Did you know the word “Lent” means “spring”? Some people think Lent is a “downer,” but it’s true aim is joy — the joy of a deeper experience of God.
In the western church the forty days of Lent extend from Ash Wednesday through Holy Saturday, omitting Sundays. Christians are invited to the observance of a holy Lent for the purpose of spiritual renewal through spiritual practices such as prayer/worship, fasting, almsgiving, and study.
We invite you to renew — deepen, strengthen, expand — your relationship with God in Christ by taking on one or more Lenten practices, either on your own or in community with others at St. John’s
Access livestreams via our homepage.
Palm Sunday/The Sunday of the Passion, April 10 @ 9:30 AM
(Remember to bring in loose coins collected during Lent so we can give some “Laundry Love” to our Afghan refugee neighbors.)
One service only at 9:30 AM (7:45 AM is canceled.) In-person & livestreamed.
This service begins in praise and ends in reflective silence, re‑tracing the arc from Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem through his suffering and death on the cross.
Maundy Thursday, April 14 @ 7 PM
In-person & livestreamed.
On Maundy Thursday we remember the Last Supper from which comes our practice of Holy Communion and contemplate Jesus’s commandment to love one another. This is one of the most beautiful services of the entire church year.
Good Friday, April 15 @ Noon: The Stations of the Cross
In-person in the Columbarium (outdoors). No livestream available.
On Good Friday we remember how Jesus poured himself out for us through his death on the cross. This year we will use the Stations created by parish artists during our 2021 Lenten Art Project, and our walk will be accompanied by music, reflection, and prayer.
Good Friday, April 15 @ 7 PM: The Proper Liturgy
In-person & livestreamed.
On Good Friday we read the Passion story from the Gospel of John and remember how Jesus poured himself out for us through his death on the cross.
Holy Saturday, April 16 @ 10 AM
In-person & via Zoom (not available on YouTube)
On Holy Saturday, we gather for a brief moment to mark the “between time” — a time of solemn “waiting” between Jesus’s death on the cross and the glorious moment of his resurrection on Easter.
Easter Sunday, April 17
Easter is the central feast of the Christian year. We’ll celebrate with beautiful music and extend a warm welcome to many local families who will join us; and afterward, an outdoor Coffee Hour and fun-filled Easter Egg Hunt!!!
In-person, spoken service (no music). No livestream available.
In-person, in the Main Church with choir, handbells, and special guest musicians. Livestreamed on Zoom & YouTube. Mo. Sarah+ will preside.
9:30 AM (concurrent with service in church)
In-person, in the Columbarium (outdoors.) No livestream available. Fr. Stephen+ will preside. No prior sign-up needed. Masks optional. Music led by guitar. Bring flowers from home to decorate the Easter Cross.
Walk the Lenten Labyrinth at St. John’s
As Lent begins, the lines of a labyrinth will be marked in the circular grass area in St. John’s Columbarium. The labyrinth is available daily throughout the Lenten season for walking meditation and prayer. An optional prayer guide is provided at the entrance. All are welcome.
Fasting from certain foods
To ‘fast’ is to abstain from something – usually food and/or drink – for a period of time. For centuries, people of all religions have fasted for spiritual reasons. Christians have developed particular ways of fasting, and there are certain days and seasons when it is appropriate to fast. In addition, there are particular Christian purposes for fasting. Learn more here: A Beginner’s Guide to Christian Fasting
Fasting from destructive behaviors
Fasting for Creation
St. John’s 2022 Parish Almsgiving Project:
“Laundry Love” for new Afghan neighbors
Our local office of the US Committee on Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) is collecting quarters for several Afghan families temporarily housed in hotels due to the lack of currently available affordable housing. These families use a local laundromat, which requires several dollars’ worth of quarters to operate. Unfortunately, without a residential address, these families cannot open a US bank account. Without a bank account (and current coin shortage), they do not have the ability to change their money into coins for the laundry facilities.
USCRI staff and volunteers are traveling to several banks (because one can only get so many rolls of quarters at one time) and then taking them to clients at the various hotels.
Please consider making a Lenten “mite box” from a reused/recycled container you have at home and use it to collect your family’s loose change or dollars. Click here for a printable daily calendar for Lenten giving (especially good to help children reflect on the value of giving.)
Deliver your “mite box” to St. John’s any time during Holy Week. Your loose change will be changed for quarters and distributed through USCRI to our new Afghan neighbors in need.
Lenten Offering from The Diocese of North Carolina:
“And the Word was with God” with Rabbi Raachel Jurovics
Beloved Community Lenten Study
“The Church Cracked Open”
Join us for a Lenten discussion led by Roxanne Johnson and Joy Shillingsburg based on the recent conversation between Reverend Stephanie Spellers and Dr. Catherine Meeks of the Absalom Jones Center entitled “The Church Cracked Open.”
We encourage you to view the conversation before we gather together on March 30 at 7pm in the Parish Hall. We look forward to you joining us to explore the idea of Beloved Community, reimagining Church after an extended (pandemic) Lent, as we look to the Light of Easter.
Prepare for Baptism, Confirmation, or the Re-Affirmation of Faith
While we celebrate baptism throughout the church year, Lent is a traditional time – going back to the earliest days of the Church – when new followers of Christ were prepared for and initiated into the Church (the Body of Christ.)
If you are new to Christian faith, or new to the Episcopal/Anglican tradition, or have a child whose baptism you would like to have celebrated at St. John’s, you might like to participate in one of the following:
PREPARATION FOR BAPTISM
Wed, April 6 at 8 PM on Zoom (click here to register)
PREPARATION FOR CONFIRMATION, RECEPTION, OR RE-AFFIRMATION OF FAITH:
Tuesdays, Mar 8 – April 26, 7 – 8 PM on Zoom (click here to register)
Online classes led by the bishops and clergy of The Diocese of North Carolina, with a follow-up session with Mo. Sarah on Sun, May 1 at 10:45 AM at St. John’s.
TAKING THE JOURNEY OF LENT WITH CHILDREN
March PRAYground: The Way of the Cross, For Kids
Finding the Stations of the Cross “Written into Nature”
Sun, Mar 20 at 5:30 PM in the churchyard & grounds (Note time change from 4 PM)
It can feel odd and difficult to talk about the suffering and death of Jesus with kids. But doing the stations of the cross teaches kids that our faith is big enough to hold the saddest and most difficult parts of life. Every child will encounter death, suffering, bullying, and grief, even though we try to protect them from it. These stations will help kids to know that Jesus experienced what they have—and is with them in those times, too.
In-Person & Online Hybrid Sunday School During Lent!
This will be a hybrid event for those that would prefer to join over Zoom. CLICK HERE for the Zoom Link.
There are “Journey through Lent 2022” calendars available for you at the church in the Narthex with simple, active Lenten practices to follow each day. Practice these steps as a family each day and discuss your experiences at dinner or bedtime. You may pick up a calendar before or after church on Sunday.
HOLY COMMUNION RETREAT FOR CHILDREN
Sat, April 2, 9 AM – 12 Noon at St. John’s
Children, ages 6 – 10, are invited to gather for this mini-retreat with Mo. Sarah to explore the meaning of Holy Communion (Holy Eucharist). Whether or not your child is already participating in the sacrament of Communion during worship, this is a good age at which they may grow into deeper understanding of this holy gift. Those who participate will be recognized and receive Holy Communion together as a group on Sun, Jun 5 at the 9:30 AM service. Email Barbara in the Church Office at firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP, noting names and ages of children.