This Lent, choose from a number of recommended resources to take the journey from Ash Wednesday to Holy Week (February 17 - April 2, 2021). Choices include small group gatherings or individual study and they are available online and in print. For further Lenten resources, you can also check out the Lent and Holy Week "boards" on the diocesan Pinterest account.
If you're looking for ideas to observe Ash Wednesday with your parish while at home, see this letter sent to all clergy with some options for ashes, liturgy, and "Lent in a bag."
Small Group Courses
- Revive for Lent - Forward Movement
A spiritual formation small group course designed by the Rev. Canon Dawn David, a Canadian Anglican priest and professor from the diocese of Huron. Over six weeks, participants can gather online with a retreat theme and develop spiritual practices of prayer, meditation on scripture, and others. Videos and guides are available to download.
- Stewardship 365 - Kaleidoscope Institute/Hosted in Diocese of New Westminster
Stewardship365 is an online curriculum that empowers local congregations to expand their vision of stewardship beyond money to include the currencies of relationship, truth, wellness, gracious leadership, time and place.
Through this process, participants will create a year-around stewardship movement enabling the congregation to shift from maintenance to mission, from scarcity to abundance and from fear to grace. Register here.
- Come, Pray - The Society of St. John the Evangelist
The series is centered on a weekly 20-minute video and invites participants to explore and experience diverse prayer practices alongside the Brothers through joining their regular, live-streamed worship, special services, and online teachings.
To sign up for the weekly email: SSJE.org/subscribe and select "Monastic Wisdom for everyday living". (Please note: if you are already subscribed to the Brothers email, you do not need to resubscribe)
- What does God want for us? TED talks meet the Bible - Diocese of Massachusetts, adapted by Diocese of New Westminster
A five-week course that pairs a six to thirteen minute TED Talk with a passage from Scripture. Discussion questions invite groups to talk about how their faith connects with daily life. Topics include everyday leadership, doubt, identity, community, and perseverance. This could work well with different generations including youth, middle-aged adults, and elders. It's a free resource adapted by the diocese of New Westminster and available in a booklet here: https://tinyurl.com/tedbible
Lenten Daily Emails/Calendar
- Lent Madness - Forward Movement
Some of us might need something more light-hearted this Lent. Lent Madness is a round robin tournament to see which saint comes out on top after daily match-ups. It's funny and informative. Each day, you'll receive a blog post with bios about saints both popular and unknown but all inspiring. Will your favourite win and be crowned with the golden halo?
- Listening With All Your Heart, Soul, Strength, and Mind - Living Compass
Sign-up for a daily email through the 40 days of Lent with a private Facebook group to discuss and join in online community. This devotional also comes as a downloadable booklet with a small group facilitator's guide. Living Compass is an organization that helps parishes and people to grow in wellness spiritually, emotionally, relationally, and organizationally so that they can grow in love and service to their neighbour. https://www.livingcompass.org/lent
40 days, 40 spiritual practices to find renewal in prayer, fasting, and loving others. This is a downloadable booklet that can be used by individuals and households to experiment in small ways with different spiritual practices throughout the season.
The Anglican Church's development and relief organization, PWRDF, offers daily emails with stories and prayers on the theme of creation care this year. PWRDF could be a good choice for the traditional lenten practice of giving. Collect a regular donation in your house or parish and offer it at the end of the season.
The author, Rev. Lenny Duncan, a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church (US), shares a compelling story of love and redemption found in the Lutheran church (we are in full communion with the Canadian counterpart). He also finds a link between lack of vitality and lack of diversity in many of its congregations. Stimulating and hopeful.
- Wild Hope: Stories for Lent from the Vanishing - Gayle Boss
Beautifully written and illustrated, this book offers twenty-five meditations on creatures whose lives are endangered but who are also encountering some redemptive human connection. This could be a multigenerational book study and a simple discussion guide is available for free. Could be connected with scheduled walks and observations of the flora and fauna in this diocese.
- Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ - Fleming Rutledge
This is a meaty, demanding book and it's worth it. As we journey to the cross this Lent, and perhaps this year been exposed to a level of suffering we hadn't known before, Rutledge's book can be a bracing re-entry into the many biblical images for what Jesus did on the Cross and why it matters for the whole world. Though more academic than other selections here, it comes out of decades of preaching, especially on Good Fridays.
Resources are selected on the basis of a number of criteria:
- Affordable - several of the resources are free to use, including all of the small group courses and both of the daily emails, while the books are moderately priced, especially the online versions
- Anglican - priority is given to resources written or developed by Anglican authors, churches or organizations.
- Accessible - all of the resources are either available online or from large publishers/distributors so that parish leaders can access, print, and review them in a timely way. They also require little preparation or set-up time and often come with leader guides and promotional materials.