Lenten Series: What are you taking on?
We believe there is a profound benefit in learning more deeply about the traditions and spiritual practices of others. In the coming weeks, Still Harbor is offering a series on Lent. Whether you are Christian or not, we hope you will consider joining us to reflect in community on what meaning we can draw for our lives and work from this ancient spiritual practice.
A lot of people think of Lent as a time of the year to test our willpower, asking what things in our lives can we give up – chocolate, Facebook, soda, or swearing. This season at Still Harbor we are inviting each of us to consider a deeper spirit of Lent as something we are taking on. Join us this Lenten season for a time of reflection and meaning.
The Lenten season is rooted in three practices: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving or acting in solidarity. We begin with prayer as a way to reconnect to that which is greater than ourselves. Through prayer we can focus more attention on the still, small voice within and learn to listen with larger ears for what we are called to do in this world. The humbling practice of prayer allows us to go within and to remember where, and to whom or what we belong.
With fasting, we are reminded of what is most true and what remains after excess has been stripped away. Fasting is a practice common to many religious traditions and recognizes that hunger or deprivation allows us a certain spiritual clarity. It serves to help bring into perspective that there is more to life than our guilty pleasures. With fasting – literally or metaphorically – we take stock, sit with discomfort, and remember our fragility and humanity. While fasting is the practice most commonly associated with the Lent in terms of the “giving up” as noted above, it is more about putting our whole bodies into the practice of living our values.
Lent has a long history of being a time when we recommit to our work for justice, which is fitting since the season points towards Good Friday when the spiritual leader of Jesus was killed for his justice-making. Almsgiving or acting in solidarity is how take on the truth telling and witness bearing required to respond to injustice in the world. In Lent, we look at our lives and ask how might we live more deeply in solidarity with those who struggle and where we might bring light to darkness.
Still Harbor is offering a Lenten Spiritual Direction Group from 6:00-7:30pm on three Wednesdays: February 27, March 13, and March 27. This series of gatherings invites participants to consider the spiritual practice of the forty days of Lent with others in community. In a small group setting we will assess how we have been living our lives, how we might deepen our spiritual practices, and ways we can more fully become people of love, compassion, and justice. This series is open to those of all or no denominations or faiths and especially to those interested in exploring what Lent is about. Ed Cardoza and Hilary Allen will facilitate the sessions.