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Surviving Lent Worship: Listening Mission: Living Our Service Formation: Lenten Discipline Final Thoughts: Penitential Order Worship Opportunities

Lent A seasonal publication of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

the epistle Why do we give stuff up for Lent? Many of us associate Lent with a discipline of depriving ourselves of something. We don’t do this as a New Year’s resolution to become healthier or out of some masochistic desire to punish ourselves. It is more like eliminating a distraction that prevent us from hearing God. Think: turning down the music in your car to listen to the road noise or observing where your food comes from. Simple acts with a profound impact.

Surviving Lent M

A season of exploration

any churches have a liturgical act of literally and physically hiding “the alleluia”—putting the word alleluia on a banner and locking it away or burying it the ground for 40 days to be unfurled on Easter. The hope is that it reminds people not to sing our alleluias during any worship service during the season.

And many Christians give something up: what we call fasting: as a necessary preparatory act before Holy Week and Easter. Others like to take something on, spurred on by the understanding that this is a time to focus on GOD. So they read daily scripture passages or devotions. Personally, I have found a certain hollowness to these acts. Not that preparation isn’t important, or that our call to fasting is somehow negotiable. But sort of...Pharisaical. Jesus’s critique of the Pharisees is that they always seemed much more interested in following the letter of their human laws, than the spirit. In fact, Jesus is constantly pushing us

to see The Law itself, rather than those laws we’ve made with the intention to help us understand it. So, like the Pharisees, we have practices that are supposed to lead us toward GOD, and yet, our focus is on what we give up or what we take on.

The season of Lent is more known for what it is not, than what it is. So what if we direct ourselves to the spirit of Lent rather than the letter? What if we take on, not a specific act of deprivation, but a sense of Continued on page 2

Continued from page 1

witness and contrition?

The Epistle St. Paul’s Episcopal Church 115 N. Sixth St. St. Clair, MI 48079 T: 810.329.3821 F: 810.329.1166 @StPaulStClair CREATIVE DIRECTOR

In the Ash Wednesday liturgy, we are called to the observance of a holy Lent, which includes these words: The first Christians observed with great devotion the days of our Lord’s passion and resurrection, and it became the custom of the Church to prepare for them by a season of penitence and fasting. This season of Lent provided a time in which converts to the faith were prepared for Holy Baptism. It was also a time when those who, because of notorious sins, had been separated from the body of the faithful were reconciled by penitence and forgiveness, and restored to the fellowship of the Church. Thereby, the whole congregation was put

in mind of the message of pardon and absolution set forth in the Gospel of our Savior, and of the need which all Christians continually have to renew their repentance and faith. I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by selfexamination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word. Lent then is a time of selfexamination with the intention of conversion! It is a time of conversion to the faith, forgiveness of sins, and restoration of the church body. This is much more than eating fish on Fridays.

The Rev. Drew Downs


Phillip Lundman To have a submission considered for the upcoming issue of the Epistle, please contact Rev. Drew at Or call 810.329.3821 Next issue: March 30th, 2013 Submissions for this edition are due by March 20th, 2013

Supporting St. Paul’s Ask us about the many ways of giving: preauthorized giving, weekly envelopes, offerings at services, annual gifts and bequests. Drop by/Mail in: PO Box 161 115 N. Sixth St St. Clair, MI 48079 Call: 810.329.3821

worship >>>

Listening Alone and in community Listening for God in the season of Lent is a spiritual journey we do both on our own and in community.

Lenten Devotions A great way to mark each day is with a daily devotional. Pick up a free devotional book 2013 Lenten Meditations.

Collecting Prayers Toward the beginning of worship we say the Collect of the Day. In this moment we collect our prayers for the day into one. As we did in Advent, we will open our worship by giving thanks and raising prayer concerns so that we can collect them for our worship each week.

