Lenten Offerings

Lenten Preaching Series

Open book with pages coming off like birds in flight

This Lent, we will highlight a story Jesus told, or a story told about Jesus’ ministry, focusing on a word or feeling we believe is one way to understand the story. Jesus is a storyteller in the Gospels. Over and over, Jesus uses stories to help his followers understand how to live out God’s hope for the world. The authors of the Gospels also tell stories of how Jesus did his ministry. Donald Davis, an American storyteller and author, once said, “Storytelling is not what I do for a living – it is how I do all that I do while I am living.” This is true of Jesus as well. It is what he did while he was living. And in his living, his healing, and his teaching, he used stories to help his followers imagine themselves in his teaching.

Imagine how these stories might take flight in our lives. Enter each story through a character or an emotion to better understand how Jesus is speaking to us today.

February 18 – Compassion/Empathy
Mark 5:21-34 (Woman healed by touching Jesus’ cloak)

February 25 – Justice
John 8:1-11 (Woman caught in adultery)

March 3 – Trust
Matthew 14:25-32 (Peter walking on the water, doubting Jesus)

March 10 – Struggle
Mark 3:20-35 (Jesus compared to Beelzebul, Lord of Demons – Divided houses)

March 17 – Solitude
Luke 6:12-13, 17-19 (Jesus spends time in prayer, calls the disciples, and is in ministry to the crowd)

March 24 – Forgiveness
Matthew 18:15-22/Ephesians 4:31-32 (Handling others who sin/Peter asking how many times does one need to forgive)

March 31 (Easter) – Love/Acceptance
John 20:1-19 (Resurrection/visit with Mary Magdalene)

Daily Devotionals

Each Sunday in Worship, we are sharing one of the stories Jesus told and ask where in it you might find yourself. These stories help us navigate our own very human lives in a variety of ways. Using the Lenten scripture stories from our theme, imagine, First Congregational members, friends, and staff wrote devotionals.

Signup to receive these email daily devotionals – one for each day in Lent. They are are heart-warming, humorous, and heart-felt. They are a wonderful way to start or end your day.

Vespers

open book with candle

Thursdays: February 29, March 7, March 14 | 7:00 p.m. 

There are three opportunities for mid-week worship with Lenten Vespers. These services are an intimate time of prayer, music, and silence. Each week includes a reflection on the Lenten theme from a member of the congregation. 

Thursday, February 29: Reflection by Bill Tishler (in-person; Chapel)
Thursday, March 7: Reflection by Ruth Benedict (pre-recorded; online via YouTube)
Thursday, March 14: Refection by Joanne Lenburg (in-person; Chapel

Prayer Labyrinth

Sunday, March 3 | 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. | Chapel

Step (literally!) into a quiet space for prayer and meditation by walking the Prayer Labyrinth in the Chapel. As a spiritual tool, the path winds throughout and becomes a metaphor for our journey with God that offers release and renewal, a time for quieting the mind, and an opportunity to pray and reflect on life questions with God. You are welcome to come and go from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

A brief introduction and background to the labyrinth will be offered in the Hearth Room following Worship on this date. Reflection materials on our Lenten theme imagine will be available if you wish to utilize them.

Storytelling with Jen Rubin

Sunday, March 10 | 11:00 a.m. | Chapel

As a part of our Lenten theme, imagine, we are delighted to offer a time of exploring storytelling with Jen Rubin. Jen leads storytelling workshops around the state; is executive producer at Love Wisconsin, a statewide digital storytelling program of Wisconsin Humanities; co-produces the Moth StorySlam in Madison; and is the author of We Are Staying: Eighty Years in the Life of a Family, a Store, and a Neighborhood. 

On Sunday, March 10, Jen will talk about storytelling and how it can be used effectively, followed by a modified interactive time to help us understand how to connect an anecdote to a larger message — or how to take a larger message and find an anecdote to go with it.

Holy Week and Easter

Holy Week Cross with Easter Lilies

During Holy Week, we mark moments in the life of Jesus and the disciples that started a shift in humanity Jesus’ sacrifice had on the world. Holy Week, the final week of Lent, begins on Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter.

Palm Sunday: March 24 | 10:00 a.m. | Sanctuary

Maundy Thursday: March 28 | 7:00 p.m. | Sanctuary

Good Friday: March 29 | 12:00 p.m. | Sanctuary

Easter Vigil: March 30 | 8:00 p.m. | Chapel

Easter: March 31 | 10:00 a.m. | Sanctuary