Sophia brings us an F5 about Lent:
1. Did you celebrate Mardi Gras/Shrove Tuesday this year? Any memories of memorable celebrations past? I actually had kind of a different Shrove Tuesday this year. While R and the "Men of St. J's" were hosting the First Annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper, I was off playing hostess to the speaker for a work conference we were hosting the next day, who just happened to be a grad school classmate of mine whom I had not seen for fourteen years. Needless to say, there have been a lot of changes in our lives in that time and we had lots of catching up to do.
2. How about Ash Wednesday, past and/or present? It was pretty low key this year. While I participated in the liturgy with the two other priests on our team, this year I didn't preach or impose ashes. It felt odd not to do that after the last two years that being such a powerful part of the beginning of Lent for me. Lent itself is already feeling laden with the death of our friend, concerns about R's dad and a host of other concerns.
3. Does your denomination or congregation celebrate "this joyful season"? Any special emphases or practices to share? We are having weekly Wednesday night book discussions on the book Blessed is She: Living Lent with Mary. It's written by Tim Perry, and draws from the Gospel of Luke to "reflect on a Lenten Mary who teaches the meaning of discipleship." We'll end the evening with a service of Celtic Compline. Since St. Patrick's Day falls in Lent this year, on March 17 we're going to have a a Celtic Eucharist celebration on Wednesday night instead. We also participate in the ecumenical "Soup and Sermon" series that happens every Wednesday at noon during Lent. I am up the last Wednesday this year to preach.
4. Do you have a personal plan of give-ups, take-ons, special ministries, and/or a special focus for your own spiritual growth between now and Easter? I go through this every year at this time! It's always a combination....and it's always a bit of a struggle to figure out. The theme of our Ash Wednesday sermon this year was "it's not about me" and we were reminded that our spiritual disciplines and practices are to prepare us to go out into the world and be Christ to others. That was a good reminder. I am trying in my own prayer life to sit more quietly before God, to take a little more time each day to just "be." To help in that effort I'm using the Journey to the Cross from d365 every morning on my computer. The Lenten meditations for Week One and every Sunday turn out to be written by Brian Prior, our very own newly consecrated Bishop, a fact that I was delighted to discover on Wednesday when I logged on. I'm also doing daily meditations from the 2010 Lenten Meditation book put out by ERD that we were given at Bishop Brian's consecration last weekend. They are short and succinct but offer good food for thought.
5. What is your dream for the image of Christ coming to perfection in you, the church, the world? How can we support you in prayer? peace, justice, tolerance, living the promises we make in our baptismal vows....one day at a time, one relationship at time, here and now, where we are. Yep, that is all. That is enough. Pray for that.
Bonus: Song, prayer, picture, etc. that sums up your feelings about this liturgical springtime.