SEASON OF LENT ACTIVITIES
ASH WEDNESDAY: The season of Lent begins on Wednesday, February 18, with Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday is a day that is intended for contemplation and preparation for the time of Lent, which itself is a season of preparation for Easter. Ash Wednesday is the day that you see people around town with a cross made of ashes on their foreheads; the cross of ashes is a sign of our mortality, a sign of the hope that we have in Jesus Christ, and a sign of our turning from that which steals life and holds us back in our relationship with God, neighbor and creation. Congregational UCC will hold a meditative and interactive Ash Wednesday service, with the imposition of ashes available (on forehead or hand, your choice) on February 18 at 7 p.m.
LENT: Lent is the season of preparation for Easter, the holiest and most joyful event in our walk with Jesus. One emphasis of the season of Lent is a focus on deepening our relationship with God and others. Sometimes, perhaps especially in faith traditions within Christianity such as the Roman Catholic Church, people were encouraged to give something up in Lent, to focus awareness away from the more trivial, to gain some knowledge of denial and our dependence on God, and to give the money saved from the foregone activity to charity. More and more, there is an emphasis on taking on a new practice, or recommitting to a flagging practice, like daily prayer or Scripture reading. The goal of any such discipline, whether one of austerity or abundance, is to deepen our relationship with God.
One reason that the UCC churches, and the traditions that comprise the UCC, as well as many other Christian traditions gather on Wednesdays in Lent for fellowship, or study, or prayer, or worship or a combination of the above, is to give people a time to think about their faith and their relationship to God.
At Congregational UCC, we want to build community, deepen relationships and increase our head and heart knowledge of God. This year we will offer mid-week Lenten Gatherings on Wednesdays, beginning on February 25, at 6 pm. Our theme is Anticipating Grace and Sharing the Journey. We will begin with a simple meal. Over dinner, we hope that people will share the highs and lows in their lives as we get to know each other better. Then, at 6:30(ish), we will hear from one of our community as they share something about his or her journey. We may hear about someone’s faith journey or where they see God present or about something else important to the one speaking. There will be time to ask questions or talk further. This is very casual. Feel free to bring a friend, to share a meal and to learn from our fellow travelers.