Facebook Lenten Retreat 2017: Walking Together towards Hope

Often Lent has been about “giving up” something, about sacrificing pleasure. In recent years, there’s been a move to “take on” something, usually a new spiritual practice.

This year, could we commit to finding and holding hope … together? Could a whole lot of us, from around the globe, get together online and discuss the big questions? Could we set 6 weeks aside to reconnect with God and with each other? Maybe we’ll even laugh at a silly cat video or two? In this turbulent and sometimes terrifying time, let’s use the stories of Jesus to remind one another where we get our worth from, that we are loved.

In the season of Lent, as we prepare ourselves for Easter, we push further into the mysteries of life and death and new life, and our faith requires more and more –

More daring… More risk… More vulnerability…
And, as we move past our fear to give more,
we gain more, and death becomes life.
It is a naked faith, experiencing God with all of who we are,
that reveals resurrection to us.
It is a process we intentionally practice in Lent of
transforming death into new life.

Join this online journey as we move toward Easter together. Every couple of days we will have suggestions for spiritual practices and readings to help you connect your life with Jesus’ journey towards the cross. This retreat will run in Lent and Holy Week from the 1 March – 16 April 2017.

To get the most out of this retreat you’ll need to make a commitment to join our facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/1729374310708910// and check it about 3 times a week during Lent. We’ll also be encouraging you to share your thoughts and the photos of things you create during this retreat.

What to expect?

Each week will have a theme and a prayer that you can use or adapt.

There’ll be readings from the bible each week to help us picture Jesus’s journey.

There’ll be colouring in from www.illustratedchildrensministry.com – not just for kids I promise! Plus, prayer doodling opportunities.

These will be simple but creative ways for you to interact with the bible reading or theme. Sometimes it’ll just be a few questions for you to ponder, other times you might do a prayer doodle or something different.

These posts will be suggestions to help us engage with and encourage others who are also doing this retreat. In addition there will be ways for us to pray and connect with our local and global communities.

Some things to remember as we travel together …

I’ll try my best to refer to God in a gender neutral way. It can be frustrating when linking to online resources that solely refer to God as He/Father etc – but I’ll do my best. Read more about why Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) chooses to use inclusive language here.

Before the 1 March the facebook group will be ‘open’. However, at the start of Lent I will change the security settings to a ‘closed’ group. This will mean your posts will only show up to the others in the group and not on your public timeline for everyone to see. If there is a post that you really want to share with a wider group of people – please check first with the other people involved in the post to see if they are happy with their thoughts being ‘out there’.

Please invite people you know to join this group. It is open to anyone and is led by (me) Rev Emily Worman who is the pastoral leader of Church in Progress MCC. Church in Progress is committed to creating inclusive spaces for people to connect with God and with one another.

Find out more about Church in Progress by visiting their facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ChurchinProgress/ and by exploring this website.

Many thanks to Rev John McAlpine (who is allowing us to use the prayers from the book he co-wrote with his wife Jenny Harrison “Our Daily Bread”), and the MCC Office of Church Life and Health for their encouragement and adaption of their incredible resources.

Looking forward to sharing the journey with you …

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