With the earlier rising and later setting of the sun, more light is coming into our daily lives. The word, lent, has several roots. One is about springtime; another is about stretching.
We’ll begin observing the 40-day season of Lent with the Imposition of Ashes on Ash Wednesday, March 1st, in the the Narthex and Sanctuary any time between 5:30-7:00 p.m. You are welcome to spend time in prayerful reflection in addition to the imposition of ashes.
Traditionally, Lent has been a time of repentance, which in Biblical parlance really means “turning around”. In recent years, there’s been a shift to thinking about taking on something new rather than giving something up as a Lenten practice. That itself is a turn-around!
In this Lenten season, we’re offering two distinct programs both of which “take on something”.
The first is a program designed by Will Bowen and is called, “A Complaint-Free World”. Bowen begins by quoting Paul: do everything without complaining and arguing (Philippians 2:14). In a world fraught with contention, this is a wonderful way to turn around and remind ourselves that as Christians, we are committed to love one another and to treat one another with respect even (and especially) when we disagree. If you’d like to learn more, please visit: www.willbowen.com
You’ll be reading, seeing, and hearing more about A Complaint-Free World as Lent unfolds. The most visible and participatory part of the program is a purple wrist band. They’ll be available in the Narthex on Ash Wednesday and every Sunday during Lent.
Starting on March 1st, Ash Wednesday, those who wish to be part of a Complaint-Free World will start wearing the wrist band. Every time you catch yourself complaining or criticizing, you move the band to the other wrist. The goal is to not move the band for 21 days. That’s the length of time it takes to create a new habit.
It’s a wonderful way to raise consciousness about being positive and the ripple-effect that has in creating peace for one’s self, in the home, church, and community.
The second Lenten program offers another way to experience embodying the season. The following six Wednesday activities will take the place of Bible study until after Easter.
Each Wednesday in Lent, we’ll offer an activity designed to stretch our appreciation for variety in God’s world. That will begin on Ash Wednesday with the quiet time for personal reflection
The following Wednesdays, we’ll engage in: personal writing/journaling poetry or prose; music as a medium for the Spirit; Dance and the Spirit; Visual Art for the Lenten Journey; Feeding the Body and Soul – a true potluck supper. Please look for specifics (dates and times) in the March Spire and bulletins.
All of these opportunities to gather are open to the community. Invite your friends, neighbors, co-workers, the person working out next to you at the gym, and others to share in this season of possibility.
The Reverend Jill H. Small