Lent 2024 at St. Julian's:
February 7, 2024
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 14. 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 13, 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 Group's Summer Pilgrimage to Washington, DC in late May/early June. The suggested donation is $10 per person or $25 for a family of 3 or more (though just joining us or a donation of any amount welcome). To help with cooking or to let us borrow an electric griddle, email Jonathan.
2. Ash Wednesday Service, Holy Communion with the Imposition of Ashes, Feb 14 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. "Julian of Norwich: Her World and Ours", Sunday Morning Adult Ed Program during Lent, Feb 19-March 17 (10:20-11:05 AM between Services): Our Theologian in Residence, Dr. Tony Baker, will be exploring with us the life and teachings of our Patron Saint, Julian of Norwich, with a focus on how her witness might help us navigate our own turbulent and changing times. 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.
4. “Spiritual Resources for Change: Grief and Hope”, Wednesday Evening Lenten Suppers and Program, Feb 21, 28, and March 6, 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 spiritual resources that will help us transition to a new church home later this year. We recognize that this will be a time of monumental change for our family of faith. Much of that change will be hopeful and life-giving but there will be challenges and for some a sense of loss. Though there will be a focus on our move, the hope is that the resources shared can be applied to the many challenging transitions and changes one experiences in life. Children will be led in their own program by our Children’s Minister, Jennifer Cowles. Our nursery will also be available. We will conclude each evening with Compline. We will meet for the first three Wednesdays in Lent leading up to Spring Break and then regather on the Wednesday following Spring Break (March 20) for an Iftar Dinner with our Muslim Friends (see below). We have a sign-up in church to RSVP and for those who would like to bring items for dinner (pot-luck style).
5. Contemplation, Candlelight, Scripture and Song, a Taize Service for the Season of Lent, Sunday, March 17 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. All ages are welcome and the nursery will be available. If you would like to join our music team (vocals or instrument), email Jonathan. All are welcome!
6. Iftar Dinner during Ramadan with our Friends at Dialogue Institute, Wednesday, March 20, 7-8:30 PM at the Church: Join us as our Muslim friends from Dialogue Institute return for our first Iftar Dinner since before the pandemic. In addition to the wonderful Turkish food that will be provided for us, the evening includes time for learning about each others traditions and much time for table fellowship. To sign up, click here. For questions, email Miles.
7. "Practicing Forgiveness 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. Booklet versions are available each Sunday in our entry. They are also 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. Additionally, Living Compass has a regular podcast that many in our community find meaningful. For current and previous episodes, click here.
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 in the church at a time convenient for you. 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, March 30, 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, March 24-31: Palm Sunday (March 24), 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 (March 25-27), 12 PM with reflections and Holy Communion (in-person/new time). Maundy Thursday (March 28), 6:30 PM with Foot-Washing, sermon, special music, Holy Communion and the Stripping of the Altar (in-person and online). Good Friday (March 29), 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 (March 29), 2 PM at Pepper Rock Park (8609 Pepper Rock Park Drive, 78717). Easter Sunday (March 31), 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 us know if we 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