North Raleigh: Community

Faith in Focus: For Shrove Tuesday, let there be pancakes

Many church congregations will sit down to plates of pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, which takes place on Feb. 17 this year.

“The word ‘shrove’ actually comes from an Old English word that means to strive – it marks the beginning of the Lenten season of reflection and prayer in many Protestant and Catholic churches around the world,” said Pastor Dave Wegner of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Raleigh.

Shrove Tuesday is also celebrated in some places as Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday or Carnivale. No matter what it is called or what the specific tradition might be, it is one last day of excess before Ash Wednesday begins.

And that’s where the pancakes come in. Historically, some communities gathered together on Shrove Tuesday to make pancakes to use up the last of the rich ingredients like butter, cream and eggs to make way for a more plain and austere diet during Lent.

“The goal is to remove something from your life or your mind or your way of doing that will help you focus on that Lenten journey of prayer and repentance, so people will often give something up during Lent – chocolate or things of that nature,” Wegner said.

Many local churches, including Good Shepherd Lutheran, will offer pancake suppers and a festive atmosphere on Shrove Tuesday.

“It’s a day that we enjoy fellowship and laughter and food together before the more somber and solemn tone of Lent,” Wegner said. “Shrove means to offer forgiveness or absolution. It’s kind of one of those last moments of the church year before Lent begins that we hear very clearly the words of forgiveness from God before we arrive at Easter. It’s that one last hurrah before we really put our heads to the ground in prayer and reflection.”

Time to SHiNE

It is also time at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church for the monthly SHiNE service.

SHiNE is a worship opportunity for people with varying abilities, as well as their families. The service is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 15, in the sanctuary at 7000 Creedmoor Road, Raleigh.

Unity of the Triangle breaks ground

Unity of the Triangle recently broke ground at the site of its new church home at 560 Munford Road.

The 20,000-square-foot spiritual center will house a sanctuary that can accommodate more than 400 congregants. The building will also include a large fellowship hall with an adjacent kitchen, choir room, audio/visual studio, classrooms, offices, project room, meditation room and bridal parlor.

Originally located on Whitaker Mill Road in Raleigh, Unity of the Triangle has spent the past eight years in the Longview Center at 118 S. Person St.

The congregation has already raised more than $1 million in a capital campaign. The grand opening of the new building is expected to be in time for the church’s 30th anniversary celebration next fall.

While the new building is under construction, the church is temporarily holding Sunday services at the Woman’s Club of Raleigh, at 3300 Woman’s Club Drive. The church maintains offices and weekly classes at 1318 Dale St. #250 in Raleigh.

Unity of the Triangle is a part of the Unity spiritual movement founded by Charles and Myrtle Fillmore in 1889. It is based in Unity Village, Mo.

‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’

Precious Lambs Early Learning Center, a ministry of Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Raleigh, will celebrate its current study of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 17.

The Scrap Exchange of Durham will bring activities for children and parents. The event is open to the community, and interested families may also take part in an open house.

Gethsemane Lutheran is located at 1100 Newson Road.

Carla Turchetti compiles Faith in Focus each week. Email her with details of upcoming events at