Dear siblings in Christ,
For me, Lent is a “get to,” not a “have to.” This season gives us an opportunity to pause and turn toward God in order to invest in our spiritual lives as well as our relationships with God and one another. I invite every one of us to a holy observance of Lent in 2024, beginning Wednesday, February 14. Church of Our Saviour has several opportunities I would like to tell you about as you consider how you might invest in your relationship with God this Lenten season:
Dating back to the 16th century, a tradition among British Christians called for eating pancakes or other foods made with one’s butter, eggs, and fat or lard, to use it up before the beginning of Lent. So, I invite you to a Shrove Tuesday dinner and celebration on Tuesday, February 13th, from 6 to 8 pm. As always, we’ll serve up pancakes and a talent show! Also, we will be burning last year’s palms from Palm Sunday to be used as the ashes for Ash Wednesday, so please bring your palms and palm cross if you have them.
Participating in Ash Wednesday services is a great way to start a season of prayer and spiritual conversion. We will be offering three Ash Wednesday services on February 14th. I strongly encourage you to join your community of faith for a part of this holy day.
7:30 am - Ash Wednesday Service without Holy Eucharist (spoken)
12:00 pm - Ash Wednesday Service with Holy Eucharist (spoken)
7:30 pm - Primary Ash Wednesday Service with choir and Holy Eucharist
Beginning February 18, join the Rev. Marilyn Omernick for a five-week practicum on Sundays at 5:30 pm, using An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith by Barbara Brown Taylor as our guide. The author invites us "to discover the sacred in the small things we do and see." Each week, participants will read from a selected chapter and then choose from suggested Lenten practices. You will need a copy of the book one week before we start (online or audio books are fine). A journal is recommended for notes and reflections.
Join me for a simple supper of soup each Sunday in Cleaver Hall during Lent at 5 pm, or immediately after the 4 pm Sunday service, just before Rev. Marilyn’s group. If you are interested in making some soup (or partaking in the meal), please come speak to me.
For the five Sundays in Lent, I will be teaching an “Episcopal 101” class during the 9 am Adult Forum hour. This class will be a great opportunity to discuss basic tenets of the Episcopal faith, whether you are new to COS or have been attending your entire life.
The Rev. Reese Riley will offer a quick discussion session during the five 11:30 am Wednesday Healing Services in Lent, using William McRaven’s book The Hero Code. This weekly worship service would be a great addition to your schedule this Lent.
The Rev. Tim Hartley will be leading a Parenting Group opposite SPARK at 11:30 am during the Sundays of Lent. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet with other parents of young children in order to share wisdom, support, and even humor with one another.
Led by Hannah Riley and special guests, kids can participate in a SPARK Episcopal Master Class on Sundays in Lent at 11:30 am in Allan Hall. Our students will hear about Episcopalian mysteries and lore, explore cool places, and see fancy vestments and church treasures. They’ll learn too!
Juli Kennedy will again organize a Daily Lenten Practice, Praying for Our Parish, in which participants will pray daily for a small group of fellow parishioners. Email email@example.com to be part of this Lenten COS tradition!
Last, one of the great gifts of our Anglican heritage is our worship during Holy Week. In addition to Ash Wednesday, I strongly urge to worship with us during Holy Week as well:
Sunday, March 24th - Palm Sunday (8:00 am and 10:00 am)
Thursday, March 28th - Maundy Thursday (7:30 pm)
Friday, March 29th - Good Friday (Noon and 7:30 pm liturgy)
Saturday, March 30th - The Great Vigil of Easter (7:30 pm)
Sunday, March 31st Easter Sunday - (8:00 am, 10:00 am, and 4:00 pm)
However you choose, however you are able to participate this year, I urge you to invite God into your life this Lent. Inviting transformation requires intention, openness, and community. I pray this season finds you able to authentically and wholeheartedly enter into the story of our Christian faith.