By James Deaton
Lent is early this year, beginning February 14. This season in the life of the church is purposefully introspective, a time to turn inward. How can we use these forty days to draw us deeper into relationship with God, and also grow closer to our sisters and brothers here at Grace?
To prepare our hearts and minds, we will be offering several opportunities for faith formation. Some will be self-directed, others will involve group discussion. We encourage you to consider one of these for your own Lenten practice, or find your own.
On the small table on the ramp from the Commons to the Parish Hall, you’ll find booklets created for personal use during prayer time at home. There are a variety to choose from, each providing a reading from Scripture, a brief meditation, and a prayer for the day. Your donation to help us with the cost of materials is appreciated. Envelopes are provided for your convenience.
The Ridiculous Journey: Following a Nobody from Nowhere
This mini-film series starts next weekend, February 10-11. Created by an ecumenical online platform called The Work of the People, this seven-part mini-film series is centered around Jesus’ invitation, “Come, follow me,” and our search for purpose and meaning in the events and choices of our lives. Together we’ll watch clips from noted authors and theologians such as Brené Brown, Richard Rohr, Nadia Bolz-Weber, Rowan Williams, and others, discuss a variety of topics, and then provide some ways to think faithfully and prayerfully about them.
There will be two viewing times. Pastor Kathryn will facilitate discussion on Saturday evenings following worship, and then I’ll facilitate on Sunday mornings at 9 am, between services. This series will continue through Palm Sunday, March 25. We will meet in the parish hall.
Lent Madness is an engaging, zany way for people to learn about the saints of the church. It was created in 2010 by The Rev. Tim Schenck, an Episcopal priest in Massachusetts, and then adapted for the masses by Forward Movement, publisher of Forward Day by Day. It claims to be “the world’s most popular online Lenten devotion.”
Lent Madness is modeled after March Madness, the NCAA college basketball tournament, and has been customized for our use here at Grace. Anyone can play, and we’ve set it up so that you can be as active or passive as you’d like.
If you’re curious, first read the gold instruction sheet included in copies of the Saintly Scorecard, the definitive guide to this year’s competition. It explains how to play. If you’re game, start studying the lives of the saints by reading their biographies found in the Saintly Scorecard. Then be ready to turn in your completed purple bracket by Ash Wednesday, February 14.
Once Lent begins, we’ll keep track of the global match-up winners as well as our individual scoring on the bulletin board in the parish hall. After Easter, on Saturday, April 21, the Lent Madness champion will be crowned during our Lent Madness Championship Party. There will be fun for all ages, and surprises are in store! Learn more at www.lentmadness.org