Dear Friends in Christ—
Earlier this week, Mother Nina and Sam and I met to talk about liturgical themes for Lent. Normally, we think about Lent as a time of personal penance—we give up chocolate or alcohol, we try to make up for particular, individual sins.
This year, we noticed something different. Lent is not about being alone. Lent is about being part of the body of Christ.
As we talked about readings, hymns, and prayers, this theme kept coming back to us. Lent is, of course, a time of preparation for baptism, and so we think about what allows us to become a part of the community and to be restored to that community when we get lost.
It is perhaps fitting that this week ahead has so many markers of community:
- Sunday, February 27, at 5:00 p.m., is the Celebration of a New Ministry. This service
includes my formal installation as the Rector of Grace Church, but it is really a
celebration of the ministry we share together. I invite you to come and rejoice in the
community we already have and in the community just beginning to grow.
- Tuesday, March 1, from 6:00-7:30, we enjoy the J2A pancake supper. While pancakes
may not be a high feast day, simply being able to be together is worthy of celebration
- Wednesday, March 2, we observe Ash Wednesday with services at 7:00 a.m., noon,
5:30 p.m. (for young children and their families), and 7:00 p.m. Our collective spiritual
discipline is a reminder that this season is shared with one another, not undertaken
- And finally on Saturday, March 5, the Diocese of Virginia ordains new
deacons—including our own Paul Evans and Julie Rodriguez. The service (10:30 a.m. at
The Falls Church) is a celebration of our life in the diocese and in the wider church.
I am not asking you to become a part of the body of Christ. You already are. I am inviting you
to come celebrate and share. Your community needs you.
Yours in Christ,