Listed Under: Vicars Blog
Our Ash Wednesday Service, at 7pm on Wednesday 26th February at St Peter’s Powick, marks the start of our Lenten journey as a benefice. How else will we mark his holy and penitential season?
This year, we will not be studying a text or course together in a Home Group Setting. Ros and I have considered materials but decided, actually, maybe we could all do with spending time with fellow Christians in other churches to study and reflect together. I would strongly urge you to observe the Lent discipline by doing similar this year.
These are the Lent Groups that I am recommending we join in with this year. There are three types of study that I am attracted to - Scriptural, Contextual and testimony and, as luck and Grace would have it, all three are available on our door step: All Saints in Malvern is leading a study on Dwelling in the Truth of Scripture - spending sessions looking at the opportunities presented by Paul’s Letter to The Romans (Chapter 8). Contextually, Malvern Link with Cowleigh and the Worcester Cathedral are all studying the Archbishop’s Lent Study Guide on Genesis and the Creation. With climate change so apparent, and worryingly so, perhaps engaging with that agenda together and as part of a bigger gathering than we can muster will enthuse and inform? After all, perhaps we can bring a rural perspective to the debate in these venues. At the Little Malvern Priory, Rev Canon Eric Knowles is inviting different speakers to describe their faith journey. A testimony approach worthy of consideration. If you want my wild card, then consider the Malvern Salvation Army’s Lent Course based on Mary Poppins, including a showing of the film. Maybe that approach, with its similarities to our study of A Christmas Carol during Advent, appeals. Both Little Malvern and the Salvation Army approaches might be of interest if you are struggling with your faith and need to seek comfort, reassurance or challenge. For further details, ask me or check the respective website. Maybe we can car share to attend these courses?
Each Thursday and Saturday morning, during Lent, I will be gathering for Lenten Prayers. Contemplation, Cake and Coffee will take place on Thursday mornings will be at the Orchard Club Room in Colletts Green and the Saturday morning will be at St James’ Church in Callow End. Details will be on each week’s Link Sheet. They start on Thursday 27th February (The Orchard Club Room) and Saturday 29th February (Callow End St James’), both at 9.30am
The Lenten Collection this year will be in aid of Smile Train (a charity for Cleft Lip and Palate) and Mission Morogoro. This collection will be taken specifically on the Thursday and Saturday prayers and for any private devotional giving you can offer over the 40 days.
I have been preaching and challenging you over the readings of St Paul in my sermons of late. Steve Chalke’s new book, might help you come to terms with Paul. I tend to agree with the tile of the book - The Lost Message of Paul is one we need to rediscover, Try reading his book and see if you agree with Chalke’s conclusion (SPCK Publishing ISBN 978 0 281 07940 7)
May I take this opportunity to wish you a Holy and Blessed Lent.