So its ‘commercial Easter’ already (we’ve all seen the hot cross bunnies in the shops! Whaaaaat??). One of the beautiful things about our liturgical calendar however, is that we have a profound rest between Christmas and Easter. Lent reminds us to reflect, pray and prepare for the joy to come. Perhaps you are looking for some thoughtful and thought provoking suggestions for Lenten studies. We’ve had some wonderful recommendations from our regional Bishops, and the dedicated staff from Roscoe library chipped in a few of their favourites too. Have a look at this list and see if there’s something to suit you and/or your group.
GRASSROOTS - This year’s Lenten Study from Grassroots was written by Bishop Doug Stevens who may be known by some in the Diocese. The Grassroots material is always interesting with resources for “going further.”
THE MYSTERY OF GOD - The Mystery of God from Churches Together in Britain & Ireland looks like it would start some great conversations (and it’s free, apart from the cost of printing the booklet). It has plenty of different things to “talk about”, “think about”, “to do”, “for prayer” for each week.
COMPASSION - The Catholic Education Office in Brisbane offers wonderful materials for Lent – particularly good if you’re planning an ecumenical Lent study. There will be one week usually when the readings don’t match our lectionary, but this is not really a problem. Details are here: Lenten Study on Compassion
LISTEN AND DISCUSS - York Courses have a variety of materials (some specifically for Lent). They come with a CD and booklets with discussion material based on what you’ve listened to together. They come from the UK and the cost is subsidised by the Diocese of York so postage is not a huge cost. Find York Courses here
PILGRIM - “Pilgrim” are publishing “Lent Pilgrim” and “Easter Pilgrim” courses this year. Many people in the Diocese have found the Pilgrim series helpful and the materials are written to engage people regardless of where they are on their faith journey. Pilgrim Lent
RECONCILIATION - Take a look at Reconciliation: the Archbishop of Canterbury's Lent book 2019 / Muthuraj Swamy . Global in scope, but homing in on the role ordinary people play in conflict and division, Reconciliation extends a challenge to nurture authentic relationships beyond our comfort zones. There are forty meditations centering on Biblical texts that explore reconciliation, humility, radical openness and peace. The discussion questions make this super for weekly studies or independent reflection. Find copies here.
MERCIFUL HUMILITY - Check out The merciful humility of God: the 2019 Lent book / Jane Williams . With chapters that include: 'Humble Beginnings'; 'How to win friends and influence nobody'; 'Reigning from a tree' and 'Risen and ascended into humility' Jane Williams’ reflective Lent book will be a trusted guide for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of God's humility during this religious period. Find more information at Merciful Humility.