Tuesday Lunch Conversation with Lael – On Tuesdays in Lent (February 13, 20, 27, March 5, 12, and 19) at 11:30 AM, all are invited to bring a bag lunch and join me for a shared meal with conversation about the upcoming Sunday Scripture readings. We will meet in the Vestry Room, located opposite the parish office. I will be using as a jumping off point Pádraig Ó Tuama’s brief reflections and prayers from What Were You Arguing About along the Way? You are welcome to purchase it from your favorite bookseller (it involves other writers offering commentary for other liturgical years), but I will also make the pertinent pages available for the group.
Rite of Reconciliation is offered on Fridays in Lent on request. The reconciliation of a penitent is a sacrament in the Episcopal Church and refers to private confession. The Episcopal Church’s stance on such confession is usually talked about as something that “all may, none must, some should” engage in. Here’s why I think it’s valuable, why most clergy make their confessions, and why you might want to consider it, too. Naming our faults and failings out loud in front of God and someone else is a way of stepping into a new honesty with ourselves and with God. That naming becomes a way to combat our sins and helps us more readily break past habits or default practices that have separated us from ourselves. Guilt from the sins we commit can make us feel all mixed up inside and can cause us to lose our peace and joy. Preparing for this rite, knowing that all we say will be held in strictest confidence, opening our hearts and hearing a priest’s encouragement and pronunciation of God’s forgiving words lifts a burden from our shoulders. Afterwards, we can again feel the peace of heart and soul that comes from being in a closer relationship with God. For more information or to schedule the rite, contact Lael.
Other Lenten Resources
For those who want to study on your own, here are some recommended books for Lent (not in any particular order and all available in St. Peter’s library):
Selina Stone, Tarry Awhile: Wisdom from Black Spirituality for People of Faith (the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lenten Book recommendation for 2024)
Rowan Williams, The Sign and the Sacrifice (accessible book on early church understandings of the crucifixion and resurrection)
Barbara Brown Taylor, Speaking of Sin (thoughtful, personal reflections on sin)
John O’Donohue, Walking in Wonder (meditations on Celtic themes)
Amy-Jill Levine, Entering the Passion of Jesus (Jesus’ last days from a Jewish perspective)
Richard Rohr, Wondrous Encounters (daily reflections for Lent using Scripture)
This year the Episcopal Church’s United Thank Offering is offering Lenten materials for “40 Days of Grateful Presence,” a call to giving thanks for the many things in our lives we take for granted. By signing up you will receive:
- Daily text message prompt to notice and give thanks for something in your life that you might take for granted.
- a printable calendar with the same prompts as the daily text message that you can print out and hang on your fridge to mark the days until Easter.
- Lenten materials for families – this year we have a special 40 days coloring sheet from Kristen Wheeler to help kids mark off each day until Easter and a weekly prayer (similar to what many of us use during Advent) that individuals or families can say along their Lenten journey.
- an invitation to join a Zoom book group – this Lent the book is the NYTimes best-seller Thanks a Thousand by A.J. Jacobs; it’s the story of what happened when he tried to thank everyone who contributed to his daily cup of coffee.
You can sign up for text messages and book club or download any of our Lenten resources at unitedthankoffering.com/lent.