This year, we would like to invite you into spiritual disciplines of Joy, Wonder, Curiosity and Generosity unlike any other. Since the past year of our life has been one like no other in any of our lives we decided that it was time for an similarly unique Lenten Discipline. We are inviting us all to take a break from the traditional faith practices of fasting, quiet, and introspection (because, haven’t we been fasting from so much this year?) and instead focus on how we might curate joy, wonder, curiosity and generosity through weekly acts of joy, silliness and thoughtfulness.
"How?" you may ask. Great question!
We have created a sign up sheet for anyone who wants to take part. When you sign up, you can agree to give and/or receive surprises on your porch/front yard/mailbox/apartment hallway. Who knows what you might find or share? Perhaps cards or a sign, pink flamingos, or some fresh flowers to cheer someone’s day. Perhaps a bag of coffee beans for someone you miss drinking coffee with. Perhaps a copy of a book on faith that means a lot to you or a bottle of wine. Perhaps an anonymous batch of cookies. Perhaps a hilarious, gaudy Christmas ornament with a sign that says, “thinking of you!”. Maybe a bunch of balloons or a quirky piece of art made by your kids…be creative!! Be silly! Reuse, recycle!! We ask, obviously, that nothing destructive or inappropriate be left in a yard or a porch (this is church after all). Instead, we want to create ripples of smiles, wonder and joy amongst our church community (and maybe some curiosity for our neighborhoods).
Every week during our online Wednesday evening midweek worship services, we will also offer ways to spread joy, with little ideas meant to spark your creativity on your shenanigans for the week ahead.
Side Note: if you love the traditional Lenten disciplines and yearn for this season because you like to spend it in thoughtful prayer, deep study, and/or confession, we support you in that decision! Our Wednesday evening worship services will be rich in meaning with contemplative practices and a tone fitting a beautiful evening worship. We offer this theme as a unique way of reframing spiritual disciplines. In a year that has been so difficult, it is an equally faithful act to live joyously and generously.
Once you are signed up, you will have access to a google doc of everyone else who is interested in participating.
We ask that over the course of the Lenten Season (February 17-April 4th) that you commit to at least 5 acts of Lenten surprises. We encourage you to not only spread joy with the folks in the congregation you know well, but also with a name you may not know as well. Newer members are a great target! You may also do more than 5 surprises, of course. If you are homebound, please still consider participating! The office staff is happy to help deliver your surprise to your target in a contactless, COVID safe way. We are quite crafty and will do anything we can to help you participate.
If you have any questions about this unorthodox, but, we believe, incredibly needed way of participating in Lent, just reach out!
Joyfully & Mischievously Yours,
Pastor Sara and Pastor Nate