Greetings, fellow congregants,
Apart from birthdays, holidays, and yesterday’s incredible weather, February can be rather bleak. One right of passage, the snow day, has been largely erased this year due to working and schooling from home. It seems a particular cruelty that the joy of a weather-related day off be taken away in the midst of a pandemic. But here we are.
A friend told me he took a personal day last week when it snowed. He chose to treat it exactly like a snow day, rather than any old day off. He went outside for a walk. Made a snow man. Drank hot cocoa. This was not a day to clean or plan or run errands. This was a day to play. Since no one else would give him the joy, he gave it to himself. He claimed winter as his own. It got me thinking about what “snow days” we might take for ourselves. In this winter of our discontent, how can we find small moments of joy and whimsy?
Our Mardi Gras Fest last week was one such occasion of revelry for me. I am grateful to the music and worship committees for making Shrove Tuesday so fun, and our Wednesday Lent service so powerful.
As we journey into the season of Lent, our programming remains creative and thoughtful. Join us every Friday on Zoom at 7:30 pm for a 30-minute contemplative session on Praying the Psalms, inspired by the late theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and led by our very own Dit Talley.
This Saturday, Feb. 27, from 1:30 to 5 pm, Ellen will host a Lenten Retreat focused on rest, relaxation, reflection, and community. I love these quarterly retreats, and encourage you to join from a cozy nook in your house.
Looking for ways to observe Lent without the zooms? Check out Interfaith Power & Light’s Lenten Creation Care calendar for daily inspiration.
Our church also has group access to a Lenten Devotional created by Reverend Kelsey Peterson Beebe. I am a little biased because we are childhood friends and life-long UCC church camp supporters, but trust me when I say Kelsey does amazing work in the field of progressive Christianity, and her devotional “Refuge” is no exception. Download the devotional here.
Questions to ponder in the coming weeks:
- Have you, or would you ever dare, to declare your own “snow day”?
- What small moments of joy and calm can you claim amidst our current reality?
- How do your Lenten practices bring you closer to God?
- Are there any traditions you keep (like giving up dessert for Lent) that actually do not serve your relationship with a higher power?
- What is one small act of kindness you can do for another person?
- What is one small act of kindness you can give yourself?
In peace and community and magical snow days,