Midweek Lenten Worship: Join us on Wednesday, March 1, 15, and 29, for a soup supper at 6:15 p.m., followed by a short worship service at 7:00 p.m.

Even though Ash Wednesday comes more often in February than it does in March, it still feels “early” to me, this year! But today we enter the liturgical season of Lent, a forty-day period during which we who follow Jesus devote more intentional time to reflection, repentance, and reformation: how closely do our lives align with what we understand to be the will of God? How closely do we pattern our conduct after the life of Christ? The forty-day span recalls Jesus’ forty-day fast in the wilderness (Matthew 4:2, Luke 4:1-2), as well as Moses’ forty-day fast on Mount Sinai (Exodus 34:28).

This past Transfiguration Sunday, at the end of our worship service, we “put away the ‘alleluia,’” following a centuries-old Lutheran Lenten tradition. We will not utter the word again until we celebrate Easter Sunday. The tone of Lenten worship changes somewhat, as well, becoming more penitential and reflective. Each Sunday service will begin with a sung confession, and we will encourage periods of silent reflection and prayer during the prelude and postlude.

We will have midweek soup supper-and-worship on March 1, 15, and 26. Supper begins at 6:15 p.m., and worship begins at 7:00 p.m. We’ll have sign-up sheets on the oak table for contributing soup and sides. On the Wednesdays in between – March 8 and 22 – I will offer a short online (Zoom) prayer service, beginning at 7:00 p.m. Email Pastor Marilyn for the link.

As you begin your own Lenten journey, there are many good resources to guide and accompany you. Below, I share a number of them. Peace and blessings – Pastor Marilyn

  • One prayer and lectionary app that I use year-round is “Pray As You Go,” maintained by the Jesuits of the United Kingdom. It is available in Google and Apple app stores, and is also available online: https://pray-as-you-go.org/ This app has short daily scripture reflections and prayer, but it also offers tutorials and guidance in a number of different prayer traditions, and includes a lovely “walking meditation.”
  • If you feel short on time, and struggle to center yourself for prayer, try the wonderful “3 Minute Retreats” published by Loyola Press. You can view them online at this link (https://www.loyolapress.com/3-minute-retreats-daily-online-prayer/), or download their app from your phone’s app store.
  • Do Lutherans pray the rosary? Many do, and you might find that it enhances your prayer life. The ELCA created a rosary prayer sequence for use in Lent (or year-round!). At this link, you can find a plan for creating your own rosary, and an outline of suggested prayers: https://ecumenicallife.com/lenten-lutheran-rosary/ You’ll find photocopies of this on the Oak Table in our fellowship area. If you would like help making a rosary of your own, I have many beading materials and would be happy to gather “makers” in the fellowship space for a rosary-making workshop!
  • Sometimes prayer words will fail you. When they do, you can pray the Psalms (https://day1.org/articles/5d9b820ef71918cdf200308a/spending_lent_in_the_psalms__daily_meditations). Or spin this World Prayers wheel – which can offer up “random” prayers, or which you can search topically: https://www.worldprayers.org/index.html
  • There are too many good Lenten devotionals to even curate! One that the Wednesday bible study group is using is called Holy Solitude: Lenten Reflections with Saints, Hermits, Prophets, and Rebels, by the Rev. Heidi Haverkamp. We also have digital sharing rights to a daily devotional by Barn Geese Publications. Contact me/Pastor Marilyn for a copy.

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