Lent 2023 at St. Julian's:
February 14, 2023
Dear St. Julian's Family:
Ash Wednesday, our annual call to the Observance of a Holy Lent, will be here soon and very soon on Feb 22. I want to mention specifically the special offerings we will be providing for this season of special devotion and preparation for entering into the joys of Easter. To begin, I would like to call your attention to our community's Rule of Life, which is intended to be a shared covenant for how we live together as a family of faith. These are spiritual commitments, if you will, that we ideally choose to live together to order our common life and lead us personally and corporately toward spiritual growth. The entire Rule of Life can be found at our website by clicking here.
One of the rules is that we will take advantage of the special seasons in our Church Year, Advent and Lent, to tend to our spiritual lives in an intentional way. Like all relationships, if we desire to grow closer and more intimate with God, we must set time aside to be together. Lent, in particular, provides this space and exists for: a deeper relationship with God; greater awareness of ourselves; deeper friendship with each other; service to those in need within and beyond our community; and to encounter and know, in a more personal way, the hope and promise of resurrection.
Please read on and consider taking advantage of one or more of the special offerings we will provide during this Holy Season.
1. Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper, Feb 21, 6:30-7:30 PM: Join us as we feast together (breakfast for dinner!) before the fast of Lent begins. The meal is being prepared by and is supporting our Youth Ministry program. We will have fun and games to share in along with a heaping help of pancakes. The suggested donation is $10 per person or $20 for a family (though just joining us or a donation of any sort is welcome). To RSVP, click here. To help with cooking, email Jonathan.
2. Ash Wednesday Service, Holy Communion with the Imposition of Ashes, Feb 22 at 6:30 PM (in-person and online): Join us as we begin our Lenten journey to the cross and on to the empty tomb together. The service will include the Imposition of Ashes, an Invitation to a Holy Lent, sermon, music, and Holy Communion. We will also have Children’s Chapel and the nursery will be available. The service will be live-streamed at our regular Sunday Morning Worship Link.
3. “As our Savior Christ has Taught Us: Leaning into the Lord’s Prayer”. Wednesday Evening Lenten Suppers and Program, March 1, 8, 22, and 29, 6:30-8 PM: Join us on Wednesday evenings for a simple supper of soup, bread and salad. Dinner will be followed by programs for all ages. Adults and youth (grades 6 and up) will be exploring themes from the Lord’s Prayer with time for teaching and small group conversation. Children will be led in their own exploration of the Lord’s Prayer by our Children’s Minister, Jennifer Cowles. Our nursery will also be available. We will conclude each evening with Compline. We will meet for 4 Wednesdays, March 1, 8, 22 and 29, breaking for the Wednesday that falls in Spring Break (March 15). To RSVP and bring something for our shared meal, click here.
4. "Praying the Lord’s Prayer with St. Teresa of Avila", Sunday Morning Adult Ed Program during Lent, Feb 26-March 26 (10:20-11:05 AM between Services): Our Theologian in Residence, Dr. Tony Baker, will be exploring with us Teresa of Avila’s writings on the Lord’s Prayer as his focus for Adult Ed in the Season of Lent. This series will complement our teaching on Wednesday evenings, but you do not have to attend both to fully participate (see above). Though Adult Ed is a part of our year-round practice at St. Julian's, perhaps you will consider making your weekly participation a part of your Lenten commitments. The class is in-person and streamed live each Sunday at our regular Sunday Morning Worship Link.
5. "Practicing Compassion with All Your Heart, Soul, Strength and Mind", Daily Devotional Readings for Lent from Living Compass: This year we will, once again, be reading together daily devotions by the Living Compass. These devotions are available electronically in various forms, including, a free pdf download, an e-book from Amazon ($0.99), or receiving the devotions daily via email (also at no cost). To see options for downloading the devotions or to sign up to receive them daily, click here.
