Recommendations for local church Lenten resources

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A woman with a cross drawn on her forehead with ashes.

By Rev. Laura Beville

Ministry Resource Specialist for the Oregon-Idaho Conference

I know, you haven’t even entered your statistical reports into the new system (if you need a replay of the Webinar from January 5, 2023 for that, here is a link: ENTER LINK). Lent is around the corner – Ash Wednesday begins February 22, 2023. Here is a round-up of some of my favorite Lent resources for your local churches. I’ve suggested some books, some subscription/donation-based planning, and some free resources (your apportionment dollars at work!).

Eco Faith Recovery, an ecumenical team of folks from Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon has created a Lenten Devotional that accompanies Randy Woodley’s book, “Becoming Rooted.” The devotional, A Grounded Faith, is a companion to Randy Woodley’s book,  “Becoming Rooted: One Hundred Days of Reconnecting with Sacred Earth.” You can learn more about it here.

Discipleship Ministries produces lectionary-based worship resources and recently has expanded their resources to include other liturgical responses, hymns, and faith formation in a cohesive place which includes resources for planning the overall theme, planning worship, preaching notes, liturgical resources (Call to worship etc.), hymn suggestions, offertory prayer, graphics, youth lessons, and music notes. Their series for Lent is Learning to Live Inside Out.

The Commission on Race and Religion provides superb worship resources that include prayers, devotionals, liturgies based on issues of race, cultural competency, and more. They have a forthcoming resource, Imago Dei – Lenten Bible Study that looks amazing! It is a 5-week study based in the Bible Study style of Lectio Divina. Check out their resources for Human Relations Day and more at their R-Squared resource page!

The Worship Design Studio by Marcia McFee has published a new fully-scripted Lenten Series for 2023 entitled “Looking For Love” which utilizes Mark Miller (music) and Lindy Thompson’s (words) song, “Show us How to Love.” You can learn more about it on the Worship Design Studio YouTube page. You can subscribe or purchase the series at Worship Design Studio. As a ½ time pastor, ½ time conference resource person, I am an annual subscriber, and I alternate between fully scripted series and creating my own.

The Society of St. Andrew, a gleaning program and a supported Advanced Special of the UMC, has published their Lenten Devotional, entitled, Redeemed. Their devotionals and content encourage congregations to give to harvest and share healthy food, reduce food waste, and build communities by gleaning programs and nourishing hungry neighbors. This year’s study looks a bit heavy on atonement.

A Preachers Guide to Lectionary Sermon Series is also a very helpful resource, which gives you a year of Sermon Series and accompanying resources to match weekly topics for Years A, B, and C.  You can order Volume 1 or Volume 2 (BTW purchasing both gives you 6 years of sermon resources!) or wherever you buy your books.

Enfleshed, is a subscription-based lectionary worship resource that includes resources for prayers, liturgies, meditations, teaching, and even art. They are a progressive and liberation theology resource. They publish their resources two weeks in advance, so if you are a lectionary-based preacher and don’t do sermon series, this is your resource. (Although I am a sermon series lectionary preacher, and I use their resources all the time!). You can learn more about Enfleshed at their website.

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