Lent begins next week with the celebration of Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper, 5:30-7:30, in the theater lobby followed by Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday services will be 7 a.m. (said service, no communion), 11-1 Ashes to Go on the UTA campus in front of the library, and 7 p.m. (with music and communion).
The 40 days of Lent are the traditional time set aside by the Church for personal and corporate reflection: How am I and we doing relative to the God’s dream for Creation and for us? How am I and we doing with our relationship with God? What do I need to be or do differently to have a better relationship? What do I and we need to be or do to live more in harmony with God’s hope and dream for Creation and the people of Creation? Of what do I need to repent? To whom should I apologize and s eek to make amends? Whom do I need to forgive? From whom do I need to accept forgiveness? What do I need to let go of to make room for Easter?
Saint Alban’s has two Lenten programs to help us individually and corporately explore these questions and prepare for the Easter Resurrection: Lent Madness and Crazy Christians.
Lent Madness is based on March Madness, the famous basketball tournament. Using a tournament-style sports bracket thirty-two Saints of the Church begin the competition. Week by week ballots are cast across the globe. In the end one Saint remains standing and the Golden Halo is awarded. You can participate each week by coming to Sunday school (where Nick will provide us with a brief update each week) and online via the Lent Madness Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/lentmadness , or at the Lent Madness website, http://www.lentmadness.org . Oh yeah…. we have prizes. Wonderful, wonderful prizes each week. But, as the saying goes you must participate and be present to win.
How to Be a Crazy Christian is an internet based Christian formation program which uses the website https://www.churchnext.tv for both group and individual learning. ChurchNext TV was developed by an Episcopal priest to take advantage of the power of the internet and to allow you to access learning opportunities from home as well as during traditional Sunday school time. Crazy Christians is hosted by The Right Reverend Michael Curry (yes, that Michael Curry). In five accessible, brief video teachings Bishop Curry invites us to a more full2C alive spirit of Christianity. It’s worth the time and effort just to experience Bp. Curry’s preaching.
In addition, the Diocese of Fort Worth has provided more Lenten resources for you. Just follow this link to the page: http://episcopaldiocesefortworth.org/resources-for-lent/?utm_source=Episcopal+Diocese+of+Fort+Worth+-+News+and+Updates&utm_campaign=67d89667fb-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_9a8f00b1c6-67d89667fb-93719053 . These include everything from very cerebral exercises to tactile adult coloring pages.
However you observe Lent and whatever you do, I encourage you to not let these 40 days be just regular days of the year. This year take advantage of these 40 days to fully prepare yourself to experience the real power of the Easter Resurrection within your soul.