Lent is coming up!
Soon we enter the 40 day season of preparation for Easter. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, as we receive ashes in the shape of a cross on our foreheads. The ashes remind us simultaneously of mortality, repentance and baptism. Mortality because life is short and it is important to focus on what is truly important; repentance for the ways that we have failed to love God or our neighbor; and baptism, the blessed reminder that we are united with Christ, loved and forgiven.
In the ancient church, those who were preparing for baptism fasted for the 40 days before they were baptized at Easter. On Ash Wednesday, the liturgy includes an invitation to observe Lent with “self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word.”
The purpose of Lent is to prepare for Easter by examining our lives, spending more time with God and seeking to model our lives on Jesus more and more. Lent may be observed in a variety of ways. We may take on a new discipline of prayer, reading Scripture, giving alms or giving up something that distracts us from God.
As a parish. we usually take up a special collection at Lent and this year, we will be collecting for Food for the Poor. Fr. Bruce Torrey will be preaching about the amazing work Food for the Poor does to alleviate extreme poverty and hunger on March 10th.
We will be offering baptismal/confirmation preparation classes on Sundays during Lent, following the 10am service. We will also offer centering prayer each Wednesday evening at 7pm in Beth Lewis. And Janet will be offering a Quiet Day of reflection and prayer on April 6th. Sign up by emailing parish office or adding your name to the list in the hallway.