6. Living Compass Weekly Small Group Lenten Discussions, Tuesdays, Feb 28-March 28 at Noon or 7 PM: Our Living Compass Ministry will be leading weekly conversations and time for prayer on Tuesdays throughout Lent based on Living Compass' Daily Reflections (see number 5 above). You can choose the group meeting at noon or 7 PM (just one) based on your own schedule. Groups meet on Zoom. To sign up for a small group, email Venessa Schiller with the time of your choice.
7. Contemplation, Candlelight, Scripture and Song, A Taize Service for the Season of Lent, Sunday, March 26 at 5 PM: Our youth and music ministries will be leading our congregation in a special service featuring meditative music, prayer, scripture readings and candlelight on the 5th Sunday of Lent in preparation for Holy Week. All ages are welcome and the nursery will be available. If you would like to join our music team (vocals or instrument), email Jonathan.
8. The Rite of Reconciliation: The Rite of Reconciliation, commonly called Confession, is a service in our Book of Common Prayer that exists for those interested in intentionally naming before God and the Church (as represented in the office of priest) our sins and receiving absolution and assurance of God's forgiveness. This service is done individually with one of our priests, at a time and place convenient for you. It will be done completely in private and please know the seal of confession is absolute. Anything mentioned during the rite will be held in complete confidence forever, and matters brought up will not ever be mentioned again unless you desire further counsel or conversation. To schedule a time for this, please email Miles.
9. Easter Egg Hunt and Celebration at Pepper Rock Park, Saturday, April 8, 10-11 AM (8609 Pepper Rock Park Drive, 78717): Join us as we gather with our neighbors to hunt eggs, play games and celebrate the coming of Easter. If you are willing to help with the event, please email Mickey or Susan Dorsey, chairs of our Hospitality Ministry. Friends, family and neighbors are warmly welcome.
10. Holy Week Services, April 1-9: Palm Sunday (April 1), 9 AM (in-person and online) and 11:15 AM (in-person) with the Liturgy of the Palms, a dramatic reading of Jesus' Passion, sermon, special music, and Holy Communion. Holy Monday, Holy Tuesday and Holy Wednesday (April 2-5), 6:30 PM with reflections and Holy Communion (in-person). Maundy Thursday (April 6), 6:30 PM with Foot-Washing, sermon, special music, Holy Communion and the Stripping of the Altar (in-person and online). Good Friday (April 7), 12:00 PM with the Good Friday Liturgy, sermon, and the Veneration of the Cross (in-person and online). Good Friday Stations of the Cross (April 7), 2 PM at Pepper Rock Park (8609 Pepper Rock Park Drive, 78717). Easter Sunday (April 9), 9 AM (in-person and online) and 11:15 AM (in-person), with the Flowering of the Cross, special music, sermon, and Holy Communion. All online services, will be streamed live at our regular Sunday Morning Worship Link.
A final word about fasting during Lent. There are two fast days in the Episcopal Church: Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. This traditionally means abstaining from food or food and drink from sun-up to sun-down on these two days. Other expressions of fasting during Lent take the form of "giving something up" from social media, to sodas, to just about anything. I think fasting is a wonderful spiritual discipline but want to perhaps give the tradition some context. If you choose to fast from something this Lent, it is to name God as the center of our lives rather than the other things we enjoy, use and consume. We fast to make space for something else that grows us closer to God and other people. We fast because the hunger or desire experienced call us into prayer. Lastly, we fast because when we are missing something from food to things, we are reminded of those who truly do not have enough and are perhaps moved to help do something about it.
As you can see, there are many offerings to deepen our walk with God in Christ during this Holy Season of growth and preparation, and we hope you and yours will participate with us in as much as possible. My experience remains that the deeper we enter into the spiritual growth that Lent provides, the more wonderous and transformative the Easter that follows becomes for us.
Please let me know if I can be of any assistance in making this a meaningful experience for you, and I look forward to our shared journey. It continues to be a tremendous blessing to share ministry and friendship with each of you.
Peace and Warm Friendship,
Associate Vicar for Youth and Young Adult Ministries