It made me jump a little when on Sunday the 3rd January Judy improved my
end of service notices by pointing out that she had pancake party
tickets in her pocket on sale on behalf of the care committee. Whoa! I
thought I am still in Christmas mode particularly before Epiphany and
with mince pies still in the tin! But Judy was right; Easter does fall
quite early this year with Lent beginning on the 10th February and the
pancake party on Saturday the 6th at 7.00 p.m.
Following our custom this is one of the alternate years when our Lent
study groups are offered with the other member churches of Churches
Together in Limbury. By joining with local churches and their leaders we
can offer a range of days and times for the Lent groups so hopefully
making them more accessible to more of us.
Why though would you want to come? Actually one reason may be related to
my surprise at Judy’s announcement – going to a Lent group is a way of
marking the season. There is a trend in our fast moving world to rush
from one excitement to the next those television summer holiday
advertisements for example seem to me to have been promoted from what
used already to be the impossibly early Boxing Day to Christmas Day
itself if not the week before. Lent though is a time of its own, a time
to pause, to go more slowly thoughtfully and deeply, to savour for its
own qualities. I encourage you to think of it as more than a preamble to
Easter to be avoided or rushed through but as a particular intellectual
season of its own.
In our part of the world this naturally coincides with germination and
the fresh growing season when seeds derive the goodness from the earth
and I wonder if a Lent group may be the loam for your spiritual growth
As well as this you will meet people from traditions other than our own,
from the Catholic, Baptist and Methodist churches for example and this
itself can be invigorating, there will be learning, exploration of our
Christian faith and what that means to different people, there will be
conviviality and conversation. Sometimes these groups spawn new
friendships which may continue well beyond their meeting.
There will be five sessions starting in the week of the 8th February and
the study book is “Exploring God’s Mercy” by Steven Croft who is
presently the Bishop of Sheffield. Please think seriously about coming
along to at least one of the sessions to try them out and to discover
the special pleasures of the season.
With very best wishes,
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