Are you still dusting off the last of the Christmas decorations? Or finishing that final slice of Yuletide cake? We don’t wish to alarm you but next week is the start of Lent, with Ash Wednesday falling next Wednesday 10 February.
Lent contains some of the most important events of the Christian year, running for 40 days (excluding Sundays) from Ash Wednesday to Maundy Thursday. Many people give up something from their daily life during the Lent period.
UnitingWorld has created Lent Event as a call for people to embrace simple living, set aside material goods and donate money that supports community development projects. They have created a Guide to Living Lent with ideas for putting faith into action as well as a video to share with congregations and interested participants.
Perhaps Lent is a time of reflection when you want to explore theological writing. The Otira Theological Book Club, situated at the Centre for Theology & Ministry, has a wide range of books available for loan for groups interested in discussing theology. It costs nothing to join, other than postage to return borrowed books to CTM.
And of course Shrove Tuesday Pancake Day 2016 is on 9 February. Funds raised help UnitingCare provide practical support to people facing homelessness, abuse, crisis and other disadvantages. Traditionally Shrove Tuesday is the last day to eat all the flour, eggs and dairy in your kitchen before a time of abstinence during Lent. By holding or participating in a Pancake Day event – at any time throughout the month of February – you can help raise funds for UnitingCare. Events take place in people’s homes, at school, work, sporting get-togethers and at morning tea after church. You can register, donate or even find a scrumptious pancake recipe at the official Pancake Day 2016 site.
Share, the fundraising arm of the Uniting Church has an annual Lenten offering within the Victorian and Tasmanian synod. In 2016 funds raised through the Lenten offering will support:
- post-war ministry restoration in Sri Lanka, including provision of counselling services to war widows and orphans,
- the free Easy Learning adult literacy and numeracy education program run by Corio-Norlane Uniting Church,
- the Thirsty Ground program sharing faith through music at Scots Memorial Church in Hobart,
- the raising of donations to assist attendees with disabilities who can’t afford registration for the Exclusion and Embrace multi-faith conference held in Melbourne this August.
To support the Lenten Offering pick up an appeal brochure at church, send a cheque or postal order to Share, PO Box 24154, Melbourne, Victoria, 3001, go to http://shareappeal.org.au/appeal or free call 1800 668 426.
What is your church doing for Lent? Send through photos or information to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can share your activities with others.
Image by John Ragal via Flickr.