Friday, March 7, 2014

A People Called to Witness: A Lenten Journey in Community

Two days ago began our Lenten journey.  Maybe you were ready for the journey.  Maybe you were unprepared.  Some were unable to attend an Ash Wednesday service. Others were reminded through ritual that “we are dust, and to dust we will return.” Many bore witness to this truth by bearing the mark of a cross of ashes smudged on their foreheads or in seeing the mark on a fellow child of God.

Many have chosen to “give up” something for Lent. The discipline of spiritual fasting in all its forms is an old one. But discipline can also mean taking on something new. Have you considered a new discipline of reflection on the way God calls us – as a church and as individuals – to be a prophetic witness in and to the world?

The Office of Public Witness is offering a new resource in the wilderness for this Lenten season, “Advocacy as Discipleship: A People Called to Witness.” Whether alone or communally, this guide will help you think about the links between Christ’s witness and our own call to be advocates as disciples for God’s justice in the world. It is designed as a four-week, daily reflection guide.

As the PC(USA) Office of Public Witness, we too must be a people called to witness.  Will you join us in this Lenten reflection?

If you will join us, we will begin this study on Monday March 9th with a schedule as follows:

Monday, March 10 (Week 1 – Day 1)
Monday, March 17 (Week 2 – Day 1)
Monday, March 24 (Interim week – what are ways that
       your ministry and life inform your reading of these 
Monday, March 31 (Week 3 – Day 1)
Monday, April 7 (Week 4 – Day 1)
Sunday, April 13 (Holy Week)
----Wednesday April 16 – 12 noon – googlechat – what has God been revealing?...

Follow our Facebook page and Twitter account for weekly posts and conversations based on our reflections. We will also post information on Facebook and on our Public Witness Blog to learn how to connect to the googlechat conversation on April 16th during Holy Week.

As we prepare together for this journey let us reflect. 

“We can think of Lent as a time to eradicate evil or cultivate virtue, a time to pull up weeds or plant good seeds.  Which is better is clear, for the Christian ideal is always positive rather than negative.  A person is great not by the ferocity of his hatred of evil, but by the intensity of his love for God…As we deflate ourselves, God fills us.  And it is God’s arrival that is the important event.”
– Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

From the Festival Lectionary Readings for Ash Wednesday, take a moment to meditate first on Joel 2:12-13.  After Joel, spend some time reading Isaiah 58:6-12.

We hope that you will prayerfully consider joining us in this Lenten journey.  As Stated Clerk Gradye Parsons encourages us to practice our piety as a community, let our journey through this resource, “Advocacy as Discipleship: A People Called to Witness” be a way we as a community imagine we see that cross on each other’s forehead.