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“You desire truth in the inward being, therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.”

(Psalm 51:6)

Dear <<First Name>>,

In 2021, it seems strange to give up something as a Lenten fast or to step back from our busy lives to spend time in the wilderness. Honestly, I feel a bit of relief that I don't have to smear ashes on your face and remind you of your mortality; you have been reminded enough in recent months.

So let's reconsider Lent this year. We have given up a lot because of the pandemic, even though we didn't call it a fast. We have spent countless hours meditating on the frailty of human life because of a virus and contemplating the power of sin because of racism, police brutality, and economic inequalities in the headlines. We simply didn't recognise these things as spiritual practices. It seems that Lent may be the Church calendar catching up to our reality.

This Lent, let God's Spirit guide your spiritual attention. We have already been in the wilderness waiting for resurrection. Let's unite together in anticipation – not just for lockdown to lift, but for liberation from sin and death. Let's join together in prayer for salvation in this world that is broken and smeared with ashes.

As we observe Lent from our living rooms instead of our sanctuary, we are united in hope that Easter is coming, that our God brings resurrection, and that joy comes with the morning!

Below are some suggestions to guide you through Lent and to help you prepare for the stirring of God's Spirit. Please keep reading and choose how you will observe Lent this year.

Rest assured that you are held in the grace of God and in my prayers,
Pastor Jared
Lenten Suggestions
Lent begins tomorrow!
 
Here are a few tools to guide you through Lent and to make this a season of prayer, worship, and spiritual growth.

Ash Wednesday YouTube Service
Click here or see below to join us for a 10-minute service on Ash Wednesday. Come prepared with some dirt or ashes for your own forehead, or feel free to mark your forehead with some oil or a gesture.

Daily Prayers
  • Click here to download a PDF of daily prayers for the season of Lent.
  • You can also receive the prayer daily via WhatsApp. Opt-in by adding Pastor Jared as a contact in your mobile device and sending him a WhatsApp message: Jared Jaggers, +44 75656 87333

Create a Lenten Altar with Objects with a Spiritual Focus for Each Week
We have sent the objects below to the children and youth of AIC. Join in by gathering these items by Ash Wednesday and the weekly email will offer some explanation to focus your prayers and reflections for the week.
  • Dirt or ashes – a tablespoon or two will do, in a small dish or somewhere on your "altar."
  • Something broken – our children will receive a cracked/broken bouncy ball, but you can use anything that's broken beyond repair.
  • Tea bag – you may already have this one on hand! Simply add one bag to your altar.
  • Stone – a small stone for each member of your household; make sure it will fit in your hand and in a pocket.
  • Chocolates – a piece of chocolate for each member of your household; fair trade if at all possible.
Choose a Traditional Lenten Fast and Focus on Serving Others
  • Click here to download a calendar of "40 acts" to show love toward someone else that day. (It has been created for children, but is suitable for children of all ages!)
  • Sign up for International Justice Mission's “Slave Free Lent” – https://www.ijmuk.org/slavefreelent - IJM will send you text messages with ideas for how take action against human trafficking. Each week of Lent it will challenge you to give up something for that week that often involves labour of enslaved people.
Ash Wednesday Prayer

Ash Wednesday

and we are on our way

to Your Way.

O Lamb of God,

have mercy upon us and

keep us from all the smallness of our lives

that would take precedence over

kneeling in Jerusalem.
 

– Ann Weems, Kneeling in Jerusalem


Worship
 
Join us for a brief Ash Wednesday service via YouTube.
Ash Wednesday Service
American International Church
79a Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 4TD
0207 580 2791
www.amchurch.co.uk

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American International Church London · 79a Tottenham Court Road · LONDON, W1T 4TD · United Kingdom

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