Sunday, February 15, 2015

Lent - It's Personal, or is it? Take some time with this one!

The Community 
For several weeks now we have been talking about the upcoming season of Lent. People have been busy preparing classes. We've listened to beautiful sermons. Researched methods, material and even the tools to get them to you. We celebrated in fellowship with a very successful "Fat Tuesday" like Chili Cook Off event.   Energy and intention is high.

Some have confessed dreading Lent in the past. All the different options available now suggest that we might be trying to make it desirable to "practice" a Lenten discipline. Don't make this a monumental task. That gives you the best excuse not to follow through. This is "only as great as it needs to be, no greater" (A. Einstein) and you have back up. Great things are happening all over the world.  We caught a glimpse in Women of the Word this week, check this out: A Message from our Presiding Bishop, A Lenten Carbon Fast, and Wash Day You can't deny this is very cool and simply,amazingly Christ. We have strong leadership, creative energy and GOD on our side.

The Person
When Ash Wednesday comes (this week!) have a prayerful conversation with God, He (She) will very likely tell you it will be OK - like all great parents do. In fact it will be very good!

It's all in the doing:
Do what matters,
What 's the impact?
Do what makes sense,
 Can you see a purpose?
Do what leaves you wanting more, 
How will it help you (and your loved ones) grow?

As you choose, remember your faith community is behind you. And though the choosing is personal, we're all praying each other through it!

Adult Education 

Sharing the GOSPEL
Beyond the Crib and the Cross
Sunday Mornings at 9:00 a.m. in the Guild Room
February 15- March 29
led by Julie Songster

Commit to "DO" Lent 2015 with the intention of spending focused time daily renewing your relationship with the Lord, and sharing weekly with each other growing and glowing in love.
Several Lenten Study resources will be shared through the class and you are welcome to bring any you may find and share with the group.

Now they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, " Brothers,what shall we do?"                                                                     Acts 2:37
Resources Julie has available:
Forward Day by Day, February/March/April 2015,
Lent is Not Rocket Science, An Exploration of God,Creation, and the Cosmos by W. Nicholas Kinsey,
A Wondrous Love, Daily Lenten Meditations and Prayers, Henri J.M. Nouwen and C.S. Lewis,
A Grown-Up Lent, When giving up Chocolate Isn't Enough by Joanna Leiserson

The Way of the Cross
Wednesday Evenings at 6:00 p.m. Supper, Song and Prayer
Each week will be a soup and bread supper, (St. Thomas Staff will take week one)
led by Rev. Janet Tunnell

The devotion known as the Way of the Cross is an adaptation to local usage of a custom widely observed by pilgrims to Jerusalem: the offering of a prayer at a series of places traditionally associated with our Lord’s passion and death.

Historically there are 14 stations, of which, only 8 are based on incidents from the Gospels. In 1991, Pope John Paul II identified 14 scriptural stations and this service is based on those scriptural
stations. It is customary, in the Episcopal Church to do the service on Good Friday, but they can be done anytime during Lent.

We will explore several stations per week for you to then delve deeper into on your own. Maybe Stations of the Cross together on Good Friday? Rev. Janet is willing, if there is an interest.

Individual/Online Option:
Society of St. John the Evangelist
The Brothers of Cambridge, Mass.

Stop,Pray,Work, Play & Love
Video series with a short series of questions for reflection. This study focuses on time and the needed balance of it in our lives. Direct, thoughtful and relevant.  Available by email for all devices.

For the Family 

Each year we research all the calendar options and this year our recommendation comes from PRAYING in COLOR, Drawing a New Path to God. This is a different type of calendar in that it is open ended. Don't let that scare you - kids take to this naturally.  We introduced it in Sunday School today by  asking the question, Where is GOD now? While taking a walk together we drew out the places where GOD was present using all five senses.  You could do the same exercise by talking through the day's events with your child or reading daily scripture at bedtime. Use one space a day to denote what you learn with color, image or word.

Sybil MacBeth gives us the magic at Preprinted posters available in the church office as well as at Service locations.