring clean” our lives. Explain to your friends and family that as we celebrate Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, we ask God for the power to choose a life not dominated by sin and live in the freedom found in obedience to His Kingdom ways.

LET’S GET THE LEAVEN OUT! You may eat leavened products through the afternoon of Friday, March 30, 2018. However, please begin to remove them from your home (by eating or discarding them), now thru Thursday, March 29th.

On Friday evening, March 30th, conduct a final inspection of your home for any leavened products. Traditionally, the head of the household does this final inspection. By sundown on the evening of March 30th, all leavened products should absolutely be out of your home and not eaten for the next seven (7) days. You may begin to purchase and consume them again after sundown on April 7th.

What is Leaven?

Leaven is yeast or any “fermenting” substance used to make dough or other foods rise or sour. Some yeast derivatives are added to foods for flavor or nutritional purposes. The rules of leavening also apply to foods prepared from five types of grain: barley, wheat, rye, oats and spelt.

Removing food products that contain leaven (yeast, baking soda, baking powder, sodium bicarbonate, autolyzed yeast, & yeast extract) has its roots in ancient Passover preparation. Thirty days before the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread, the women of every household began removing all leaven (known as “chametz” in Hebrew) from their homes. Removing leaven is a spiritual as well as a physical cleansing. Jesus spoke of leaven as a symbol of sin in the gospels (i.e., Luke 12:1), and the apostle Paul did likewise in I Corinthians 5:6-8.

Instructions for Removing Leavened Food Products

Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses. For whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel. On the first day there shall be a holy convocation, and on the seventh day there shall be a holy convocation for you. No manner of work shall be done on them; but that which everyone must eat--that only may be prepared by you. So you shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this same day I will have brought your armies out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations as an everlasting ordinance. In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread until the twenty-first day of the month at evening. For seven days no leaven shall be found in your houses, since whoever eats what is leavened, that same person shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is a stranger or a native of the land. You shall eat nothing leavened; in all your dwellings you shall eat unleavened bread. Exodus 12: 15-19 (NKJV)

The Lord requires us to clean our homes of any food products that contain any kind of leaven: yeast, baking powder, baking soda, sodium bicarbonate, autolyzed yeast, or yeast extract. Also, traditionally most foods that contain wheat, barley, rye, oats, or spelt, except for matzah, are refrained from during Passover, as they are often processed in mills where leaven is present. Foods with leaven include most breads, cereals, cakes, pies, crackers, and soups. Read the labels on all of your foods, especially in the pantry and freezer. You may be surprised about the foods that contain leaven. It is easy to identify packaged foods that are usable during the Feast of Unleavened Bread by looking for product packages bearing one of these symbols:

Here is a suggested leavening removal guide. Try to eat these foods during this removal time period:

The general idea is to symbolize a purified life in Jesus by “eating clean” for the 7 days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. This diet is also a healthier way to eat.

Here are some examples of items you should remove from your home.

THE FEAST OF FIRSTFRUITS

The word firstfruits means “a promise to come.” On the day of Firstfruits, Sunday, April 1, 2018, the Church Family will bring a special offering to the Lord. This offering will represent the firstfruits of any financial income since the Feast of Tabernacles which was held (October 4 –12, 2017). In Leviticus 23:9-14, the first crops of the barley harvest were offered to God as an offering of thanksgiving for the promise of an abundant harvest. This offering, lifted up to the Lord, is called the early firstfruits. In I Corinthians 15:23, Jesus is considered the firstfruit of the harvest of all who have died in him. This Feast was fulfilled when Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. For Christians, this feast is important because it celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ!

THE FEAST OF PENTECOST

The Feast of Pentecost celebrates the giving of the Ten Commandments in the Old Testament and the Holy Spirit in the New Testament. This feast is to be filled with joy and thanksgiving for God’s bountiful blessings of the harvest. During the celebration of Pentecost, believers will bring the firstfruits of any financial income since the Passover. This offering is called the latter firstfruit offering and symbolizes our thanksgiving to God for providing the “latter” spring harvest. The Church Family will offer its latter firstfruits at the Pentecost Worship Celebration, Saturday, May 19, 2018, 6:00 p.m.

Special Offerings

During the Spring Feasts, the Bible specifies that special offerings should be brought for each Feast. Here are the Special Offerings for this season. Please begin to pray and ask the Lord what you and your family should bring for each opportunity. These special offerings are above and beyond your normal tithe and offering.

