Eat, Pray, Lent

Good Morning!

On Sunday and Monday of this week I attended a retreat called “ Eat , Pray, Lent”. It was a wonderful gathering of folks from a variety of places who came together to reflect on the season of Lent and to explore how we might enter this season. Lent has a long and deep history in the Christian tradition. It is a time when we are invited to journey into wilderness and there reflect, revision and return to who we are created to be. In many traditions this has included a period of fasting or giving something up as a means of self- discipline and meditation. I must admit, this is something that was never really much a part of my upbringing and not something that has been a particular motivator for me. On the retreat however, we explored the idea of food and eating and the concept of eating intentionally, savouring what we eat and allowing that experience to connect us to something deeper. Now that is something I can really get into!!! One exercise we did as a group was to take three raisins , to touch them and notice each one – the texture, the shape. Then to smell them – taking in the aroma and just resting with that for a while. Finally to place them into our mouths – at first to just roll them around, then to bite into them and allow the juices to really flow and eventually swallowing them. It was amazing to discover the real taste of something that I have eaten all my life and to savour that gift in deep gratitude .

There is something about food and gathering around table together that is profoundly spiritual. We can read how this was a central part of Jesus’ own life and many of his great lessons and times of community were centered around food. His first miracle, according to John, was at a wedding feast. He invited Zacchaeus to come down from the tree and sit at table with him. On the mountain side he accepted the gift of fish and bread from a young boy and thousands were inspired to share and all were fed. Many times in the home of Mary and Martha and Lazarus he found nourishment around the table. He had breakfast with the disciples on the shore. Even at the end of his journey, he sat with his friends around the Passover meal and at the end of that time invited us to share the bread and the cup and in doing so remember.

Quite often we church folks make the joke that all we seem to do is eat. There is no meeting, or social time and in many cases worship that is devoid of food. I have come to appreciate that this is not just something that is habit but is a deep spiritual practice that breaks down barriers, builds bridges, opens doors, creates community and draws us into deep relationship. AS we enter this Lenten season I invite you try this eating thing with a little more intentionality. Take the time to savour each bite. Smell the aromas, feel the texture, allow the juices to seep into your being and give thanks.

Blessings
Valerie

Reminders of the Week

Sunday February 15th – Annual meeting following worship. Don’t forget the food!!!! If the weather is bad the snow date for annual meeting will be February 22. In case of cancellation announcements will be made on the local radio stations, on the church website calendar, First United Facebook and on the church answering machine.

Sunday February 15th 3pm – Congregational Sleigh ride. Again , if this is cancelled announcements will be made.

Lenten Services

Wednesday – Feb. 18th 7pm – Ash Wednesday Service at St. Andrews . We will gather with our brothers and sisters from St. David’s and St. Andrews to begin our Lenten Journey

Wednesdays through Lent 7pm – Worship in the sancutuary
Maundy Thursday – April 2nd – Supper in the church hall. 6pm
Good Friday – April 3rd – 11am
Sunrise – April 5th – 630am at the Gazebo, followed by breakfast at St. David’s ( free will offering)

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