Wednesday, February 14, 2018 - Thursday, March 29, 2018
Strong in the Broken Places
We are entering into the season of Lent. For thousands of years Christians have used this forty-day period leading up to Easter as a time to examine our lives, our relationship with God, and ultimately our faith. As such it is a time traditionally given to increased spiritual attention, contemplation and service.
This year our theme for this this sacred season is Strong in the Broken Places. This image comes from Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms. It’s a hopeless novel, but in the midst of it comes this great line: “The world breaks everyone, and afterward many are strong at the broken places.”
Ask an orthopedic doctor, she will tell you that when a bone is broken that eventually it will grow back even stronger in that place. It takes years sometimes for that healing to occur, but it eventually becomes even stronger in the place where it was broken.
I’ve recently become fascinated and enthralled with kintsugi (or kintsukuroi), the Japanese method for repairing broken pottery with a special lacquer mixed with gold, silver, or platinum. The philosophy behind the technique is to recognize the history of the object and to visibly incorporate the repair into the new piece instead of disguising it. The process typically results in something stronger and even more beautiful than the original.
Kintsugi reminds us that our wounds and our brokenness can become a source of strength and beauty; the pristine is less beautiful than the broken. Perhaps the shape of who we are as people of faith cannot be fully seen until we’ve been fractured.
So during this season of Lent, we’ll look at some of the broken places of our lives, and invite God to meet us in our pain and help repair us, transform us into something even stronger and more beautiful than ever before.
My prayer for you during this season of Lent is that you will find the courage and the strength to pay attention to your pain and embrace your brokenness. That you’ll do the hard work of the soul to allow transformation to happen, trusting God to shape and mold you into who God created you to be.
--Rev. Dr. Russ Peterman
Lenten Worship Services
Ash Wednesday | February 14, 2018
Ash Wednesday is the beginning of the season of Lent. It derives its name from the practice of blessing ashes made from palm branches blessed on the previous year's Palm Sunday and placing them on the foreheads of participants. This ritual is a symbol of humility and a reminder of our mortality. From 11:00am to 3:00pm on Ash Wednesday, you will have opportunity to walk our Labyrinth and to receive ashes in Walker Hall. At 6:00pm, we will meet in Walker Hall for a quiet and meditative worship service, followed by another opportunity to walk the labyrinth. The labyrinth is a walking meditation; a path of prayer. It has only one path that leads from the outer edge in a circuitous way to the center. There are no tricks to it and no dead ends. Unlike a maze where you lose your way, the labyrinth is a spiritual tool that can help you find your way. Walking the labyrinth can quiet the mind, and encourages meditation and self-reflection.* You won’t want to miss this meaningful start to the Lenten season.
MAUNDY THURSDAY WORSHIP
Join us for a service of Scripture, Symbols and Song on Maundy Thursday, March 29 at 6:00pm in the Sanctuary. The English word "Maundy" comes from the Latin mandatum, which means "commandment." As recorded in John's gospel, on his last night before his betrayal and arrest, Jesus washed the feet of his disciples and then gave them a new commandment to love one another as he had loved them (John 13:34). Our Disciples Class of sixth-graders will be invited to participate in this Holy Week service by reading scripture and placing symbols on the Communion Table for our reflection, and the Chancel Choir will lead the music for this solemn remembrance of the events leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus. We will celebrate The Lord’s Supper as we remember and celebrate the final meal Jesus shared with his disciples.
On Good Friday, March 30, we will gather in Walker Hall at noon to commemorate the crucifixion, death, and burial of Jesus. The Labyrinth and Prayer Stations will be open from 11:00am-3:00pm.