What does Lent mean to you?
These 40 days before Easter are meant to be a time for reflection and introspection. They provide us with the opportunity to “slow down,” as Pastor Ellen titled her Lenten Retreat Saturday afternoon.
For some people, Lent means “taking on” – that is, adding a daily activity like meditation, or scripture reading, or a nature walk, or composting. For others, Lent means “giving up” – that is, giving up things like meat, or social media, or daily car trips, or long showers.
We have no shortage of resources to help us decide which Lenten practices will be most meaningful to us. Pastor Ellen’s sermons provide examples, as do several of the posts on our church’s Facebook page. And, of course, when all else fails, we can ask our “friend” Google for suggestions.
For those of us who want to focus our Lenten practices around activities that can have a positive effect on climate change, Interfaith Power & Light (DC, MD, NoVA) has a Lenten Creation Care Calendar to guide us. The calendar suggests an action each day that will help us to be better stewards of the Earth. We have copies of the calendar at church but you can download one from the Interfaith Power & Light website.
I didn’t grow up with a tradition of observing Lent, but I think it can be a meaningful way for us to make changes in our lives that can be transformative, not only for these 40 days but also long-term. This year, for my own Lenten practice, I am setting aside 15 minutes a day for “quiet time” – time to meditate, practice breathing exercises, observe nature – my own version of slowing down.
I would love to hear about your own Lenten practices this year and, if you’re game, would like to share them in a future Moderator’s Memo.
Peace and joy,
EVENTS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
Poetry Hour, 3/17—Join us from 4-5 pm and bring one or two poems on any theme (with 8 copies to share). Friends are welcome! Questions? email@example.com
Dinner and a Movie, 3/22—Kumail and Emily love each other. Their families don’t know how to feel. In The Big Sick (2017 comedy), they all struggle with cultural and religious differences, illness, and family dynamics. Join us for a light dinner at 6:30 and film at 7 pm. RSVP by 3/20 to Dan Sack: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coffee Hour Conversation, Aging for All Ages, 3/24—Carol Kaplun, Care Manager at Iona Senior Services, will lead a discussion about decisions to be made as we age and/or care for aging loved ones. Come with questions and real-life scenarios; Carol will offer answers, resources, and next steps.
Coffee Hour Conversation, Capital Campaign: Your Input Desired! 3/31—As our congregation’s Board of Trustees begins planning a Capital Campaign, they want YOUR input! Please join us for a conversation about nuts/bolts, leaky pipes, and hopes/dreams.
Maundy Thursday Service, 4/18—Join us for a 7:00 pm service of Communion and Tenebrae (Latin for “shadows”). This hauntingly beautiful Holy Week Service celebrates Jesus’s Last Supper & New Commandment and commemorates his death at Calvary. If you’d like to read one of the parts in the Passion Story, email: email@example.com.
Good Friday Meditation, 4/19—Come between 1 and 3:30 pm for a time of silent meditation and gospel reflection. At 1, 1:30, 2, 2:30, and 3 pm Pastor Ellen will read from the gospels and provide prompts for reflection. We’ll meditate in silence between readings.
Easter Sunday, 4/21—Join us for a 10:30 am service of Joyful Alleluias! The choir will perform special music, children and youth will participate in a celebratory Sunday School and Easter Egg Hunt, and we’ll all enjoy a festive Coffee Hour.