Lent at Ascension and Saint Agnes - 2013
At Coffee Hour. At the Sunday morning coffee hours during Lent, Fr. Lane will offer a book study of People of the Way: Renewing Episcopal Identity by Dwight Zscheile, an Episcopal priest and seminary professor. It will help us to reflect on what it means to be an Episcopalian today and the opportunities for mission and making an impact on our community. Fr. Lane will summarize points from the book so that you do not need to have a copy to participate, but if you wish to get the book, it is available at online book retailers like Barnes and Noble, Christian Book Distributors, or Amazon.
One of the traditional spiritual disciplines of Lent is alms giving. The Vestry has recommended that the parish continues the practice of having a second collection for all the Sundays of Lent. The first collection each Sunday will be to support the parish and its ministries, and the second collection will be to support the ministries outside of the parish with which we have some connection.
For the special offering each Sunday, please make checks payable to the parish or cash is always welcome. Special envelopes will be available for the second offering. We will direct the money collected to the following designated recipients:
Lent 1 - San Juan de Oriente, Nicaragua (where we have had mission trips and continue to provide financial support for a nutrition program for the children of this village);
Lent 2 - Bishop John T. Walker School
for Boys in Anacostia
Lent 3 - Downtown Cluster of Congregations.
Lent 4 - N Street Village.
Lent 5 - Bishop's Annual Appeal.
Evening Prayer, Mass, Supper and Discussion. February 20 begins the Wednesday evening Lent program which offers an opportunity for worship, fellowship, and learning. The evening starts with Evening Prayer at 6:15 and Mass at 6:35. Then everyone will meet in the undercroft for a pot-luck dinner and conversation. All are invited to bring something "Lenten" (i.e., no meat and no sweets) to share with others. Possible contributions include, but are not limited to: soup, cheese, salad, bread, vegetables, humus, wine, etc. Either before mass or immediately afterward, you may bring food to the undercroft kitchen and use the facilities to get it ready.
After the meal there will be conversations about evangelism. Every one of us has good news, but sharing that good news effectively can be difficult. Through the Bible, DVD presentations, some books, and the wisdom and insight each of us brings to the table, our skills and appreciation of evangelism will improve.
Stations of the Cross. Join us for the Stations of the Cross on Friday evenings. Evening Prayer will begin at 6:35 p.m. followed by the Stations of the Cross devotional.
The Stations of the Cross are a chiefly Lenten practice though one may do this devotion at any time. You may have noticed the artistic representations (example on the right) on the walls of the church. These fourteen 'stations' depict Christ carrying the Cross to his crucifixion in the final hours (or Passion) before he died. There are devotions and meditations at each of the stations to commemorate the Passion, and our pilgrimage moves physically around the church to each of the stations.
Please consider making this one of your Lenten disciplines.
Alas, part of Lent involves self-denial. We can do this by fasting, reducing the amount of food we eat, and abstaining, restricting our consumption of some kinds of foods, like meat and sweets. One may also include a fast of screen time, cutting down how much time is spent in front of the computer or television. There may be something in your life you'd prefer to be less present.
Lent is God's gift to help us reconnect with what matters most. Please take advantage of this gift.