The word "Lent" comes from the old Latin word for "Spring"--so this season of the church is one that coincides with all the growth that happens in spring (in the northern hemisphere, anyway). It's a season of preparation and confession, shedding the old ways and getting ready for the amazing new thing God has planned.
This year during Lent we are reading from the gospel according to John, in order, during all worship services. This gives us an opportunity to experience the story of Jesus and the disciples heading to Jerusalem over the course of several weeks. One of the major themes we'll discover is this sense of standing at the threshold of something, but we're not quite sure what. Every week we'll find there's some kind of in-and-out going on--standing at the gate, looking through, looking back, wondering if it's open or closed, wondering if we should step in, step out.
Join us as we ponder what it means that Jesus is the gate, what might be on the other side of that door, and how we come in and go out and find pasture.
Ash Wednesday: service at 7:30pm. We admit the many ways we have not lived up to God's dream for the world, and turn our lives to try again. The imposition of ashes is a reminder that we are created, not Creator, that our lives are finite, and that simultaneously we are created for a purpose: to love as we have been loved. We hear the call to a holy season of being intentional in deepening our relationship with Christ, and step through the door into that season.
Sundays: worship service at 10am. The Adult class is reading John Shelby Spong's The Fourth Gospel: Tales of a Jewish Mystic each week at 8:45, ending April 13. Young people are exploring scripture and spiritual practices, such as prayer and service, at 9am any week that school is in session (so no class during spring break).
MidLent MidWeek: rather than a weekly Wednesday supper and service, this year we'll have one halfway-point gathering on March 26 at 6:30pm.
Home Devotional: each week there will be a new devotional booklet available (it will also be on the website and sent by email), with scripture, reflection, questions, and ideas.
Because we are reading through John in order, the Maundy Thursday service will be different. John's gospel places the foot washing in the middle of the book, and there is no story of the Last Supper. So on Maundy Thursday we will use a series of prayer stations to experience the whole of the Jesus story, culminating in communion. (April 17, 7:30pm, in the Sanctuary)
Good Friday will be a Tenebrae service--a service of shadows, where we experience the deepening darkness. (April 18, 7:30pm, in the Sanctuary)
Easter morning (April 20), we gather for worship at 10am, followed by breakfast and an Easter Egg hunt at 11:15. It's a great celebration of God's promise of new life!