Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday: The Beginning of Lent
Children's "Ash Tuesday" Service, February 13th, 6:30 pm
|Walking the Way of Lent: A Journey of Deepening Connection
An Invitation to Re-Engage
In the Christian tradition, the season of Lent has meant many things. But the “bottom line” of Lent is that it is a time when we are asked to re ect – thoughtfully, prayerfully, and deliberately – on our spiritual lives.
This Lent, I invite you to engage in this reflection in three different dimensions: on the level of the soul (your personal relationship with God), on the level of your relationships with others, and on the level of your relationship with the church.
My hope is that, among the fruits of these reflections, will be a deeper appreciation of the importance of the life of the soul, and the way in which our relationships and our engagement in Trinity nourish that life. The goal that I hope we will adopt together is to deepen our connection with the way in which God is revealed in each of us; in others in our lives; and in the Trinity community.
We live in a time when there are many, many things that pull at us, and pull us away from meaningful engagement with the soul, with others, and with the church. They have the power to distract us from the spiritual life, and that can lead us to experience our lives less fully, and with less meaning.
This Lent, let us journey together to recognize and overcome these distractions, and recognize that nourishing our souls is just as important as nourishing our bodies. Let us make this year’s Lenten season a time to re-engage with the spiritual dimension of our lives.
The Rev. Matthew Dutton-Gillett
In the midst of our annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper we will be offering a Children's "Ash Tuesday" Service. This is a child-friendly version of the Ash Wednesday service, that does not include Communion but does include the imposition of ashes. This is a great way to introduce children to the traditions of Ash Wednesday.
Ash Wednesday, February 14, 7:30 am, Noon, 7:30 pm
Join us for the beginning of Lent at any of our three Ash Wednesday liturgies. Each service will include a sermon, imposition of ashes, and eucharist. All are welcome.
The Commitments of Lent
We invite you to make three Lenten Commitments this year. One commitment is meant to be in the dimension of the Soul, that is, your personal relationship with God. The, in the dimension of Relationship, you are invited to make a second commitment, recognizing that much of our growth comes from our relationships with others. Finally, you are invited to mkae a commitment in the dimension of Trinity, recognizing that the liturgy and the ministries of the church nourish both our souls and our relationships in important ways.
While these Lenten Commitments should begin on February 14 -- Ash Wednesday -- and last through Easter Day, you are invited to reflect on the fact that, traditionally, Lenten Commitments were meant to make a lasting impact on the shape of the Christian life. That is, new habits developed during Lent were meant to endure beyond Lent, allowing us to make important change in our lives that support our relationship with God and the life of the soul.
May this season of Lent be a time of re-dedication, re-commitment, and re-engagement with God, with those most important in your life, and with the depth of meaning offered to us through our common worship and community life.
|A Commitment to the Soul
Consider making one of the following Lenten Commitments to your Soul:
- Choose Sister Joan Chittister’s pamphlet, “Cry Out”, which includes seven weekly reflections for the weeks of Lent and Easter. These help you to form a personal response to the selected readings and other material “that can lead you deeper into your soul’s adventure with God.” In this commitment, you set aside some time each week to sit with Sister Joan’s reflections. The pamphlets will be available at the back of the church.
- The monks of the Society of St. John the Evangelist (a monastic community of e Episcopal Church) invite you to walk with them through the Gospel of John during this Lenten season as a way of encountering Jesus in the pages of John’s writing. The booklet of daily reflections can be downloaded from their website (and will also be available at the back of the church). In addition, you may subscribe to daily video reflections from the monks that will be sent to you by email. With this commitment, you set aside some time each day for reflection. Go to meetingjesusinjohn.org to learn more.
- If neither of these commitments appeal to you, then choose a book or other resource that can help guide your personal reflections on your relationship with God through the Lenten season. Or, set aside a regular daily or weekly time for personal prayer and reflection.
A Commitment to Relationship
Consider making one of the following Lenten Commitments to Relationship:
- Choose someone in your life you would consider a “soul friend”, and invite that person to get together weekly for the duration of Lent to talk and to share. You might choose to share your experiences with your Soul Commitments.
- What is the most important relationship in your life? Set aside some time each week to attend to that relationship, to spend quality time with that person. Make a commitment to be present to that relationship in a new way.
- Instead of nuturing a single relationship, you might choose to nurture a web of relationships. Invite a small group of friends to gather regularly during Lent to talk and share together in whatever way you long for. Be sure to make expectations clear, and make a group covenant that sets ground rules that allows everyone to feel safe and comfortable.
A Commitment to Trinity
Consider making one or more of the following Lenten Commitments to Trinity:
- Make a commitment to weekly worship on Sunday mornings for the duration of Lent. Make church-going a priority in this season, and reflect on the ways in which the liturgy of the church feeds your own soul, and how the relationships you encounter in church help to shape you.
- Commit to attending our two formation Sundays (March 4 and 11), which provide opportunities to reflect with others on the spiritual life. These two sessions will focus on Joan Chittister’s “Radical Spirit: Twelve Ways to Live a Free and Authentic Life.”
- You could attend the Rector’s Class series on Job and the Mystery of Human Suffering, which meets on Monday evenings at 7 or Wednesday mornings at 10:30 in the Library. This series begins on February 12/14 and continues through April, with a break in February for Ski Week and in early April for Easter Week and Spring Break.
- Are you involved in a ministry at Trinity? If not, consider a new involvement in the life of the church during this Lenten season, one that will extend beyond the end of Lent. Notice how a ministry of service to the church can help ground you, and bring you deeper into community. We are particulary in need of people to support the Altar Guild, Flower Guild, and Hospitality ministries.
LENTEN OUTREACH OPPORTUNITIES
Book Drive for Elmwood Jail, February 18-March 11
Trinity currently serves Elmwood Correctional Facilities by providing monthly services on the women’s side of the jail as part of Correctional Institutions Chaplaincy (cicministries.org). The Trinity community is invited to support this ministry through our Lenten book drive. Books are often a lifeline for inmates. Please read the guidelines here and drop off books in the back of the church during Lent.
Please take out any personal info or loose sheets inside the book. If possible please remove staples from spine of book. Please no books with graphic sex, violence or addressing issues of race or gender. Specially desired books: Bibles, Study Bibles, Recovery Bible, Bible study books, Christian books, Books from other religions (e.g. Buddhist, Muslim, Jewish, others welcome too), Books about world religions, Devotionals, Dictionaries, Books in Spanish, Unused books of puzzles, word searches, crosswords, coloring books, Books of poems, Inspirational reading, Books dealing with grief and recovery. Hardback books are welcome but their covers will be removed before distributing them at Elmwood.
Easter Basket Build, Palm Sunday, March 25th, Trinity Hall
Join us after church in Trinity Hall to build Easter Baskets for children at Haven House! All the materials will be provided, join us for as much or as little time as you can. Questions? Contact Holly Tambling.