Offerings can be made online at www.kingdombuilders.com, click on the Give tab; using the Windsor Village App; brought to The Kingdom Builders' Center; or mailed to Windsor Village Church Family~ Attention Jean Gray~6011 West Orem Dr., Houston, TX 77085

The Spring Church Family Fast

FASTING INSTRUCTIONS FOR ADULTS

What is a Fast?

The Hebrew word for fasting means “to cover the mouth.” The Greek word for fasting means “not to eat.” Simply put, fasting means to abstain from food. Fasting involves turning away from foods that the body craves in order for our spirit to concentrate on God in worship, service, and praise.

Fasting has been a part of Christianity through the ages. It is a form of spiritual and scriptural sacrifice. Fasting does not change or impress God. Fasting changes us. Through fasting, Christians are empowered to discipline their daily relationship with the Lord.

The fast will consist of abstaining from food. In other words, you are fasting if you are not eating food. The primary method of fasting will be one (1) meal each day.

Why Should We Fast?

John Wesley, the original organizer of the Methodist Movement, fasted. In fact, he fasted twice a week. More importantly, Jesus Christ fasted! We fast as a Church Family because God’s blessings reside in our unity. This special time encourages us to be “like-minded, having the same love and being of one accord and of one mind” (Philippians 2:1-3).

Who Should Fast?

Prayerfully, each member will participate in the Church Family Spiritual Fast. Please consult your physician about your fasting if: (1) you are pregnant; (2) you are on prescribed medication; (3) you are under a doctor’s care; (4) you have experienced illness on a previous fast; (5) or, you do not normally eat anyway.

YOUR PHYSICIAN’S ORDERS TAKE PRECEDENCE OVER THIS FAST! FOLLOW YOUR PHYSICIAN’S ORDERS!!!

How to Fast

The primary method of fasting for the Church Family Spiritual Fast will be one (1) meal each day eaten after 6:00 p.m. Meals should be completed within 75 minutes from the moment you put food into your mouth.

Fasting Options include:

1. “Veterans” - Veterans are those members who have participated in the Church Family Spiritual Fast two or more times.

2. “First Round Draft Choices” - (First Rounders are those persons who have never fasted or have only participated in a Church Spiritual Fast one time.) First Rounders will eat two (2) meals per day, one at breakfast before 8:00 a.m. and one after 6:00 p.m. Be consistent; eat the breakfast meal at a routine hour. Complete your meals within 75 minutes from the moment you put food into your mouth. Please pray the daily prayer topic during the time of the skipped meal (lunch meal) and during your regular prayer time for the day.

3. “Special Teams” consist of persons who are under a doctor’s care, pregnant, or unable to miss a meal for health reasons. Special Teams should eat regularly scheduled meals. Participation in the Church Family Spiritual Fast will consist of abstaining from foods such as sweets, carbonated beverages or any foods such as breads and meats that you feel “you must have at least a little of every day.”

It is important for the Church Family to be of one mind and heart. Please fast in accordance with the above-listed instructions. Fasts such as a “cleansing fast,” “grapefruit fast,” and others are not appropriate during this special time.

Requirements for Fasting

1. No nibbling! If you feel hungry (that’s expected and normal), drink water and pray.

2. No sweets (including sweeteners), chips, candy, chewing gum, soft drinks, or any other junk food should be eaten at any time during the fast by Veterans, First Rounders, or Special Teams.

3. If you experience headaches, fatigue or weakness, faint feelings, nausea, fever, and/or extreme hunger, eat a piece of fruit, slice of bread, crackers, or vegetables (preferably raw). Consult your physician if these feelings persist.

4. Water only! Please restrict your liquid intake to water. No sodas, juices, fruit juices, lemon water, or flavored water. If you are fasting no food, please drink at least 64oz – 80oz of water each day. Raw vegetable juices are permitted if you are fasting no food.

5. If you experience “blackouts” while exerting energy, please eat a light, nutritionally-balanced meal.

6. If you are eating once a day, it is recommended that you do not exercise during the fast.

7. As I Corinthians 7:5 tells us, no love-making for married folk! (Single Christians are already abstaining.) Both spouses should agree to the fast as a sacrifice of consecration to the Lord. If one of the spouses is not in agreement with I Corinthians 7:5, then do not abstain. There must be agreement between marital partners.

8. Individual prayer times for each day are 6:00 a.m. and after 7:00 p.m. If your schedule does not allow for these hours, please adjust your schedule to include a morning prayer time and an evening prayer time.

