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Lent is a solemn, thoughtful observance in the Christian liturgical calendar that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends approximately six weeks later, on Maundy Thursday, April 18th.

The purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer for The Feast Day of the Resurrection through prayer, repentance of sins, almsgiving, and self-denial.  For 40 days (not counting Sundays), people have traditionally focussed on giving up certain things or activities (reading the newspaper, watching TV, not correcting your partner) or declaring a self-imposed fast from certain foods or beverages, or from food altogether for periods of time, in order to replicate the sacrifice of Jesus Christ when he journeyed into the desert.  These decisions can free up time and the idea is to spend more focussed time in prayer and study as was Jesus’ habit.

So what do we give up? Or what do we change? There are many ideas, but one which has been gaining popularity is the focus on giving rather than giving up:                

* Place one non-perishable food item in a box each day, then donate it to a local food bank.                

* Remove an item of clothing from your closet, collect these and donate to a not-for profit            organization for those in need.                

* Each day send a note or make a call to someone you haven’t seen for a long time or to a shut-  in from your community.                

* Say 3 affirming things to someone every day.                

* Set aside your spare change to donate to a charity.                

* Engage in a daily devotion or extend your practice with 15 mins., growing to 30 mins. of silence               (set a timer so you don’t have to visually check the clock, which is a distraction).                

* Start a good habit – like drinking more water or picking-up litter or using less plastic packaging. (please use this link to dowload)

Whatever you choose to do, may this be a time of reflection for you, leading to a blessed Easter.

Our Lenten journey provides an opportunity to pray, to deepen our being in Christ, to act and to give. (Written by The Ven. Charlene Taylor of NFLD, edited by Pastor Paul Woehrle).

Study is an important part of our Lenten tradition at St. Cuthbert.  Our Lenten Studies happen primarily in our small groups that meet throughout the week in homes and at church.  You are free to contact the church office about these groups.  

The Wednesday Study Group meets at the church (following Evening Prayer at 7) in the Office Area beginning March 6 (on this evening we will begin with A Service of Holy Communion with the Imposition of Ashes.  The focus of study will be Fifty-Seven Words that Change the World (The Lord’s Prayer) by The Rev. Dr. Darrell Johnson (audio lecture) facilitated by Pastor Paul.  I have led this study a couple of times and have found Dr. Johnson’s teaching to greatly deepen my appreciation for and understanding of the prayer that Jesus taught his friends.  No need to pre-register and no materials to purchase.  Just show up!