Embracing Exile

A 2023 Lenten Journey

An Invitation

For our 2023 Lenten Journey we are "Embracing Exile." Through the forty days beginning Wednesday, February 22 to Saturday, April 8 (Excluding Sundays), we are invited you to join us in some intentional practices designed to create space for Spirit to meet us, Jesus to be revealed, and God's love expand in our hearts.
Take a moment and check out this video from the Bible Project (https://bibleproject.com) to help you understand our theme.

And, while you're here ... check out this video for a quick explanation of Lent.

The Journey

Ash Wednesday
Wednesday | February 22 | 7PM

Ash Wednesday is a day when Christians around the world come together to prepare their hearts for the season of Lent. You are invited to join us in the evening for a special Ash Wednesday service at 7:00 PM. During this service we will worship together, hear a brief devotional, and practice the imposition of ashes. For those who are unfamiliar with Ash Wednesday and the “imposition of ashes” here are some helps:

Ash Wednesday is the Wednesday of the seventh week before Easter and the  rst day of Lent. The day is named for the practice of imposing ashes, a practice which many congregations have found to be a very meaningful part of the Ash Wednesday liturgy.

Using ashes as a sign of repentance is an ancient practice, often mentioned in the Bible (e.g., Jonah 3:5-9; Job 42:6; Jeremiah 6:26; Matthew 11:21). The early Christians adopted the use of ashes from Jewish practice as an external mark of penitence.

Ashes symbolize several aspects of our human existence:

— Ashes remind us of God’s condemnation of sin, as God said to Adam, “Dust you are and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19).

— Ashes suggest cleansing and renewal. They were used anciently in the absence of soap. On Ash Wednesday ashes are a penitential substitute for water as a reminder of our baptism.

— Ashes remind us of the shortness of human life, for it is said as we are buried: “earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.”

— Ashes are a symbol of our need to repent, confess our sins, and return to God.

(adapted from www.elca.org)


Sunday Small Groups

Sunday Mornings

8:30 AM – 9:30 AM

February 26 – April 2

The Lenten Journey is not meant to be taken alone. Join a 6-week small group and get to know others in the church. These “communities of practice” will study the bible, support each other in prayer and grow deeper in relationship with one another. It’s so easy to join a group. Click the Sign Up button below.

Groups meet on Sunday mornings at 8:30-9:30 at the building. Breakfast and child-care provided!

Giving (Alms)

Historically during Lent, Christians have engaged in spiritual practices like prayer, fasting, confession/repentance, and almsgiving (giving money to the poor). During Lent, as a church, we are going to practice “almsgiving” together. In line with the “Embracing Exile” theme, we are going to give to the “Exiles” in our city through an organization called “Houston Welcomes Refugees.” .

This is how it works.

  1. Find something that you spend money on throughout the week that you can “give up,” (think a temporary fast!).
  2. Take that money and “give to” Houston Welcomes Refugees. You can do this every week in service. We will pass a basket (yes, an actual basket!) for this special offering. You can place your offering in the basket. Or you can give online and select the category “Alms During Lent ”


Please Note: This is designed to be an offering that is in addition to our weekly tithes/offerings. Talk about it with your kids, grandkids, small group, etc.

Good Friday
Join us for worship on Good Friday.
Friday | April 7 | 7PM

This one-hour service is a time to come together and worship, contemplate the meaning of Jesus’ death, and share together Holy Communion.

What is Good Friday?

For Christians, Good Friday is a crucial day of the year because it celebrates what we believe to be the most momentous weekend in the history of the world. Ever since Jesus died and was raised, Christians have proclaimed the cross and resurrection of Jesus to be the decisive turning point for all creation. Paul considered it to be “of first importance” that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and was raised to life on the third day, all in accordance with what God had promised all along in the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3).

On Good Friday we remember the day Jesus willingly suffered and died by crucifixion as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins (1 John 1:10). It is followed by Easter, the glorious celebration of the day Jesus was raised from the dead, heralding his victory over sin and death and pointing ahead to a future resurrection for all who are united to him by faith (Romans 6:5).

(from christianity.com)

A Lent Playlist

Here are some songs to fuel your Lenten Journey. These are prayers, confessions, even laments. May Spirit meet you in these days of Embracing Exile.

You'll need Apple Music to hear these full songs.