9. If you “fall off” the fast, get back on. Do not allow the devil to condemn you.

Fasting Instructions for Children and Youth

God gives us pastors according to His heart who will feed us with knowledge and understanding (Jeremiah 3:15). We must obey our pastors for they watch over our souls (Hebrews 13:17).

Parents should teach and guide by their example the importance of following the leadership of our pastors. When Pastor Caldwell proclaims the fast, children and youth are capable of obeying and participating.

Parents, please prayerfully consider including your children and youth in the Church Family Spiritual Fast. It will be a blessed experience for them and it will begin to lay a foundation for their future. Your support and encouragement are recommended to maximize your child’s success.

Why Should Children and Youth Fast?

• To have a closer relationship with God our Father and Jesus Christ;

• To become more sensitive and responsive to the Holy Spirit;

• To present the opportunity for you to spend more time waiting on the Lord; and,

• To build your prayer life.

As children and youth fast, they, too, will receive the benefits and blessings of obedience and fasting.

How to Fast

• Eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

• Eat healthy vegetables, fruits, meats, breads, milk, and cereal.

• Eat a healthy snack between meals such as fruit, vegetables, etc.

• Drink WATER, 100% JUICE, and MILK as the only beverages.

NO SWEETS, PIZZA, FRENCH FRIES, CHIPS, CANDY, CHEWING GUM, SOFT DRINKS, OR ANY OTHER JUNK FOODS!

Prayer During the Fast

CHURCH FAMILY PRAYER STATIONS @ NOON

Monday, March 19th, 12:00 p.m. thru Friday, March 23rd, 2018, 12:00 p.m. Diamonds and Pearls are encouraged to attend Noon Prayer, especially on Friday, March 23rd at The KBC

City Hall Reflection Pond on Smith St. between Walker and McKinney, Downtown – Houston

The Gathering Evening Corporate Prayer

The Gathering will be held Monday March 19th thru Thursday, March 22nd from 7:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. at The KBC. The schedule is as follows:

Monday, March 19th: All brothers (regardless of age)

Tuesday, March 20th: Young Adults

Wednesday, March 21st: All Windsor Village Families

Thursday, March 22nd: All sisters (regardless of age)

Midnight Glory: A Knock @ Midnight: A Cry for God's Glory!

All Church Family members are encouraged to join us on Friday, March 23rd from 10:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m. for Midnight Glory! This will be a time of intentional, passionate prayer to The King. For more information on Midnight Glory or any of our fasting/prayer opportunities, contact rwarren@wvumc.com.

Feast Schedule-at-a-Glance

ANNUAL CHURCH FAMILY FAST BEGINS

Sunday, March 18, 2018

CHURCH FAMILY PRAYER STATIONS @ NOON

Monday, March 19th, 12:00 p.m. thru Friday, March 23rd, 2018, 12:00 p.m.

Diamonds and Pearls are encouraged to attend Noon Prayer, especially on Friday, March 23rd at The KBC

City Hall Reflection Pond on Smith St. between Walker and McKinney Downtown Houston

BROTHERS ONLY WORSHIP CELEBRATION

Monday, March 19, 2018, 7:00 p.m. at The KBC

CHURCH FAMILY “The Gathering” EVENING CORPORATE PRAYER

Group Assignments

Monday, March 19th: Males, 7:00 p.m. at The KBC

Tuesday, March 20th: Young Adults, 7:00 p.m. at The KBC

Wednesday, March 21st: Families, 7:00 p.m. at The KBC

Thursday, March 22nd: Females, 7:00 p.m. at The KBC

Friday, March 23rd, MIDNIGHT GLORY!: ALL MEMBERS 10:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m. at The KBC

ANNUAL CHURCH FAMILY FAST ENDS

Sunday, March 25, 2018

FEAST OF PASSOVER

Sundown, Friday, March 30th thru Sundown, Saturday, March 31st

CHURCH FAMILY SEDER CELEBRATIONS

Friday, March 30th, 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, March 31st, 7:30 p.m.

The Power Center

FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD

Sundown, Saturday, March 31st thru Sundown, Saturday, April 7th

FEAST OF FIRSTFRUITS

Sundown, Sunday, April 1st thru Sundown, Monday, April 2nd at The KBC

FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD WORSHIP CELEBRATION

Saturday, March 31, 2018, 6:00 p.m. at Heatherbrook

FEAST OF PENTECOST

Sundown, Saturday, May 19th, thru Sundown, Sunday, May 20th

FEAST OF PENTECOST WORSHIP CELEBRATION

Saturday, May 19, 2018, 6:00 p.m. at Heatherbrook

Credits:

Visual Culture & In Your Image Photography

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