United Church of Christ

Devotional Subject: Lent

Bryn Smallwood Garcia

During Lent, I did not do any fasting, but I did try to eat more slowly, peacefully, mindfully.


Emily C. Heath

Our best intentions don't always win out, and by the time Lent rolls around the promises of Christmas are often long forgotten


Kenneth L. Samuel

It's much easier to pose questions than it is to really listen and respect the answers given.  


Molly Baskette

At our house, we leave our Christmas lights up until nigh on Easter some years.


Emily C. Heath

Ever have an incredible spiritual experience? One where you felt the presence of God so close to you?


Donna Schaper

Mid-Lent is a good moment to remember Ash Wednesday.


John Nelson

It's odd to praise chocolate during Lent. My apologies, if you've given it up.


Lillian Daniel

Happy Fat Tuesday, everybody!


Think. Act. Be.

Think boldly.
Act
differently.
Be
you.

Next week marks the beginning of Black History Month, a time to honor and elevate the many accomplishments of African Americans – individuals who thought boldly, acted differently, and had the courage to be themselves in the face of any and all adversity. The month of February also includes the start of the Lenten season (Feb. 22), when Christians from around the world prepare themselves for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and a time when many commit to giving up selected distractions from their relationship with God — a time for you to think boldly, act differently, and be you.

In order to embrace these two important celebrations, the UCC national setting will be theming its communications throughout the month of February, providing daily and weekly reminders to recognize and honor those who have served before us and to challenge us to think, act, and be in today's world.  The UCC will be coordinating this message throughout its communications, including Keeping You e-Posted (KYeP) weekly newsletters, Stillspeaking daily devotionals, the website, social media sites, and more.

Additionally, the Stillspeaking Writers' Group has compiled a brand new resource for this year's Lenten season. Titled, "Give It Up! Lenten Devotionals 2012," this 56-page devotional offers inspiration, humor, and unexpected insights for each day of Lent. "Give It Up" invites readers to rethink the Lenten themes of sacrifice, repentance and renewal in new and unexpected ways.

"The devotionals center on actions or ideas that we don't normally associate with Lent," said Ann Poston, UCC director of Publishing, Identity and Communication. "They are about the new life people can have by giving up things like worrying, or judging others, or underestimating yourself. We're hoping the book will help make Lent a deeper experience for people this year."

"Give It Up!" can be ordered from UCC Resources online or toll free by calling 800-537-3394.

At the UCC Church House in Cleveland, there also is a host of special events to honor Black History Month. During its weekly Wednesday noon services at the Amistad Chapel (located at 700 Prospect Avenue E. in downtown Cleveland), the public is invited to join an exciting line-up of speakers. These services will feature the Rev. Geoffrey A. Black, UCC general minister and president (Feb. 1); the Rev. Paul Hobson Sadler Sr., pastor of Mt. Zion Congregational UCC in Cleveland (Feb. 8); U.S. Federal Judge Denise Page Hood (Feb. 15); and the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., pastor emeritus of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago (Feb. 29).

"The diversity of African-American leaders we celebrate during Black History Month, including those who will lead worship services in the UCC Church House each Wednesday in February, possess extraordinarily different backgrounds and senses of place," said Kimberly Whitney, UCC minister for community life.  "From the arts, local- and regional-community building, interfaith and global perspectives, their faith supports each tenet of 'Think. Act. Be.' "