Practicing a Holy Lent

“I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word.” (Liturgy for Ash Wednesday, BCP p. 265)

But how can you observe a Holy Lent? Start by spending time in quiet to listen to what your soul is telling you – about its places of sorrow and joy, about its fears and dreams, about its deepest yearnings. Then explore ways to tend to your soul – to feed it, to comfort it, to give it space to dream. Join us in this holy and life-giving work!

Services at Church:

  • Sunday morning services at 9:00 and 11:00 am
  • Contemplative Prayer service: Tuesday evenings at 5:30 in the Chapel

Going Deeper: Drawing on the ancient practice of setting aside Lent as a period of study and preparation for living as a Christian disciple, St. John’s offers several options for you to go deeper in your spiritual journey this Lent.

  • Sunday Forums in Lent: Make Me an Instrument of Peace: A Guide to Civil Discourse – How many of us have ever prayed, ‘Lord make me an instrument of your peace,’ then found ourselves in complex and polarized situations that made peace seem impossible? This course, designed by the Episcopal Church’s Offices of Faith Formation and Government Relations, will help us learn how to bring people with different ideas and backgrounds together for meaningful conversations. Click here for an introductory video. Sunday mornings at 10:00, starting on March 8th, in the Chapel of the Carpenter (entrance on Potomac Street) on the level below the church.
  • The Way of Love Put to Practice – Meg Goldstein, one of our two wonderful seminarians, will be leading a small group on Sunday evenings in Lent, starting on March 1. Sessions will begin at 6 pm with a light supper, and then the group will learn and practice different types of prayer – both ancient and modern – that will deepen and enrich your spiritual life. Sessions will end promptly at 8pm. Email Meg (mgoldstein@vts.edu) if you are interested.
  • Rector’s Lenten Blog – This Lent, our Rector, Gini, is reading Amy-Jill Levine’s book, “Entering the Passion: A Beginner’s Guide to Holy Week.” Amy-Jill Levine is a professor of Jewish and New Testament studies at Vanderbilt University and its Divinity School, and she is also an amazing teacher and writer. Explore the Holy Week texts more deeply by reading along with Gini, and/or follow along in her Lenten blog.
  • The Irreverends Podcast – Our Rector’s weekly 30-minute podcast – cohosted by the Rev. Timothy Watt – exploring the Bible readings for the coming Sunday with just the right touch of humor. Each week includes a segment of Lectio Divina (sacred reading), and blessings or prayers that reflect our modern lives.  You can listen from the website or subscribe on iTunes or on Google Play.
  • The Way of Love Podcast – This is a fantastic podcast featuring our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and other guests who discuss the Way of Love. They are now on Season 2, Episode 16, but you can start anywhere and not only learn so much about how to grow into the way of love (which is the way of Jesus), but you can hear Bishop Curry in his element – talking about Jesus to people who also love Jesus. It’s a great listen!
  • The Way of Love Podcast for Kids – This is a series from the You Brew You Podcast which is co-hosted by the Minister for Children & Families at Christ Church Episcopal Cathedral in Houston. The first episode in this 12-part series features our beloved former colleague The Rev. Becky Zartman (who is now the Canon for Welcome & Evangelism there) and her four year-old daughter, Pippa. The episodes are geared to help families adapt the Way of Love for kids. The episode page will include questions for more discussion.