Lent has traditionally been marked as a season when we reflect on our mortality during the weeks leading up to the observation of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.
But after two full years of a global pandemic, domestic dis-ease in the US, and now an unprovoked war in Ukraine, we’ve all had enough of death and dying.
So this year the New Wineskins community is going to take a slight shift in focus for Lent. Rather than focusing on mortality, we’re going to focus together on our shared humanity.
We invite you to participate with us, whether you attend our weekly gatherings or connect through our community’s Facebook page, our Wineskins Workshops Facebook group, our Instagram feed, or here on our website.
Every week during Lent, we encourage you to engage in some sort of spiritual practice centered on what it means to be fully human. You can pick a new practice for each week, do one practice for the entire season, or pick and choose two or three over the course of the Lenten period from Ash Wednesday (March 3) through Palm Sunday (April 10).
Be as imaginative as you like! Some folks may choose to observe traditional practices like meditation, prayer, fasting, Bible study, etc., or something more creative like reflecting on items in nature, art, writing, or some combination of disciplines. You may wish to pick one or more social justice issues to learn more about and/or support each week. (See below for a list of possible practices or create your own!)
During our Sunday night gatherings, we’ll spend some time in small breakout groups to talk about our practices, what we’re enjoying and/or struggling with, and what meaning we’re finding in them.
One of our core values is a community is to be a people shaped by spiritual practices that inform the way we interact with the various spaces we occupy in the world and the people within those spaces. We hope this year’s Lenten practice will be one that strengthens your own spiritual experience and helps lead you to deep, authentic encounters with the world and Divine Presence.
Join us each Sunday during Lent in our New Wineskins Virtual Theology Pub as we participate together in a Lent for Spiritual Exiles!
6:00pm EST: Happy Half-Hour (informal meet & greet time)
6:30pm EST: Presentation & conversation begin
NEW! Give now to support our community!
Want to invest in our community for Spiritual Exiles and our work to create and support online micro-communities focused on justice and liberation? New Wineskins has partnered with Affirm Fundraising to manage a new online giving platform to make it easy for you to support the work we do! Just click the link below to give. Recurring gifts support the community over the long-term…your assistance helps us grow and sustain the important work we’re doing together!
List of possible spiritual practices
If you need help coming up with an idea for your Lenten practices, here are some ideas. This is by no means an exhaustive list but it may help you find something you’re interested in or spark an idea for something else you might like to do.
- Silent meditation
- Assisted meditation (we highly recommend the daily email meditations from the Center for Action and Contemplation and the Everyday Sanctuary and Pray As You Go apps.)
- Daily prayers (Check out commonprayer.net and Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals)
- Bible Study/Daily Devotionals (a number of online and app-based devotionals are available)
- Fasting (including intermittent fasting for a set number of hours each day, fasting one or more das a week, or abstaining from something besides food for a set period of time)
- Contemplative exercise (prayer walking, focusing on a piece of imagery or music during exercise, etc.)
- Social justice engagement
- Environmental disciplines (recycling, reducing water/electrical use, walking or biking vs. driving, etc.)
- Intentional silence/solitude
- Iconography/studying holy images
- Time spent in nature (hiking, bird watching, sitting under a tree, etc.)
- Sharing a meal with someone new
Image credit: Pascal Deloche / Godong on pond5.com