I’m B-A-A-C-K! I’m back home in the foothills of the Pocono Mountains, I’m back from the boisterous and thoughtful adventure that was BE 4.0 and I’m back to blogging. Thank you RevGalBlogPal sisters (everywhere!) for this venue as perpetual encouragement and energy boost. I have coffee in front of me and a day of major big-time catching up ahead of me. And — oh yeah — it’s Lent in just a few days! Ack! And … I am still rocking a little, as if still rolling on that big boat!
- Ash Wednesday: I like the messiness of the ashes as a defining marker of the beginning of the season. I don’t understand Ash Wednesday without ashes, but I found out it does happen. In the first year of a particular call, I went along with our UCC church’s tradition of sharing Ash Wednesday and Maundy Thursday services with a neighboring (happened to be Methodist) church. Their pastor was appalled that we were imposing ashes at the Ash Wednesday service, that year hosted at our church. He refused to participate in imposing the ashes or receiving them.
- The Color Purple: I like changing paraments and wearing the purple stole. I found out on BE 4.0 that the clergy stole evolved from a pastor’s need for a sweat rag! Well, then, give me a purple one!
- A New Beginning: Like New Year’s Day and the first day of school, the beginning of Lent feels like a good time to do some self-reflection, begin new habits &/or look to the future. So, Lent also gives me the gift of …
- Disciplines: I have lately started using the word “practice” instead of “discipline” because it helps me to remind myself to actually “do practice” or otherwise I don’t think I will ever “be disciplined.” I usually add a practice or two rather than taking something away.
- Good Friday: It’s a hard service to mess up or embellish a lot as the story speaks very well for itself. I like to wallow in it — yes, wallow rather than immerse — because the implications are profound and deep and I’m pretty sure I’ve not yet touched the bottom of that deep end.
BONUS — The one thing I can do without: If I had to say one thing, it would probably be the church Easter egg hunt which is held, strangely enough, on Palm Sunday! The reason for that date: “People are too busy on Easter” and “The kids’ Easter clothes might get messed up!” My childhood family Easter egg hunts — yes, multiple egg hunts at multiple family homes — were wonderful! I haven’t figured out how the one we do at church adds a thing to what families can — and will — do for their kids. I have nothing at all against a church Easter egg hunt; I just don’t get it.