Lent is the forty-day season between Ash Wednesday (February 17) and Easter Sunday (April 4). Mirroring the forty days of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness before his public ministry, Lent invites us on our own journey in the wilderness to freedom and the rebirth of Easter. It is a time not only of solemnity and quiet reflection, but also of preparation and anticipation—of practicing justice and joy in fellowship with God and one another. “Lent” derives from the Old English lencten, “springtime.” In Latin, lente means “slowly.” Thus, Lent points us to the coming of spring and invites us to slowness, simplicity, and solidarity, that we might have an abiding sense of God’s presence, an unguarded sense of ourselves, and a deepened awareness of the needs of this world.
May your Lenten Journey with others at King’s Chapel prepare you for the new world ahead.
In Love, The Rev Joy Fallon, Senior Minister David Waters, Minister for Education and Membership
A Lenten Journey, 2021
We enter into the winter darkness of the Lenten season as part of the seasonal rhythm of our faithful journey towards the light of renewal. But this Lent feels different.
Over the past year, our country has been roiled by one terrible event after another: Covid-19, and then devastating wildfires, hurricanes, and tornadoes. Millions of our fellow citizens are out of work, small businesses are collapsing, and food and housing insecurity are at record highs. Our “essential workers”— many of whom receive the lowest wages in our society—stand in sharp contrast to industry titans making pandemic fortunes in the hundreds of billions of dollars. The deepest fractures in our society have been revealed by brutal police killings of African Americans, efforts to overturn the presidential election, and then the recent assault on our nation’s Capitol by a mob with strong ties to white supremacy. Truly, we have been living in extraordinary times. But Lent approaches, and Lent is traditionally a time for prayer and reflection, fasting, and almsgiving – a time that can bring us closer to God and each other, and build new resolve. This year’s Lenten Program is structured as a journey of the soul. We suggest some fresh ways to understand fasting and almsgiving not as deprivation but as opportunities for growth.
Week One: Sunday, February 21 - Saturday, February 27
We begin with an inward turn into the wilderness and isolation that COVID and the ensuing shutdown have brought for many of us. Everything familiar has been thrown up into the air with profound ramifications for our lives. We find ourselves in a liminal space—a threshold between the known and the unknown. But while uncomfortable, the unknown can also generate productive and creative new thinking. What have we learned?
Week Two: Sunday, February 28 - Saturday, March 6
The next stop is attention to our planet. We have brought the earth to a crisis and jeopardized its future. How can we now repair and honor the sacred web-of-life gifts we have been given?
Week Three: Sunday, March 7 - Saturday, March 13
We then focus on human suffering. The year’s events have exposed the deepest fractures in our society—economic, racial, and political. How do we embrace, engage, and make sense of the suffering around us?
Week Four: Sunday, March 14 - Saturday, March 20
"Let the disorder in and allow it to teach you" (Joanna Macy). We now live in an era that demands holistic thinking: a deep awareness that all systems are interdependent and connected. Climate justice, social justice, and economic justice are not separate spheres. This place of reckoning offers the possibility of transition and transformation. What old ways could you let go of and what is the new life to which you are drawn?
Week Five: Sunday, March 21 - Saturday, March 27
In this last week, we contemplate how to live with greater integrity and character in an unpredictable and often unjust world that is offering us an evolutionary moment. How do we overcome our culture of excessive materialism and individualism and embrace our duty to the human community and planet as an essential part of faithful citizenship? How can we support each other to cultivate a renewed ethic of “faith in action” grounded in courage and sacrifice, faith and love, and infinite hope?
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