Soon, we will enter the season of Lent again. We will follow the stages of the liturgical calendar, and we will be together with the wider Church in this. Our Collegiate Ash Wednesday service on March 5 at 7:30PM at the Suydam Street Reformed Church will provide a taste for this. It’s one of our best attended collegiate activities. We expect over 100 worshippers from the four participating churches. Following a tradition started by the Swiss reformer Ulrich Zwingli in the 16th century, our worship service will be followed by our famous “Feast of Sausages”.
Yet in all this emphasis on the institutions for Lent, whether they are pensive or fun, let us not forget that “church” is also a deeply human response to God that happens prior to any form of organized religion. Church happens when people gather at the Table of the Lord. It occurs when we find access regardless of our intellectual or physical capacity or level of awareness. It includes a bed-ridden homebound member like Anna Mariano just as much as little Andy Epstein whom you can see in the attached picture looking through the door.
Since this is so, we all have an opportunity to feel and experience the grace of God just by thinking of the church. Obviously, God’s grace is not predominantly manifest in our leaders, scholars or even pastors. Rather, it is in the midst of our congregation as it tries to embrace really everyone, from Andy to Anna, if you will.
It is very much in sync with these considerations that we offer an exciting Adult Education Lenten Program this year. It is called “Journeys of Faith” and will take on these for Wednesdays: March 12 and 26, and April 2 and 9, each time from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM (the hour before choir). The program is designed to raise our awareness regarding issues of global mission in an age when mainline mission can no longer be summarized as “saving souls for Christ”. But what exactly is it then? Well, come and see! You might be surprised at what you find.
With fond wishes,