An open and affirming congregation of the United Church of Christ

Offerings for Lent and Easter

Lenten Season

The Invitation of Lent: What does Lent mean?

The word "lent” comes from the Old English word "lencten” and at first referred to the season of spring and the lengthening of days. By the 3rd and 4th century, Christians observed a special season of 40 days from Ash Wednesday through Easter (not counting other Sundays). They came to call it Lent. The 40 days commemorate the 40 years the Israelites spent wondering in the wilderness after their release from slavery until they found the "Promised Land.” This passage is also part of the story of Jesus spending 40 days in the wilderness after his baptism to face his own challenges, temptations and potentially false ambitions before entering his public ministry. His ministry eventually led him to the cross as his immense life-giving practice of love and compassion ran into opposition. During Lent, we are invited to consider where our way of being, our thoughts and actions may be heading in directions that are not life giving. We ask for God’s help to become aware and turn around. We remember Jesus’ journey of serving, preaching and healing and his courage to give his life in love. Finally, Lent gives way to Easter and the celebration of resurrection.

Announcing this Year's Lenten Study: The Universal Christ by Richard Rohr

The Universal ChristThe subtitle of Rohr's book is: "How a Forgotten Reality Can Change Everything We See, Hope For, and Believe." Drawing from the diverse Christian tradition, Rohr invites us on a journey of reimagining who Christ is and thereby who we are. Christ is not Jesus' last name though we say that we discover Christ in Jesus in particular form. We experience in Jesus as the Christ the blueprint for what it means to live a human life as an expression of the divine outpouring of creative energy. And there is an even more universal dimension to understanding Christ. Wherever divine energy and matter converge, the Christ becomes manifest. Rohr writes that God loves things by becoming them and infuses all life with the presence of Christ. This Christ energy in us can be bound or thwarted or it can flow freely and creatively. Some of this depends on our vision of who God is and expresses God's self. The Universal Christ is a book that can indeed engage us in a life changing paradigm shift of understanding. This will not simply be an intellectual discussion about an interesting book. Our sharing will include personal reflection, group reflection as well as optional brief worship (prayer and shared silence). Given the pandemic, all meetings will be via Zoom. Unfortunately, we will not gather for our usual Lenten soup dinners. We will meet on Thursdays from 4:30-6:00 pm: February 25, March 4, March 11, March 18, March 25 and possibly additional dates after Easter depending on interest. Please go and explore the special website www.universalchrist.org where you can find videos, podcasts and other helpful resources on the Universal Christ. Participants are asked to buy their own copies of the book.

Because of the pandemic, we will not have a formal liturgy for Ash Wednesday on February 17th, which begins the season of Lent. If you would like to arrange for COVID safe individual conversation and prayer with Ute, please contact her directly either at ute@camdenucc.org or call her at 236-4821 prior to February 17th.

Offerings for Holy Week and Easter

Maundy Thursday Service on April 1 at 7:00 pm

Join us for our online Maundy Thursday Service on April 1st at 7:00 p.m. Although we will not be sharing in a meal, the deacons and pastor will offer an online meditative service including the dramatic reading about the events of the night of the Last Supper. Jesus offered his love in powerful and undying ways and gave all who follow him the commandment to love one another. We will also hear of how Jesus was gradually abandoned by his closest friends as he was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. An Invitation to this service will be sent to friends and members of the congregation. If you are not already on our list, please contact Becky, our office administrator at becky@camdenucc.org or call the office at 236-4821.

Easter Sunday Service on April 4th at 9:30 am via Zoom

Join in our joyful Easter celebration of life and new beginnings! We will celebrate the gift of resurrection and its implications for our own lives at 9:30 am (via Zoom) with joy. Our pre-recorded celebratory music will include many offerings from the Midcoast Brass Ensemble! May Easter bring blessing of awakening us to the transformational power of God to foster life and renewal even in the face of great suffering. God is still speaking!

An Invitation to this service will be sent to friends and members of the congregation. If you are not already on our list, please contact Becky, our office administrator at becky@camdenucc.org or call the office at 236-4821.

We will not be offering our usual in-person Easter Sunrise Service this year due to COVID-related safety concerns.


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