Lenten Hunger; Holy Nourishment

Lenten Hunger; Holy Nourishment

Join us on a journey through Lent as we use guided mediation, sacred story, prayer to draw closer to God, our neighbors and the mission for which God is waiting on our church.

Street parking will be available and child care will be provided every evening.

The season opens on Ash Wednesday, March 9, with a service in the Sanctuary at 7 pm.

The next five weeks of devotions will be built around Ernest T. Campbell’s “A City Dweller’s Prayer” (printed below). For those consecutive weeks during Lent (after Ash Wednesday and before Holy Week, the Wednesdays from March 16 to April 13) we will gather in the social hall for a devotional study series led by Pastor Michael.

Holy Week we will gather again in the Sanctuary at 7 pm on April 21 to celebrate Maundy Thursday and Jesus’ Last Supper.

Each evening will begin at 6 pm with a simple meal of soup and bread, remembering how many people in our own neighborhoods and around the world are hungry. In the eight county Philadelphia region, the number of families using food stamps is up 34%. 1 in 4 people in Philadelphia is at risk of hunger. At each of Lenten devotion meals, we will eat simply and take up an offering– not for the expense of the meal (which is being donated), but to combat hunger. (All funds collected will be added to the other money raised for the Walk Against Hunger.) …A Lenten offering of repentance.

The program will begin at approximately 6:30 and end by 8 pm. Roughly shadowing Michael’s Lenten sermon series on prayer, we will use a combination of guided mediation, bible study, prayer and sharing in small groups to grow in our sense of what it means to be remade or reborn. Preparing for Easter, we will enter Holy Week with a deeper sense of the needs of the world around us and of God’s calling us to service.

O God of every time and place,
prevail among us too;
Within the city we love
its promise to renew.
Our people move with downcast eyes,
tight, sullen, and afraid;
Surprise us with your joy divine,
for we would be remade.

O God whose will we cannot resist,
but cannot overcome,
Forgive our harsh and strident ways,
the harm we have done.
Like Babel’s builders long ago
we raise our lofty towers,
And like them, too, our words divide,
and pride lays waste to our powers.

Behind the masks that we maintain
to shut our sadness in,
There lurks the hope, however dim,
to live once more as (wo)men.
Let wrong embolden us to fight,
and need excite our care;
If not us, who? If not now, when?
If not here, God, then where?

Our forebears stayed their minds on you
in village, farm and plain;
Help us, their crowded, harried kin,
no less your peace to claim.
Give us to know that you do love
each soul that you have made;
That size does not diminish grace,
nor concrete hide your gaze.

Grant us, O God, who labor here
within this throbbing maze,
A forward-looking, saving hope
to galvanize our days,
Let Christ, who loved Jerusalem,
and wept its sins to mourn,
Make just our laws and pure our hearts;
so shall we be reborn!

-Ernest T. Campbell, “Where Cross the Crowded Ways: Prayers of a City Pastor” (revised edition); Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, 2005.