The season of Lent is just around the corner, with Ash Wednesday (14 February) marking the start of 40 days of abstinence and reflection.
Lent contains some of the most significant events on the Christian calendar. Many congregations will see an increase in children and families at services during this period.
The VicTas, South Australian and NSW/ACT synods have collaborated to produce an intergenerational resource that congregations can use during Lent.
Engage Together is a free downloadable resource that contains creative and interactive Lenten activities, take-home ideas and worship service outlines for the six weeks of Lent.
Some of the suggestions include: drama groups, liturgical dances, a ‘balloon prayer’, drawing footprints to symbolise travelling with Jesus and creating a ‘wilderness’ in the church foyer or in a sanctuary space.
Pilgrim Theological College adjunct lecturer Beth Barnett will also be facilitating a session on intergenerational worship music this Wednesday 14 February at7:30pm in North Ringwood Uniting Church.
This session is ideal for anyone involved in worship preparation – ministers, pastors, lay leaders, band leaders and musicians.
Many Christians abstain from chocolate, alcohol or social media during the 40 days of Lent. UnitingWorld is inviting congregation members to give up something from their daily lives and create a fundraising page to support Lent Event.
Donations to Lent Event will help people in Pacific nations like Tuvalu, whose livelihoods are affected by rising sea levels. This year’s Lent Event also shines a spotlight on the scourge of family violence in Pacific Island communities.
UnitingWorld has also prepared a number of Lenten worship resources for congregations to learn about the challenges faced by communities in the Pacific.
A series of weekly videos showcasing stories of hope, resilience and faith from Tuvalu, Fiji and Vanuatu can be downloaded from the Lent Event website. The videos are accompanied by worship resources, PowerPoint presentations, prayers and Bible studies.
A popular Uniting Church tradition is the annual Pancake Day fundraiser.
Shrove Tuesday is traditionally the last day to use up all the flour, eggs and dairy products in the household before the start of Lent.
Uniting is inviting congregations and community groups to get their frying pans out and flip for a good cause throughout the month of February.
An estimated one in seven Australians – nearly three million people – are living in poverty.
Funds raised from Pancake Day will help those experiencing homelessness, domestic violence, addictions and financial hardship.
The Uniting Pancake Day website has plenty of ideas for how to organise a successful Pancake Day, as well as tips for whipping up a delicious, golden pancake.
Is your church hosting a Pancake Day event? Or perhaps you are running an intergenerational service? Send photos of your congregation’s Lenten activities to Crosslight@victas.uca.org.au