The forty days of Lent invite people of faith to bring renewed focus to the call of discipleship, and awaken to the work of the Spirit in our lives and in our world. In many ways, Lent is a season of simplifying, refocusing, and weaving our daily patterns into the heart of the gospel. There are many ways to observe this season, but the traditional Lenten disciplines are giving of alms to the poor, praying, and fasting. Each of these is meant to focus our hearts and minds on God's activity in our lives. Individuals and families can choose how to observe this season of faithful simplicity.
Lent is a season with meaningful individual practices and faithfulness that builds community. The promises of the gospel that we gather around this season are like unique threads that weave us together in love. The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus knit us together eternally into one body in Christ. The common thread to this rich tapestry of life is the abundant grace of God. Join us for a journey into the fabric of our faith, explore our unity in Christ, and discern together what it means to be Woven in Grace.
Sundays During Lent
Sunday Worship and Christian Formation during Lent will follow our regular schedule, with Christian Formation classes being accessible in-person and through Zoom (using the "Sunday Mornings" Zoom link, https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84731416878), and our 11:00am service will live-streamed to our Facebook Page and YouTube Channel as always.
How Can I Participate?
There are many activities to join in throughout the season of Lent! See the full list of one-time and weekly events below, including links to Zoom and online options.
Wednesdays in Lent - March 9 - April 6 Wednesdays during this season provide us with extended time to explore our theme, Woven in Grace. Some groups are hybrid, allowing you to participate from home!
Wednesday Morning Bible Studywith the Pastors via Zoom (10:30 - 11:45am)Explore the Narrative Lectionary stories from the Gospel of John in greater depth. Pastor Lauren and Pastor Alex lead this discussion-based group (on Zoom only) in a deep dive into the richness of John's message. Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/200491556
Middle School and High School YouthOur tweens and teens are invited to join in one of two ways: through being an assistant leader with our children's program, or by joining one of the adult classes. Contact Ashley Saunders (email@example.com) for more details, or come on March 9 and jump in!
Prayer Shawl Group (6:30 - 8:00pm) Join in a 5-week experience of creating a prayer shawl through knitting or crocheting. No experience necessary; we'll teach you basic stitches! This prayerful ministry and spiritual practice reaches out to those in need of comfort and solace, as well as in celebration and joy. As we pray and stitch together, we'll explore how we are woven in grace through reflections on John's gospel. Led by Jackie Wells, Pat Costie, and Pastor Lauren. Join via Zoom by using our "Wednesdays in Lent with Muhlenberg" Zoom linkHERE: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86899599905
Lenten Book Study (6:30 - 8:00pm) Join Pastor Alex for a 6-week Hybrid Book Study on Witness at the Cross by Amy-Jill Levine. In her book, Levine brings the unique perspective of a Jewish theologian and historian to show how the people at the cross each have distinct roles to play. Each Evangelist presents a distinct picture of the death of Jesus. Each portrays different individuals and groups of people at the cross, and each offers different images and dialogues. And so, from each, we learn how those meanings and messages weave into our own time and knit us together through the grace of God. Conversations will be in-person with a Zoom option at our "Wednesdays in Lent with Muhlenberg" Zoom linkHERE: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86899599905. Contact Pastor Alex (firstname.lastname@example.org) with questions or if you need help ordering the book.
Sanctuary Choir Practice(6:30 - 8:00pm) We have begun learning new music for Easter Sunday and would love to have you join us in preparation for this special service. If you are interested in singing, but can only commit to rehearsing for Easter, contact Music Minister Elizabeth Williams (email@example.com) for more information.
Lent for Kids A lot is happening in Lent for kids of all ages!
“Welcome To The Table” - Pastor Alex and Ms. Ashley are offering a class for children in grades 2-5 to help them learn all about the gifts of Holy Communion, which weave together the whole church on earth and in heaven. As we go through the lessons of A Place for You by Daniel Erlander, children and their families will be guided to a deeper understanding of their call to faith and community through the welcome table and the sacraments. Whether you’re waiting for your First Communion, or you’ve been joining in the feast and want to learn more, you are invited to join us on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th Sundays of Lent during the Christian Formation Hour (9:45 am) to learn all about your place at God’s table. We’ll have a celebration and official “Welcome to the Table” for participants on Palm Sunday (4/10). Contact Ms. Ashley (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Pastor Alex (email@example.com) with any questions.
Wonder Wednesdays (6:30 - 7:15 pm) Youth of all ages are invited to discover who God is through Jesus and Jesus’ "I am" statements in the Gospel of John. Through art, science, and community outreach projects, we will see how Jesus is woven into the very fabric of all of creation through revealing who he is to us. There will also be games and free-time from 7:15 - 8:00 pm so parents can attend other Wednesday offerings.
“Little Lenten Moments” - Children and adults of all ages will enjoy this online storytime series. Pastors Lauren and Alex and Ms. Ashley will be reading vibrant children’s books tying together our Lenten themes. "Little Lenten Moments" will be posted on Muhlenberg'sFacebook and YouTube channels every other Tuesday in Lent.
