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Take the Lenten Challenge

Take the Lenten Challenge

Take the Lenten Challenge

It’s hard to believe, but Lent is less than a month away!  Ash Wednesday falls on February 18 this year.  The forty days before Easter are a season of spiritual renewal, a time to refocus our lives upon God.  While people frequently choose an individual spiritual practice, I have thought for years that we should offer a church-wide practice that would unite us and help us to grow spiritually.  This year there will be a Lenten Challenge for all of us!

The challenge consists of two parts: worship and scripture.  The first part is attending worship every Sunday during Lent.  Our worship of God, in and through the power of Jesus Christ, is the central act of our lives as Christians.  Jesus said the first and greatest commandment is to love God.  We express our love primarily through our worship of the living God.  In this day and age, many things compete for our attention.  It is easy for worship to become secondary.  God though is the source and center of life.  It is important that we put God first.  Lent is the time to reorient our lives, to put God at the center.


A Journey with Mark

The second part of the challenge is reading A Journey with Mark: The 50 Day Bible Challenge.  Each of the fifty days in the book has a passage from the Gospel of Mark, a meditation, questions for reflection and a prayer.  Studies have shown over and over that regular scripture reading is essential for spiritual growth.   Although we Episcopalians are one of the most educated denominations in the nation, we are one of the least knowledgeable about the Bible.  Learning about Mark will also enrich our worship outside of Lent since it is the primary Gospel for this year.

In order that we might support and learn from each other during our Lenten Challenge, there will be three different small discussion groups each Tuesday: 7 a.m. at Bojangles, 11 a.m. and 7:15 p.m. at Grace.   We are offering these at different times to accommodate your schedule.  If it works better to have the Bojangles group at 6:30 a.m. for people to make work on time, we can move it.  

In case you were wondering how a 50 day Bible challenge fit into the 40 day season of Lent, we will need to start a few days before Ash Wednesday to complete it by Easter.  Although Lent is 40 days long, there are 46 days from Ash Wednesday to Easter, since Sunday, as the celebration of Christ’s resurrection, is always a feast rather than a fast like the rest of Lent.


Free Books

I have ordered 40 copies of A Journey with Mark and will order more if needed.  These books are for you free of charge.  Take one per family or take one for each person in the family!  These are a gift for your spiritual growth and for the spiritual growth of our congregation.  This is part of our mission to share and to grow in the Good News of Jesus Christ.

On Sunday February 15, participants in the Lenten Challenge may offer their Lenten practice to God by filling out the form in the bulletin and putting it on the altar during the announcements.  Forms will be available in advance in the lobby for those unable to attend that Sunday.  If you choose to follow another Lenten practice, there will be a line to write it so that you can offer that practice to God, too.

Renew your life in God!  Grow in the spirit of Christ!  Take the Lenten Challenge!

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Saturday, 11 July 2020