Millions of Christians world-wide will be embarking on an annual pilgrimage of faith beginning Ash Wednesday today.
The season of Lent, states the Episcopal Church’s Book of Common Prayer, traditionally “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 the message of pardon and absolution set forth in the Gospel of our Saviour, and of the need which all Christians continually have to renew their repentance and faith.”
Therefore, Lent is an annual season set aside by the Church for “self-examination, and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and reading and meditating on God’s holy Word,” beginning with the imposition of ashes, at which time we are reminded, “We are dust and to dust we shall return.”
To that end, Trinity Episcopal Church will have a Lenten Study Sundays until April 6 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. leading up to Holy Week.
The study will use excerpts from the renowned Anglican study “The Alpha Course.” The Alpha Course is a 10- to 15-week study developed by Anglican priest Rev. Charles Marnham and expanded by Rev. Nicky Gumbel. In 2008, more than 33,500 courses were offered in 163 countries by a variety of Christian churches. More than 15 million people have attended an Alpha Course.
Trinity’s Lenten study will begin with a light soup and bread supper, followed by a portion of Gumbel’s video and then a corresponding discussion and teaching of the material. Since there are 15 sessions to Gumbel’s Alpha course, we will be using five of them, one for each week in Lent.
This year’s lessons will focus on the why and how of the Christian lifestyle — how can I be sure of my faith, why and how should I read the Bible, why and how do I pray, why and how should we tell others, and how can I make the most of the rest of my life?
The general public is cordially invited to attend some or all of these nights during Lent at Trinity Episcopal Church to enjoy a time of prayer and learn something new about Christianity and oneself.