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Lent for the Non-Liturgical

A colleague wrote recently how his church, proudly steeped in free church tradition, was rediscovering the Christian calendar. In particular, a little Lenten liturgy had a profound impact on a people largely unacquainted with the Stations of the Cross.

Here the Lent-informed offer a few ideas for the less liturgical among us.

• Embrace symbols. Lent is a time for quiet contemplation and grievance for sin. Decorate the sanctuary with cracked clay pots and jars to symbolize brokenness. Or give each member of your congregation a small piece of burlap to tear during a time of silent confession, as they did in Bible times.

• Give it up. The traditional Lenten practice of "giving up" doesn't have to be restricted to food or drink. Encourage your congregation to give up time or money to a local charity. Others may want to abstain from eating out or from their daily latte and donate that money to missions.

• Pare it back. The simplicity of Lent can also apply to our churches. Perhaps ...

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From Issue:Winter 2007: Going Missions
July/August
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