What’s Love Got to Do with Lent?
Anybody who’s ever heard a children’s moment around here knows that the answer is almost always love. Love. The simplest and most profound of commandments. Like childbirth, it both comes naturally and joyfully and with incredible pain and difficulty. We begin understanding and commanding its power before we can even speak. And yet as people of faith, we spend our whole lives learning and re-learning, trying to figure out how to shape our lives around this concept: The answer is almost always love.
As we enter the season of Lent, a time of reflection and preparation for Easter, we challenge ourselves and each other to remember and to practice our belief that the answer is almost always love. In the following pages, you will find a variety of opportunities and ideas to help you examine this theme. Please join us.
How to Participate in the Lenten Love at Union Church
Scroll through this catalog of ideas and choose at least one, or let it inspire you to make your own commitment. At the worship service on March 5th, or by using the form below, make a pledge of your commitment. We will check in periodically to see how things are going.
You can sign up for all of these events below (scroll down to see full descriptions), or by contacting the church office at 859-986-3725. Or, just show up unless otherwise noted.
Come, love with us!
The Union Church Faith Development Board
Sign Up Here!
Learn More about Each of these Types of Activities Here:
Weekly Doses of Love (All groups start the week of March 5th)
These things will happen every week during Lent!
- Picturing Love Sundays, 9:45-10:20am, Youth Room 302, 3rd floor. A picture is worth a thousand words, and picture books have a way of touching our hearts that other books can’t match. Join Alvera Perman for picture books, discussions about love, and related activities. This group is designed to be inviting for our youngest members, but it is open to all.
- Creativity, Community, and Coffee! Sundays, 9:45am-10:15am, Parlor. Calling knitters, needleworkers, crafters, and more! Bring your own creative project to work on, and join others for relaxed and unstructured conversation, community-building, and coffee before the church service begins.
- Lenten Lunches Sundays after church. Each Sunday of Lent, two Boards will cook and serve lunch for the congregation. All donations go to support Union Church operations. It’s a great time to hear the stories of your neighbors, and get to know new members of the community.
- Rooted in Love: The Spiritual Grounding of Resistance, Sundays after Lenten Lunch, approx. 1-1:30pm, Room 101. In just a half hour a week, Rev. Kent, Rev. Rachel, and other leaders with experience in spiritual disciplines will lead you through a technique or tool of spiritual strength when facing resistance. We’ll include music, meditation, devotional readings and Scripture, prayer, and humor. Join us for the joy of communal action in prayer!
- Peacemakers’ Workshop Wednesdays, 6:30-8pm, Classroom. Using reflection, active listening, and resource-sharing, we will gather weekly to support each other in our efforts to process the state of the world and take steps toward greater peace and social justice. Your participation in this pilot project facilitated by Rachel Dorroh will help us form a process that can be continued with the broader community.
Love Your Neighbor AND Yourself!
- Partners in Prayer, On your own time with partner check-ins. Are you lonely in your spiritual journey? Do you find that you’re worn too thin to practice love the way you’d want to? Maybe you’re longing to love the world through renewed prayers, but could use a prayer partner. We’ll help you pair up with someone to journey with you on the spiritual path. (If you’ve already signed up, don’t worry — we have your name!)
- StoryCorps of Faith, Wed, March 29, 6:30-8:00pm, Community Room. StoryCorps is a national project to inspire and instruct people to record each others’ stories in sound. Join Grace Todd McKenzie and Jenny Hobson as they lead us in this program. Bring someone you’d like to interview about faith, or we can pair you up with someone. You’ll get a video at the end to take home!
- Film Screening and Discussion: Embrace. Saturday, March 18, 2pm. Location TBA. Embrace is a 90-min documentary about one woman’s journey from bodybuilding and body-hating to loving her body. She interviews women around the world in a fun and inspiring film. Discussion about loving our own bodies will follow, led by Alvera Perman.
- Advocating for the Vulnerable: Immigrants and Refugees. On Your Own Time. Jenny Hobson will provide an easy, step-by-step weekly guide to bills and measures that target immigrant and refugee populations and how to advocate for those in our community who don’t have a voice. Sign up to be in the group and she’ll email it out weekly.
