Lent starts on Ash Wednesday, which this year is February 10. I scoured the inter webs and found LOTS of options for personal devotions, youth group programs, family activities, and all your Lenten formation needs. It’s going to be difficult for me to pick just one of these (or 2…or maybe 3…)
For your parish:
Christian Formation Ideas for Lent: Year C https://rowsofsharon.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/christianformationideaslentyearc.pdf See more ideas from Sharon Ely Pearson here: http://rowsofsharon.com/2016/02/03/lent-picks-for-2016/
Lent in a Bag http://www.buildfaith.org/2013/02/08/lent-in-a-bag/
We have discovered that distributing small bags (cloth, paper, or ziplock bags) with symbols of the season assists individuals and families in practicing Lent at home. Search #lentinabag for more ideas!
Free online Lenten 5-week video series on Racial Justice available for individuals or groups.
- Spirituality and Racial Justice with Michael Curry
- Whiteness and Racial Justice with Kelly Brown Douglas
- Reparation and Racial Justice with Jennifer Harvey
- Theology and Racial Justice with J. Kameron Carter
- Racism and Racial Justice with Eduardo Bonilla-Silva
Reflecting on racial reconciliation
Both the Episcopal Public Policy Network and the Episcopal Church’s Young Adult and Campus Ministries are offering reflections on racial reconciliation for Lent.
- The Episcopal Public Policy Network Lenten series on the beloved community and racial reconciliation will be found here starting Ash Wednesday.
- Young Adult and Campus Ministries’ reflections will be here.
Sharing your experiences
Episcopalians are invited to share photos of congregations and individuals focusing on Ash Wednesday and Lent. Submit your photos to the Episcopal Church’s website via this link.
For you personally, or to incorporate into youth Sunday school or youth group, or to encourage youth to do:
20 Odd Lent Ideas for Students
Videos for Your Soul: http://www.videosforyoursoul.com/
A new, inspirational video each of the 40 days of Lent. You can subscribe and have them e-mailed to you…then have your youth pick out their favorite each week to talk about during Sunday school or youth group.
Lent Madness http://www.lentmadness.org/
Offers a daily look at the lives of saints in what is referred to as a “saintly smack-down.” The bracket-style learning opportunity is based on college basketball’s March Madness. There’s a variety of information provided for each saint, and the winner is awarded the coveted golden halo. Sign-up to receive daily e-mails and vote on their web site (only once each day!) to help pick the winner!
The Holy Herald daily text devotions http://www.diopayouth.org/the-holy-herald.html
Reflecting our way through the story of Naomi and Ruth! Two texts each day of Lent, a morning scripture and an evening prayer. From Youth Ministry in the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania.
Meditations on the theme of Go! http://www.episcopalchurch.org/blog/LentenReflections
Daily reflections on a Scripture verse containing the word “Go!,” prepared by many authors including Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, other bishops, Episcopal Church staff and members of United Thank Offering, Episcopal Migration Ministries, National Association of Episcopal Schools and Episcopal Relief & Development. Also available on The Episcopal Church’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/episcopalian/
Growing a Rule of Life www.SSJE.org/growrule
Thinking of God as the Chief Gardener of our souls and using a tool from monastic spirituality called a ‘Rule of Life’ we can explore and cultivate our relationships with God, Self, Others, and Creation. Just as stakes and lattices nurture the growth of young plants, so too can spiritual disciplines support the flourishing of our whole being. You can sign up to receive a daily e-mail (along with video) of the devotion, download the booklet, or order a hard copy for a minimal price. Invite and join with others using the hashtag #GrowRule. From the Society of Saint John the Evangelist.
‘Walk the Path of Lent’ with Episcopal Relief & Development’s 2016 Lenten meditations episcopalrelief.org/Lent
Episcopal Relief & Development invites supporters to “Walk the Path of Lent” with this year’s Lenten Meditations series, featuring reflections on spiritual practices written by the organization’s staff, partners and friends from around the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. Program staff, disaster response volunteers, board members and others share the breadth of spiritual practices that give them strength for the journey. Digital versions of the English and Spanish booklets are available online and all are invited to sign up for daily email meditations (link on far right of web site).
Explore Lent through life in the West Bank and Gaza
The Rev. Diane Dulin has written a series of meditations for the Episcopal Peace Fellowship based on the lectionary readings for each of the six Sundays of Lent. They are offered, writes Dulin, “to those who live under the yoke of oppression in Palestine and those who work tirelessly for justice and refuse to give up.”
The reflections can be used in worship, study groups, organizational meetings and individual time. These reflections delve deeply into the occupied villages and besieged cities of the West Bank and the agony of Gaza, and the struggle for equality, dignity and freedom on the part of Palestinians. The stories found there will inspire readers “for the ongoing struggle for equality in our own society and for freedom from fear and want across the world in these increasingly urgent times,” the group says.
Journey to the Cross: http://www.d365.org/
Site has year-round devotions with special offerings during Advent, Lent, and at the start of the school year
Forward Day by Day Meditations http://prayer.forwardmovement.org/forward_day_by_day.php
Meditations for every day of the year. Most parishes also have these in hard-copy format.
Pray as you Go: http://www.pray-as-you-go.org/home/
These reflections provide you with an opportunity to encounter Jesus in a personal, unique way. Saint Ignatius believed that God could speak to us just as clearly in our imagination as through our thoughts and our memories. In his Spiritual Exercises he writes of contemplation as a very active way of engaging your feelings, emotions, and senses to place yourself in the scene described.
A few more ideas…
Protect the environment with a candlelit dinner during Lent
Anglicans and other Christians are being challenged to enjoy a candlelit dinner as part of a series of challenges for a “carbon fast” during Lent. The initiative comes from the Anglican Church of Southern Africa and is being supported by the Anglican Communion’s Environmental Network (ACEN). The Carbon Fast for Lent crib sheet can be downloaded from the Green Anglicans’ website.
Lent is for learning about our Holy Land http://www.afedj.org/congregations/lenten-resources Bulletin inserts, mite boxes, children’s stories. Use the information for a youth group educational session.
Lent Ideas for Families: Printable Booklet http://flamecreativekids.blogspot.co.uk/2016/02/lent-ideas-for-families-printable.html
With an activity for every week in Lent and also one for Easter Day. Weekly themes covered include: ‘blessings,’ ‘love your neighbor,’ ‘hospitality,’ ‘giving,’ ‘praying,’ ‘fasting,’ ‘Holy Week,’ and ‘celebrating.’ Activities include a prayer walk scavenger hunt, a reflective coloring sheet and scone pretzels recipe.