Day Two of Lent dawns. The ashes left a little smudge on the pillow. The journey continues . . .

The Matriarchs were asked to tell us how they and their congregations have made plans to go through Lent by responding to these prompts:

1. Your 2016 Lenten spiritual practice(s) 

2. One wonderful Lenten congregational tradition or practice

3. The healthiest thing you are doing for yourself right now

Jennifer Burns Lewis begins the conversation:

1.      I’m writing a note of gratitude per day in Lent. The inspiration for my 2016 Lenten Spiritual practice can be found here: and also from April Davis Campbell, who did so every day for a year. (Amazing.)

2.      The congregation I serve holds three services with a neighboring congregation in Lent. Two involve eating together and liturgy that moves me every single time.

3.      The healthiest thing I’m doing for myself right now?  I’m training for six 5Ks with my daughter in 2016. We live in different states, and train separately, but hold each other accountable. Thank you, Fitbit.

Jennifer Burns Lewis

Thank you, Jennifer!  Six 5Ks?! My Fitbit is jealous.  Best wishes!

Here’s what’s going on during my Lenten season:

1. I’m writing a prayer a day. It is daunting because it feels more like writing for an audience (beyond God) more than it feels like prayer. There’s the challenge — and the hope — and the need!

2. The UCC church I serve seems open to new rituals. Their small, intimate physical space is just right for a combined Maundy Thursday meal with Communion, followed by a Tenebrae in the Sanctuary. Work in progress . . .

3. Just in time for the Wilderness Lectionary text for this week, I am determined to drink more water. I am filling up my water bottle 4 times a day and staying hydrated.

Sharon Temple
Tidings of Comfort & Joy

* * * * * * * * *

How about you, dear readers? 

What Lenten ideas did you begin to put into practice on Day One? How is it going?

Play in the comments below!  Thank you for sharing your ideas and thoughts on your Lenten practice(s).

We love questions! What’s bugging you or confounding you about church life or pastor life? Our Matriarchs are here to help.

Send your questions to AskTheMatriarch (at) gmail (dot) com

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2 thoughts on “Ask the Matriarch: Lenten Practices

  1. Great question and great ideas above! I am excited about my creative practices this year.. For prayer I am memorizing some prayers in my tradition to pray on the go, most excitingly some in French to prep for our summer pilgrimage/roadschool adventure. For almsgiving I am attempting to address habitual lateness by aiming to arrive everywhere ten minutes early (ramped up after having failed a couple times at the five a wise old priest recommended in a college confession!) And for fasting I am following inspiration from another blogger and praying for specific enemies–in an honest and non sentimental way which balances appreciating their gifts, seeing and praying for their inner wounds, *and* releasing justified anger in lament prayer and most, empowering, mental images giving me extra strength at kickboxing class! It can be tough at times but is already leading to more inner freedom and, in some cases, a call from the Spirit to follow Jesus’ command and write some lovingly confrontive cards or emails to heal whatever can be….


  2. 1. I’ve asked the congregation to give up a little time each day to ensure they pray. I’ve produced a little card with a table of every day & date during lent and have asked all who have it to take the time to think of one word about which they could pray….such as help! Patience, thanks, food…or whatever…then pray around that thought.

    2. I’m new to this charge, so not sure of the customs, but we’re opening the church one morning each week for a time of personal prayer in our new prayer corner, or simply quiet time.

    3. I’m in bed with flu… I suppose recognising that I wasn’t well was a good way to start looking after myself….before that I’d started going out for walks


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