Love In Motion (Special Events and Weekly or Daily Opportunities to Lovingly Move Your Body)
- Dances of Universal Peace, Sun, April 2, Community Room. Exact time TBA. Join a worldwide movement for peace through dance. Led by Carla Gilbert, the gathered group will be taught sacred steps from around the world, sharing as we do in prayers of peace and harmony. Created by a Sufi teacher and Zen master, the Dances set scriptures and sacred phrases from the world’s spiritual traditions to music and movement. They invoke an embodied sense of unity, presence and compassion, and touch the spiritual essence within ourselves.
- Walking Meditation, Thursdays, 6-7 pm at Alumni Fields. Led by David Bellnier, these walks will be a chance to revel in nature and inspiration, while enjoying exercise and new friends. Listen together to a reading, then walk together in meditation. To find the group, go between Union Church and the Alumni building on Scaffold Cane Rd. Take the second right to park. Meet at the bench by the paved lot below the Alumni building.
- Walk the Labyrinth at Debbonnaire’s House, Any Daylight Hours, 773 Big Hill Rd. The labyrinth, an outdoor 60’ meditative path in the Chartes style, is 0.6 miles down Prospect St. from Union Church. Park off the road in the driveway, then cross the backyard (closing any gates you open, please!). You’ll see a field with a big trellis. That’s the entrance to the labyrinth. Come any time and take all the time you like. There are chairs in the center to sit and contemplate if you wish.
The Art of Love
Photo-A-Day, Daily, on your own time, social media sharing encouraged. Each day in Lent has an assigned word to reflect on. They are based on the Scriptures of the Revised Common Lectionary for Lent (Year A) and our theme of Love. Take a photo or upload one to Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #UCLent2017, to create an online gallery of beauty and meditation.
Not sure how to use a hashtag? Just type the # sign followed by UCLent2016 in the place where you would write a post. Facebook and twitter make them link up with everyone else who’s typed the same thing!
Healing Through Art Retreat, Friday, March 31st, 6pm-9pm; Saturday, April 1, 8am-8pm.
$20 Materials fee suggested, but no one is turned away for lack of payment. This is not an overnight retreat. Childcare can be arranged if known at least two weeks in advance. Space is limited to 20 participants. Please register ASAP.
There are things that art can speak that no words ever can. Join Bob Boyce, Michelle Hayden, Les Small Stokes, and Rev. Rachel in the creation of mobiles and discussion of the ways love does (and doesn’t) work in families. We will meet Friday night for potluck, opening reflections and planning out our pieces, and Saturday we will work together in the fellowship hall and share our creations.
Keep On Loving…
Did you know? These things are already happening at Union Church, and they welcome you to join them for the season of Lent! You’ll also be welcome to stick around if you like it!
- Book Study Sunday School Class Sundays, 9:30-10:20, Conference Room. Reading books by theologians, religious thinkers, and public figures who write about religion, this group takes on controversial religious topics and studies in depth. Come join the lively conversation, moderated by Steve Connelly.
- Union Church Choir Sings Sunday mornings. Rehearses 6:15pm Thursday evenings. Make a joyful noise! We are looking for people who want to experience the joy and life that singing together can bring. No auditions required!
- Zen Meditation Weekday mornings, 8-8:30am, Cowan Chapel. Come for 20 minutes of quiet, and a warm group of people who will love and care for you in the midst of it.
- Handbell Choir Wednesdays,7pm, Choir Room. Be part of a living instrument. Join the community of ringers making beautiful music. They play at least once a month in worship, including Easter morning!
- Sing Shape Notes! 1st and 3rd Sundays, 1-3pm, Parlor. Join in the old Appalachian singing tradition! No experience needed— just come and sing loudly!
- Lectionary Bible Study Thursdays at noon, Conference Room. Rev. Kent and Rev. Rachel lead this in-depth discussion of the week’s upcoming scriptures, and prayer time to support each other.