Yup, just thinking about Lent is making me tired this year.
I have already contacted 4 downtownish churches in town to do a mid-week Lent service and lunch and got them all scheduled - not always a minor feat!
The L church is always host for the 5 weekly Wednesday noon services. I worked up a liturgy to use each week - this would be so much easier if there was a handy resource! I have made a list of hymns (we sing 2 at each service) that could be used. Hard to choose one of the hymns without knowing what the other minister will be preaching on. The theme is Living a Holy Lent. I will focus on living more green. Hopefully, there will be a focus on prayer, generous giving, fasting, etc. Will be interesting to see what they latch onto. I'm hoping the SA will not ramble too long this year. The service is usually about 25 minutes long - so brief messages - and he went on and on and on, preached for about a 1/2 hour and some folks had to get back to work. (And yes, he was told how short the services are!)
Have put together the Ash Wednesday service which will be held jointly with our Episcopalian neighbors across the large community parking lot. The good father will preach at both noon and 7 pm services. I preached last year. For the Call to Observe a Holy Lent - since it is Feb.14th - everyone will get a post-it heart on their bulletin and write on it their commitment to living in Lent - forgo
negativity, fast complaining, walk 5,000 steps a day, etc. We will gather them and stick them on the altar - a rending of our hearts and not our clothing.
I burned some palms last Friday since it was such a gorgeous day and have some fresh ash. I still have to order the bread for communion and bring in an extra chalice and a couple napkins to hold the bread. (notes to self!)
Since the L church has had to do some major roof repair, there will be a church dinner and presentation on the cost still needing to be covered. Thus, was born the Lenten Challenge!
What Lutheran doesn't like their coffee? So, we have coffee cups with lids that will sport a label
with the Lent Challenge and a calendar of Lent beginning with Ash Wednesday as Day 1, Feb. 15th as Day 2, etc. all the way through Holy Saturday. The idea being to put in 1 dime on Ash Wednesday, on Thursday to deposit 2 dimes, the next day 3 dimes, and so on throughout the 40 days.
By the end of Lent it is about $80-$81.00 that has been collected. If 20 people do it, we will have raised $1,600.00 already. I didn't want to make too oppressive because by day 20 and beyond you are putting in over $2.00 & $3.00 a day - but it all adds up. I'm hoping that they'll see how a little can truly add up, engage in generous giving and a Lenten discipline and to live into a challenge. We shall see what happens. One can do the same with nickels or pennies - just a lesser amount.
I still have to work on my Lenten midweek message. Mulling it all around in my head.
We are one week away from what will be a very busy and tiring season, but also very full of grace and blessing.
Have to start working on Holy Week, Easter Sunday and of course, Joy Sunday - the Sunday after Easter. Hmmm...maybe right after I take a quick nap!!!!!!!!!!!