Lent as a Time for Healing

Lent is the time of preparation in the church and we often mark this liturgical season with simplicity, prayer, spiritual formation, and education programs.  But in a time of disruption and tension, when the past 10 months have felt like an extended fast from community and we have all faced our own mortality in the threat of Covid, perhaps the focus for Lent should be on healing. Healing encompasses many, many things right now: healing of relationships, healing for the environment, racial healing and justice, and healing of our souls from the constant stress of this past year.  Perhaps you have a planned Lenten program at your church, or perhaps you are searching for a resource for yourself and others . . .  here are some suggestions:

 

Healing Relationships and Brokenness among People

Living Compass offers a Lenten Program with a spiritual practice that is crucial to healing: Living Well Through Lent 2021, LISTENING WITH ALL YOUR HEART, SOUL, STRENGTH, AND MIND.  Sign up for a free, daily email, or order the free booklets in Spanish and English.

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry invites the church into restorative and healing conversations through the new program From Many, One: Conversations Across Difference. What do you love? What have you lost? Where does it hurt? What do you dream?  This campaign invites Episcopalians and our neighbors to engage in one-to-one listening and sharing across the many differences that separate us.

With the theme of Lament, Episcopal Relief and Development offers downloadable meditations in both Spanish and English. You are invited to meditate on these reflections daily and to engage the “Four Steps of Lament,” by resting, reflecting, repenting, and ultimately being restored to God and to one another. Many of the authors share deeply personal and painful experiences related to a variety of issues including disease, violence, racial injustice, and poverty. You are invited to come to these meditations with an open heart and be moved to both healing and action.

 

Healing the Earth

If you haven’t seen them yet, please consider a Lenten program using the 4 films on Prophetic Indigenous Voices on the Planetary Crisis.  This series was produced by the Anglican Indigenous Network, the Anglican Communion Environmental Network, and the Anglican Alliance and elevate the voices of Indigenous Anglicans around the world, highlighting their unique perspectives on the natural world and the disproportionate impact that the climate crisis is wreaking on their livelihoods and cultures. These videos are now hosted under Creation Care at www.faithinformed.org along with discussion questions. 

 

Healing our Souls

With Gladness: Answering God's Call in Our Everyday Lives is the new book by Christopher Martin, rector of St. Paul’s, San Rafael.  The book rewrites the vow on call, offers a daily prayer, and suggests gentle practices to make gladness a real part of our daily lives. These soul-healing practices are about inner transformation and are accessible to anyone – even those unfamiliar with daily practices. Forward Movement has chosen this book as their Lenten offering for 2021, and the link above includes Martin’s video introduction.

Life Transformed – The Way of Love in Lent, a Lenten program from the Episcopal Church. The journey through Lent into Easter is a journey with Jesus. We are baptized into his life, self-giving, and death; then, we rise in hope to life transformed. This Lent, communities are invited to walk with Jesus in his Way of Love and into the experience of transformed life.

Through the Wilderness is a new book by the Rev. Rob Gieselmann, who served as a priest at St. Stephen's, Belvedere and Christ Church, Sausalito. It's a compilation of sermons for Ash Wednesday through Easter Sunday, published by Parson’s Porch Books.