Church Members Reflect on Lent

Church Members Reflect on Lent

By Paula Schaap, Communications Director

A couple of years ago, the Wingfield Deanery prepared a meditation booklet for Lent with contributions from members of different churches. But, as often happens in too-busy lives, there hadn’t been an effort to prepare a new booklet for a time.

Until Archdeacon Cookie Clark decided that this year – a year when many people felt a need for words of reconciliation and healing – was the right time to revive the Lenten booklet tradition in the deanery.

Clark’s method of gathering the meditations was simple – she needed 40 meditations to cover each day in Lent, so a point person in each of the 10 churches in the deanery received four cards with the Lectionary readings for the day to be distributed to volunteers.

Suggestions to the writers for possible reflections included how they were preparing for Easter, a past Lenten memory or the lessons appointed for the day.

Paul Murgatroyd, of Church of the Epiphany, Vacaville, based his meditation on Deuteronomy 8:1 – “You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth,” by writing, “So as we reflect during the season, let’s remember to ask for the true wealth that God gives us: our own continued development as his children.”

Writing about what it was like to have a birthday that often fell during Lent, Anne Seed, St. Paul’s, Benicia, said that the practice of giving up sweets during the season raised a difficult dilemma for her as a young person. But that grew into an awareness that what Lent was really about was trying to “live my Baptismal vows to the best of my ability, respecting the dignity of all, loving my neighbor as myself, righting wrongs when I can, caring for those in need.”

Linda Jensen of St. Brigid's, Rio Vista, said in an interview that when she was asked to participate, she thought about a stranger who recently stopped to help her when her car broke down as she was trying to get a critically ill friend to the hospital.

Her piece contains encounters with a number of people she describes as being meetings with Jesus along the road of life, including the person who helped with her car: “He wore a red sweater and his hair was pulled back in a ponytail,” Jensen wrote. “He helped me fix my car using the shoelace from his own boot so I could get to the ER with my friend.”

These stories, Jensn said, are the “basis for my belief that Jesus came to reconcile me with God. And that reconciliation is achieved through reconciling with all of humanity and all of the earth.”

Writing is something that Asleain Scotty Hodges, from Grace Church, Fairfield, does on a regular basis.

“It’s always helpful to write things down and to get a little bit of perspective on it,” she said in an interview. “When you write it down and you review it, you can get a little bit of objectivity and see if that it’s manageable.”

Adding to the Lenten meditations was a good exercise for her this year, she said, because she’s “always amazed at what God does for me; the people he brings in and out of my life.”

Her experience appears to have been shared by others who received the booklet. Clark said that a parishioner said she was glad to get it in PDF form so that she could download it to her iPad and read it each morning.

And, at Epiphany, where printed copies were put out for people to take home with them, all copies were already gone, Clark said.

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