The Season of Lent

In the Early Church Lent grew out of the practice of earmarking the 40 days leading to Easter as a time for intensive preparation and study for baptism at Easter among those known as catechumens – those in training to become Christians. For the baptised these 40 days were marked out as a period for mindful spiritual observance of Jesus’ period in the wilderness prior to his arriving for baptism to commence his public ministry. Into the Middle Ages the emphasis shifted much more towards Lent as a time for penitence and spiritual disciplines including the mortification of the body. Today, we combine both emphases – educational and penitential in our approach to keeping a good Lent, though we are less intensely focused on practices of bodily mortification – if at all. But this raises a host of issues we can’t go into here.

Since 2020, when the pandemic struck with force we have not been able to hold our customary Lenten Program of gathering together on a Tuesday evening for food and teaching. So it’s with delight that we find ourselves able to return to our customary in 2022 comprising in-person, virtual, and self study options.

A Beautiful Friendship is a Lent course based on the film Casablanca starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. On Tuesday evenings from March 8th for the following five weeks we will gather for a light meal and program sessions in the Great Hall from 6 – 8 pm. The program uses a book created by Paul Kerensa and Zoe Young. Paul is a comedy writer known to American audiences for the sitcom Miranda. Zoe is married to Paul and together they are Small Group Pastors at St John’s Stoke Church, Guildford, south-west of London. Each week the program will explore spiritual-emotional-relational themes particularly keyed to sections of Casablanca. We recommend you revisit the movie in advance and each week we will view particular clips highlighted in the book’s weekly chapters.

We have 25 copies of the book from DLT. the British publisher.

Wintering. You’re invited to join Linda+ for a noontime Zoom book group on Wednesdays in Lent beginning March 9 and continuing through April 6. We will discuss Katherine May’s bestselling 2020 book, Wintering: the Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times. In her memoir May recounts a challenging period of her life that prompted her to ponder her struggles in the context of the natural world: “When everything is broken, everything is also up for grabs. That’s the gift of winter: it’s irresistible. Change will happen in its wake, whether we like it or not.”
Join us as we ponder Wintering and what it means for us as we encounter our own challenges and make our own journeys of healing. Whether you have never read it before or are exploring it again, we look forward to hearing your questions and reflections on your own experiences of wintering. Please contact Linda+ for more information and to sign up.
Where to find Wintering:

Additional Recommended Reading

Self-study texts

Sense and Sensibility

Sam Portaro proposes to restore our ability to participate emotionally in the Lenten journey by revisiting the five physical senses―one per week―in Lent.Sense and Sensibility encourages the reader to renew a relationship with the physical senses that is a prerequisite to a deeply attuned engagement with the biblical stories read, taught, and liturgically re-enacted in the rites of Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, Holy Week, and Easter. Sense and Sensibility is available at Church Publishing.

Passion For Pilgrimage

The Christian spiritual journey is a pilgrimage to wholeness, a search for home that is in God. In this classic work on contemporary spiritual living, Alan Jones explores the various parts of the pilgrimage home. Using literature, art, and biblical texts as illustrations, he explores our search for light and love, repentance, and forgiveness in the context of the Passion and Easter stories.You can order this book from Church Publishing and other sites, as well.

2022 Lenten Meditations

The Lenten Meditations from Episcopal Relief & Development are organized into the priorities: Women, Children and Climate. They include a focus on Disaster Resilience & Response work. The Lenten Meditation is free and downloadable by clicking here. We invite you to read them throughout Lent and share with those close to you.

Love Life Live Lent

Love Life, Live Lent offers forty age-appropriate actions—one for each day of Lent—to make the world a better place: locally, nationally, and globally. There are both children and adult/youth versions.

Little Way Lenten Guide

The Little Way Lenten Guide will help simplify and deepen your family’s Lenten journey. The Little Way Lenten guide is a 50 page digital download PDF sent directly to your inbox. KidZone lessons will be inspired by this resource. Families will enjoy having a copy for Lenten discussions and observations at home.

Self-guided Stations of the Cross

An addition to our worship schedule this year will be Self-guided Stations of the Cross.

This is a podcast accessible here.  At weekly advertised times in the church the podcast will be played over the loudspeakers allowing small groups to gather and experience this moving meditation together. The podcast can also used as a private meditation at home or using earbuds or headphones while out walking, or as an individual experience using the pictorial Stations of the Cross in the Church.