Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Ash Wednesday worship always includes an “Invitation to Lent” which, until recently, has felt really heavy and perhaps too solemn to me. But this year it feels more like a summons to take more seriously the Lenten practices that might deepen our love for God and for our neighbors. It feels like a call to be resolute, to have courage in an anxious time, and to exercise our spiritual muscles, so to speak, for the sake of the kingdom Jesus proclaimed.
As people of faith, we have something the world needs — trust in a loving and liberating God whose Son “came that we might have life and have it abundantly.” Especially in our readings from Luke’s gospel, we know Jesus’ concern for those who are poor, hungry, marginalized or oppressed. Our commitment to care for people in our own time who are poor, hungry, marginalized or oppressed will be strengthened by our Lenten practices and our worship together in this season.
Click on each item below to find . . .
- A Lenten study guide for ELCA World Hunger’s “40 Days of Giving”
- This cover letter connecting our Social Ministry committee’s project with the practice of sacrificial giving
- A page of coin jar labels
- A Lenten calendar linked to “40 Days of Giving” (with March on the front and April on the back)
- And an additional page of resources for Lent that you might find useful.
The Social Ministry Committee and I invite you to set a goal for giving that will support sending girls to school, training women at farming field school, and providing women with micro loans to start small businesses. The coin jar labels might keep your commitment literally in view as you add coins or bills or as you anticipate writing a check at the end of Lent.
$2 a day will send 1 woman to farming field school
$1 a day will send a girl to school
$3 a day will allow a woman to start a small business
House of Prayer is an incredibly generous congregation, and I invite you to set a goal for your Lenten giving so that, collectively, our congregation can help girls and woman live the abundant life Jesus desires for everyone.
On the Sunday after Easter, we’ll all bring our coin jars or our checks (made out to House of Prayer with ELCA World Hunger on the memo line). If you’ve given online, you can bring the confirmation of your gift to World Hunger. We’ll gather all of these in our offering that day, and maybe by the end of coffee hour we’ll know how many girls can now go to school, how many women can get training for farming, and how many micro loans can be given because of our love for God and for the neighbors we have not met but whom we love.
You might use the study booklet at home or with folks at church. The booklet’s introduction ends like this: “May your practice of the discipline of Lent enrich your faith and your commitment to sharing in the work God is doing in our world.“
Our faithfulness to the Lenten practices of repentance, prayer and fasting, sacrificial giving, and works of love will surely become a blessing to us and, through us, a blessing to others.
I’m looking forward to our journey through Lent together!
Grace and peace,