Ready for Lent? Here are a few ideas to get started.

How will you be observing Lent this year? Here are a few spiritual practices, books, and online, interactive programs that deserve your consideration!

Spiritual practices

  • A practice of prayer you haven’t tried before. Curious? Consider taking Michael Sirany’s Christian Spirituality  course to find out more, or try this resource for inspiration.
  • Sanctify a part of your daily routine. How might you build in a moment to pause and make yourself present to God when you are commuting to work, putting kids to bed, or reading the news? A song (a Taizé tune, familiar spiritual, or hymn) is a good way to bring your attention to God and your own body in those moments. This coloring book is a great way for families to gather together in a simple practice.
  • Give. Whether you are a person who fasts during Lent, or not, giving — even just a few dollars a day — is a way to practice gratitude and to build connection with causes and people in your neighborhood.

Books

  • Daily Lenten devotionals can be a great way to mark the season. ashes-and-the-phoenixWe’re proud to share that Len Freeman, a priest here in Minnesota, has published a new resource with daily readings for Lent. Ashes and the Phoenix includes diverse writers from across the Episcopal church and daily poetry as well. Check it out!
  • Delve into fiction with spiritual depth as your bedside reading. Thanks to Len Freeman for recommending this idea! He suggests the Inspector Gamache novels by Louise Penny. As the Washington Post reviewer said. “The Gamache series is deep and grand and altogether extraordinary…. they’re as much spiritual investigations into the nature of evil and divine mercy as they are ‘entertainments.’” There are a dozen books in the series so far, starting with Still Life.
  • Learn about the history and experience of Christians from a perspective other than your own culture or ethnicity. A few examples: Race: A Theological Account by J. Kameron Carter, and At Home in Exile by Russell Jeung.

Online

  • Check out the 30 Second Bible for a once-a-day devotional.
  • Lent Madness is a great way to learn about the saints with folks from around the world. 2017 brackets are up!
  • ChurchNext.tv has a great self-paced, short course series on racial justice (and on a number of other topics as well. You can take ChurchNext courses as an individual, but they’re also available for groups!

Bonus: For groups and faith communities