Lent Begins and St. Liz Newsby Maddie Spearman on February 24, 2022
Dear St. Liz family,
I am writing to you on behalf of your Bishop’s Committee to provide a snapshot of the current goings-on at St. Liz. The month of March will bring several exciting happenings, so please read all the way through to make sure you don’t miss anything!
“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (Gen. 2:7, KJV)
Martha will lead Ash Wednesday service at the church at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, March 2nd. Ash Wednesday is the first of the forty days of Lent, named for the custom of placing blessed ashes on the foreheads of worshipers. The ashes are a visible reminder to ourselves and others to enter the season of Lent with penitent and self-reflective hearts.
If you are unable to attend the Ash Wednesday service, but would still like to receive the imposition of ashes, please contact Martha at 908-705-5098. She will make arrangements to come to you directly.
Lenten Study - Stations of the Cross
Beginning Tuesday, March 8th at 7:00 PM, Martha will lead a weekly Lenten study on the Stations of the Cross. The study will take place inside the church each Tuesday night during Lent. Here is a description of the study from Martha herself:
Lent is a time set aside to prepare ourselves for the glory of Easter. Among other things, Lent is a time to reflect on the story of Jesus’ death and to absorb its meaning for us. We will use the “Stations of the Cross,” fourteen moments in Jesus’ Holy Week journey. This season’s study will be in person at the church, an opportunity to participate in prayer together. We will also post resources for those who wish to use the Stations of the Cross as a personal Lenten discipline. We will have books available for families with children to use during the season. Please participate in whatever way you and your family can this season. It can give us a common focus for our congregation this Lent. Questions? Call Martha at 908-705-5098.
Parish Profile Workshop
I know I sound like a broken record, but don’t forget to mark your calendars for Sunday, March 27th, when the Rev. Mike Besson will return to St. Liz to host a parish profile workshop for the whole congregation following morning worship. After service, we will have a picnic lunch out in the front yard, before returning to the church for the workshop.
During the parish profile workshop, we will discuss and explore (1) what qualities, skill sets, experience etc. we hope to find in our new full-time vicar, and, more broadly, (2) what sorts of values, strengths, quirks, hopes, dreams, history, etc. we have as a congregation. We will break into small groups, answer specific questions related to the above two points, and then return for a large-group debrief.
After the workshop, Father Mike will consolidate all of our responses, as well as the history of St. Liz, our key ministries, and some demographic information for the area, into a “parish profile” - an actual written document that summarizes who we are as a congregation and what qualities we hope to find in our new full-time vicar. Bishop Reed will review our completed parish profile when gracefully discerning whomever God calls to be the next full-time vicar of St. Liz. Potential candidates will be able to review the completed parish profile, as well.
Most importantly, EVERYONE from the congregation is invited to participate in the parish profile workshop. St. Liz youth (acolyte age and up) will be able to participate in their very own small group. Childcare will be provided in the nursery for little ones. Finally, for those who are unable to attend the workshop in person, the large group meeting will be livestreamed, and we will offer a Zoom breakout group. Links to these online options will be sent out closer to the date of the workshop.
If you are new to St. Liz, welcome! As our much-loved Sunday service bulletin states, “We welcome tourists, seekers, doubters, bleeding hearts, and you.” We would love to get to know you better, introduce you to some folks, and make you feel like part of the St. Liz family. Before COVID-19, St. Liz hosted a Newcomers’ Class each fall and spring to help newcomers make connections and learn more about St. Liz and/or the Episcopal tradition. If this type of newcomer gathering is of interest to you, please let me know by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Lord’s Prayer - The New Zealand Book of Prayer Version
Just for fun, I’ve included one of my favorite versions of the Lord’s Prayer, from the New Zealand Book of Prayer:
Eternal Spirit, Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver,
Source of all that is and that shall be,
Father and Mother of us all,
Loving God, in whom is heaven:
The hallowing of your name echo through the universe!
The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the world!
Your heavenly will be done by all created beings!
Your commonwealth of peace and freedom sustain our hope and come on earth.
With the bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and test, strengthen us.
From trials too great to endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.
For you reign in the glory of the power that is love, now and for ever.
That’s all for now! I’m thankful for all of you. See you soon!