Lent At Home - "Lent At Home" kits are a great way to take what we are doing during our time together a step further. You will receive three different weaving activities made from repurposed materials with prayer prompts and dinner table discussion topics. As you work on these projects, you will get moments where you can teach contemplation and prayer practice. Kits will be available for pick up on Shrove Tuesday, March 1, or can be delivered Monday, February 28 upon request by contacting Ashley Saunders (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Lenten Midday Recitals - Thursdays in Lent at 12:00 noon, March 10 - April 7 The Music Ministry at Muhlenberg is pleased to offer a series of five half-hour recitals each Thursday at 12:00 noon during the Lenten season. Now in its 13th year, these 30-minute musical moments have been a spiritual blessing to all, both to the listener and performer. We are excited to offer an array of varied talents this season:
March 10, Mezzo-soprano Jenny Anne Flory - apprentice artist for the Palm Beach Opera, and most recently awarded the prestigious “Encouragement Award” from the Metropolitan Opera. She will sing classical works by Ravel, Barber, and John Carter.
March 17, Women of Muhlenberg – Greta Willis, Cynthia Page, Tassie Pippert, and Elizabeth Williams will perform sacred music for flute and voice.
March 24, Linlin Uta, pianist - Muhlenberg’s Music Ministry Accompanist and DMA candidate at JMU will perform piano works by Beethoven.
March 31, Elizabeth Williams, organist - our Music Minister will perform various organ works celebrating the birthday of J. S. Bach.
April 7, Esther Nyberg, pianist & Olivia Rominiyi, soprano – Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Shenandoah Harpers will not be able to perform at our last recital. However, we are very excited to announce that Esther Nyberg, pianist, and Olivia Rominiyi, soprano - both graduate students at JMU School of Music - will be here to perform music of Purcell and Saint-Saëns, as well as spirituals by contemporary African-American composer Undine Smith Moore.
Recitals are free and open to all - both in-person and live-streamed to Facebook and YouTube. Masks are required for in-person attendance.
Daily Devotions If you would like to include daily devotions in your Lenten practices, here are a few we recommend. The books can be purchased through your favorite online retailer.
Good Enough: 40ish Devotionals for a Life of Imperfection by Kate Bowler
Bitter and Sweet: A Journey into Easter by Tsh Oxenreider
Because Grace: A Lenten Devotional by John Stevens
Pauses for Lent: 40 Words for 40 Days by Trevor Hudson
Lent Service Project / Collection - "Neighbors Woven Together in Grace" During Lent, Local/Global Mission is coordinating an appeal on behalf of Church World Service (https://cwsharrisonburg.org, formerly "Refugee Resettlement"). Hopefully, you will have a chance to hear a CWS representative talk about their important work during the February 27 Mission Moment at church. We would like to continue to support them during this Lenten season by collecting goods to support our new refugee neighbors in need. Starting March 6, we will ask for toiletries, pillows, or sheets – with different items highlighted each week in The Chimes. We will have a complete list of needed items if you prefer to make all of your donations at once. Monetary donations are also appreciated.
Holy Week Mark your calendars for Holy Week services this year! Keep your eye out for more information about all we have happening during Holy Week - coming out soon!
Palm/Passion Sunday - April 10, 8:30 am and 11:00 am
Maundy Thursday - April 14, 7:00 pm
Good Friday - April 15, 7:00 pm
Easter Vigil - April 16, 4:00 pm
Easter Sunday - April 17, 8:30 am and 11:00 am
Easter Lilies and Alternative Giving Find unique ways to give and to honor loved ones this season.
Easter Lilies - Remember and honor loved ones this year with an Easter Lily. The cost per plant is $22. To reserve your lily, do the following:
Pay for lilies (write “lilies” on the memo line). Place your check in the offering plate, or mail it to the church office (281 East Market Street, Harrisonburg 22801). Payments reserve lilies.
Lilies may be picked up Easter Sunday after the 11:00 am service. Sign up deadline is Sunday, March 27 (no additional flowers will be ordered after that date).
Donating to Church World Service - If you wish to remember a loved one in a different way during this Holy Season, we offer a local opportunity to support the work of Church World Service (https://cwsharrisonburg.org). Can you imagine what it would be like to leave your home and country with nothing but a few clothes? Thankfully, Church World Service is a nonprofit organization in Harrisonburg that helps refugees from many different countries find and make new homes in our community. Currently, Church World Service is working hard to welcome and find homes for the many refugees from Afghanistan that have left their country for reasons of safety. If you would like to contribute to this organization, please do the following:
Make your contribution - ensure correct credit/designation by indicating “Easter Church World Service” on the memo line. Place your check in the offering plate or mail it to the church office (281 East Market Street, Harrisonburg 22801).
We will publish the name of your loved one(s) in The Chimes on Easter Sunday (as we do for lily donations). Sign up deadline is Sunday, April 10.
Ash Wednesday - March 2, 12:00 & 7:00pm Services We begin our forty-day journey toward Easter with a day of fasting and repentance. Marking our foreheads with dust, we acknowledge that we die and return to the earth. At the same time, the dust traces the life-giving cross indelibly marked on our foreheads at baptism. Worship services will be offered at the church at 12:00 noon and 7:00 pm. The 7:00 pm service will also be live-streamed to Facebook and YouTube.
Muhlenberg Lutheran Church 281 East Market Street Harrisonburg, VA 22801