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Ash Wednesday Worship service will be on Wednesday, March 2 at 7pm.  Service is in person with the imposition of ashes and livestreamed on our Facebook page. We will hand out tangible objects in worship and begin our Slack devotional conversations for the season.

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This year's tangible object is intended for every person; adult and child alike. It remains a mystery until it's revealing during the Ash Wednesday worship service! They will be available in the narthex after worship.

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There are two Lenten devotionals available:
1.) "Grace Unbounded: Devotions for Lent 2022" for adults
2.) "God is Still With Us: An Illustrated Lent for Families" for kids and families
Available in the Narthex and vestibule any time.

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LCR will use the online platform/app Slack again this year for chat space to accompany the Lenten devotional book, Unbounded Grace.  It will be similar to last year and include other Lutheran churches from Cincinnati as well.  Click the button below for instructions on how to participate. 

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Soup and Sandwich is back this year, with extra safety precautions, from 6-7pm before Midweek Lenten services beginning March 9th.  

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Lent is a season of repentance, turning to God and asking for God’s goodness to wipe away our sins and show us how to live anew. Lent also turns us toward Easter and the abundant life God will offer through the Three Days(Maundy Thursday and Good Friday into Easter). Our midweek Lenten services this year will turns us toward God’s abundance by focusing on five divine attributes drawn from the gospel texts for the season: faithfulness, mercy, compassion, forgiveness, and love.

We will worship each Wednesday evening at LCR beginning next week with Ash Wednesday. As it was such a gift to share with our greater Cincinnati Lutheran siblings last year, we will share our experience again this year through devotional discussion on Slack and by hearing the same message/sermon from pastors around the Cincinnati Conference through their prerecorded messages on the themes above. Each of the participating church will worship together in their own space, connected through the themes and message.

In our case, we will worship with Holden Evening Prayer, as has been our practice, each Wednesday in our building and on the livestream at 7pm projecting the message from one of our local ELCA pastors each week. When it is the week appointed for LCR to offer the message, we will offer it in person rather than via projection.

 

Overview:

  • March 2 = Ash Wednesday, Tangible objects are distributed, Slack devotional conversation begins

  • March 9 = Midweek Lent 1, Faithfulness Theme, Holden Evening Prayer at LCR, Pastor Zorn preaching

  • March 16 = Midweek Lent 2, Mercy Theme, Holden Evening Prayer at LCR, Pastor Aly Mazzei-Baker, Trinity Lutheran, Mt. Healthy, preaching

  • March 23 = Midweek Lent 3, Compassion Theme, Holden Evening Prayer at LCR, Pastor Christie Beckman, Hope Lutheran Church, preaching

  • March 30 = Midweek Lent 4, Forgiveness Theme, Holden Evening Prayer at LCR, Pastor Emily Beckering, St. Paul’s Reading, preaching

  • April 6 = Midweek Lent 5, Love Theme, Holden Evening Prayer at LCR, Pastor Joe Schrock, Zion Lutheran, Hamilton, preaching

  • April 10-17 = Holy Week and Easter, Details to follow as it draws nearer

A Prayer for the Start of the Lenten Season

You, You giver!

You have given light and life to the world;

You have given freedom from Pharaoh to your people Israel;

You have given your only Son for the sake of the world;

You have given yourself to us;

You have given and forgiven,

                 and you remember our sins no more. 

And we, in response, are takers:

       We take eagerly what you give us;

       we take from our neighbors near at hand as is acceptable;

       we take from our unseen neighbors greedily and acquisitively;

       we take from our weak neighbors thoughtlessly;

       we take all that we can lay our hands on.

It dawns on us that our taking does not match your giving.

In this Lenten season revise our taking,

               that it may be grateful and disciplined

              even as your giving is generous and overwhelming.

Amen
--Walter Brueggeman

Why ashes on Ash Wednesday?

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent. Lent is a time when many Christians prepare for Easter by observing a period of fasting, repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline.

Ash Wednesday emphasizes two themes: our sinfulness before God and our human mortality. The service focuses on both themes, helping us to realize that both have been triumphed through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

During some Ash Wednesday services, the minister will lightly rub the sign of the cross with ashes onto the foreheads of worshipers. The use of ashes as a sign of mortality and repentance has a long history in Jewish and Christian worship. Historically, ashes signified purification and sorrow for sins.

It is traditional to save the palm branches from the previous Palm Sunday service to burn to produce ashes for this service. Sometimes a small card or piece of paper is distributed on which each person writes a sin or harmful or unjust characteristic. The cards are then brought to the altar to be burned with the palm branches. The ash cross on the forehead is an outward sign of our sorrow and repentance for sins

What is Lent and why does it last 40 days?

Lent is a season of forty days, not counting Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday. Lent comes from the Anglo Saxon word lencten, which means "spring." The forty days represents the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, enduring the temptation of Satan and preparing to begin his ministry.

Lent is a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter. It is a time of self-examination and reflection. In the early church, Lent was a time to prepare new converts for baptism. Today, Christians focus on their relationship with God, often choosing to give up something or to volunteer and give of themselves for others.

Sundays in Lent are not counted in the forty days because each Sunday represents a "mini-Easter" and the reverent spirit of Lent is tempered with joyful anticipation of the Resurrection.