Posted by Rev. Dr.Judy Shipman

Fasting

We often think fasting is only about food, but as a Christian practice, it can encompass much more. It can also be abstention from things that occupy time that would be better spent on our relationship from Christ: TV, video games, surfing the Internet, etc. How might you use the time away from that activity to focus on God?

Fasting in relation to food can take many forms: giving up a meal or choosing simpler foods. Rather than simply giving something up, pray as you fast and remember those who hunger and thirst in this world, and donate the money you would have spent for that meal to a hunger-related cause.

Posted by Rev. Dr.Judy Shipman

Experience God in the Ordinary

Open your eyes every moment to the presence of God. Surround the routine things of your life with prayer, lifting each thing you do and each person you meet to God for blessing. Each day write a blessing for one of the common, everyday things in your life and ask that as you are blessed, you may in turn be a blessing.

Posted by Rev. Dr.Judy Shipman

Practice Hospitality – Spiritual Practices for Lent

Ask yourself, “Who is in need of hospitality?” Reach out to someone in need of Christ’s compassion. It could be serving in one of the many mission opportunities before our congregation this Lenten season, or calling or visiting with a person in need of companionship and a listening ear.

Posted by Rev. Dr.Judy Shipman

Spiritual Practices for Lent

Sometimes we approach Lent like a math problem; do we add or subtract? Do we add something to our lives like an intentional spiritual practice or, or do we give something up, perhaps a bad habit or a luxury? There isn’t a right answer, but there is a right “heart”. The Lenten journey is a time of reordering our lives to reflect what God would have us be. If the practices we choose just seem like a pain, make us feel like a martyr or give us a sense of spiritual superiority, are we really turning our hearts toward a God that both calls us to right living and showers us with abundant grace? Or are we just making it all about us? There are many spiritual practices that bring us into an awareness of God’s hope for our lives. Consider practicing an intentional Lenten journey this year.

Prayer and Reflection

Consider a time of daily prayer, scripture and reflection.

Posted by Rev. Dr.Judy Shipman

Pastor’s Desk

I can tell Lent is upon us because today I got out the catalogs to order Easter and Holy week worship bulletins! Ash Wednesday is February 17.

Last week though, someone said to me, “I didn’t realize that Presbyterians celebrate lent”. Yes, Presbyterians celebrate Lent. Actually, you may have noticed that after Ash Wednesday, the music becomes much more solemn. The readings are about Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem and what he did on the way. The pulpit and table hangings change to deep purple.

Another question might be: “But how do I keep the Lenten observance at home”? Setting aside time for observing the faithful practices of prayer, meditation on scripture, fasting, or journaling certainly is one way. Making the Ash Wednesday and Lenten Prayer services part of your Lenten discipline is another. (Did you ever notice that the word “discipline” is from the same root word as “disciple”?)

The gospel story is the true story of our lives. We take the Lenten journey with Jesus as he faces disappointment, dread, confrontation, hope, adulation, betrayal, suffering, death, and victory. In short, it is the journey of our lives writ large with the hand of God. Lent is the time to let the faith story interpret our lives and give them meaning.

“Oh, Lamb of God,  Have mercy upon us and keep us from the smallness of our lives that would take precedence over kneeling in Jerusalem”. (Ann Weems)

Peace and Grace,

Judy

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