Holy Week Holy Week begins with Palm and Passion Sunday (3/24) with a congregational procession and ends with the Triduum: a 3-day observance of Jesus’s anointing, death, and resurrection. As our Lenten journey moves toward its conclusion, prepare to join us in this liturgical tradition. 2

mission >>>

Living Our Service

Church Leadership

Reaching out to everyone Saving lives with pop cans Our Spiritual Care Share Ministry is collecting returnable cans and bottles as a fundraiser for Nets for Life, a ministry through Episcopal Relief and Development that gives mosquito nets and training to those in our global community that are most effected by insect-born diseases. We are well on our way to the goal of 12 mosquito nets this year. Please bring in your returnables!


Sally Beck Myron Kubbe VESTRY

Eat Burgers, Rehab Houses You know those tasty little burgers? They are so small, you don’t feel like a pig by eating more than one? Come join us on Sunday, February 24 for Slider Sunday, sponsored by our Spiritual Care Share Ministry. We will gather after the 10:00 service for lunch, eating sliders and sharing in fellowship. Your donation will go toward our commitment Blue Water Habitat for Humanity. Who knew eating those little burgers would actually be good for you?

Al Barnes Jacquie Ebelt Cortney Paddock Bette Stencil Micelle Weaver ALTAR GUILD

Peg Lozen Pat McNamara

formation >>>

Lenten Discipline


Tom Jubb

Living life through learning


The Lenten season is about attuning one’s life to Christ. Here are some ways to do that.

Cortney Paddock

The Lenten Program


We will gather each Wednesday in Lent for food, fellowship, and formation. A potluck dinner will begin at 6:00 pm, followed by a program. Please join us! 2/20, 27 3/6, 13, and 20 at 6:00 pm -The Living Room

Bible Study Each Sunday, we gather between the services to explore the story of Scripture. Sundays at 9:15 am -The Living Room Reflections posted Tuesday at

Jacquie Ebelt THRIFT SHOP

Jackie Rands ORGANIST

Carrie Stewart-Gulan RECTOR

The Rev. Drew Downs

Newcomers Class Beginning March 3, we will be offering a newcomers class on the first Sunday of the month for those new to the faith, looking to join, or hoping to be confirmed. 1st Sundays, after the 10:00 service -The Office 3

final thoughts... What is the Penitential Order? A different sense of the confession If you grab a Prayer Book from the pew, you’ll notice that it will fall naturally to page 355. This isn’t because of magic, just that the spine has been broken to that page. If you turn a couple of pages earlier, to page 351 (or 319 if you go to 8:00), you’ll find A Penitential Order. As you read, you’ll see that this is to be used at the beginning of the service. The Penitential Order places the confession and absolution at the beginning of worship, rather before the peace. In the middle, the confession becomes something you have to do before going to the table. Placing it at the beginning makes the confession before the readings, the creed, and the prayers. We open our worship with an act of contrition, a realignment if you will, toward where God is. It becomes what we have to do before we hear what God has to say. Then we respond in faith.

coming soon >>>

In The Next Issue Becoming Reconciled Who is St. Paul?

Worship Opportunities Celebrating Lent & Holy Week 2/17 8:00 am & 10:00 am 8:00 am & 10:00 am Slider Sunday

The Triduum Maundy Thursday March 28, - Eucharist 6:00 pm Soup Pot luck 7:00 pm Worship


Good Friday


2/24 3/3

8:00 am & 10:00 am LENT 4 9:00 am

3/10 Daylight Saving Time Begins

3/17 St. Patrick’s Day 8:00 am & 10:00 am Corned Beef lunch LENT 5


March 29, noon Worship 7:00 pm Ecumenical Worship

Holy Saturday March 30, 10:00 pm The Great Vigil of Easter Easter

8:00 am & 10:00 am Visit our Facebook page for more!

March 31, 8:00 am 10:00 am

Contact us at 810.329.3821 4

The Epistle for Lent (2013)  

A seasonal publication of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in St. Clair, Michigan.