Every year when Lent comes around, it is important to be reminded that Lent requires something of us. Lent is not passive. Lent does not simply happen to us; we have to make the conscious decision to engage … to engage in the work of Lent. This year we invite you to discover what it means to do the work of Lent. We’ll explore the spiritual practice of fasting and examine how our lifelong spiritual journeys inform the way we engage in the world around us.
Ash Wednesday, Feb. 14
We will offer two services on Feb. 14. Both are open to anyone and will include the imposition of ashes.
■ Noon. The first service will take place in Community Hall in conjunction with Lunch & Learn. Lunch will begin at 11:30 a.m. as usual, and the Ash Wednesday service will take the place of Bible Study, starting at noon and ending by 12:45. Lunch costs $10 each; no reservation needed.
■ 6 p.m. A second Ash Wednesday service will be held at 6 p.m. in the Sanctuary in lieu of our usual 6 p.m. offerings. Children are encouraged to attend; childcare will be available for preschoolers. Koinonia Café will be offered at 5 p.m. as usual.
Starting Feb. 18, Senior Pastor Timothy Peoples’s Lenten messages will focus on the spiritual practice of fasting. Often we think of fasting only as giving up food, or we see it as something other Christians do. Fasting is an intentional letting go to make space to hear sacred whispers or accept holy interruptions.
Wednesday Bible Study
On Wednesdays at 6 p.m. in Community Hall, starting Feb. 21, Timothy will lead “talk-back” sessions that expand on his Sunday messages.
Spiritual formation book study
We will also engage our Lent theme through the new book Hard and Holy Work: A Lenten Journey through the Book of Exodus by Mary Alice Birdwhistell and Tyler Mayfield, which explores how Moses’ spiritual awakening at the burning bush informed his involvement in the hard and holy work of liberation — and what that can mean for us. The book is available to purchase from major book retailers. We encourage everyone to read along and participate with us.
■ Discussion group. On Sundays from 9 to 9:45 a.m., Darren DeMent and Katie Murray will lead a discussion group on the book in Room 1205-G. Feb. 18–March 24.
■ Sunday School. Several classes, including Youth, will study the book during Lent.
■ Family study guide. A guide for parents to use with children is available in the church office. It is also available to download here.
Road to Resurrection: Family Lenten Experience
Palm Sunday, March 24 9–11 a.m. in Community Hall.
Join us in traveling the path of Jesus during his last week on earth in this hour-long multigenerational Easter event geared for all ages. We’ll create and wave palm branches, taste the Passover meal, visit the Garden of Gethsemane and join in other engaging experiences by visiting five sequential stations, rotating every 10 minutes in small groups. The event is open to everyone from 9 to 9:30 a.m. with one group starting at 9 and another group at 9:15. Please sign up for a time here. Older preschoolers and kindergarten through 6th grade Sunday School classes will participate during Sunday School from 9:30 to 11 a.m. See event page.
Mark your calendar
■ Maundy Thursday service, March 28, 7:30 p.m.
■ Easter Sunday, March 31. Sunrise service, T&P Hill at White Rock Lake, 6:45 a.m.
Wilshire has curated an eclectic Lenten playlist on the streaming music service Spotify. Listen below, search Spotify for “Doing the work of Lent – Lent 2024” or use this link. Spotify’s basic version is free.