Each year you give us this joyful season when we prepare to celebrate the Paschal Mystery with mind and heart renewed. You give us a spirit of loving reverence for you, our [Mother]/Father, and of willing service to our neighbor. As we recall the great events that gave us new life in Christ, you bring the image of your Son to perfection within us…. (First Preface for Lent, Roman Missal)
1. Did you celebrate Mardi Gras/Shrove Tuesday this year? Any memories of memorable celebrations past?
I celebrated Fat Tuesday this year having a lovely dinner at Poggio in Sausalito with a dear friend who is giving up eating out for Lent. This was her last hurrah and I was privileged to spend it with her. The gnocchi was other-worldly. It was made from yukon gold potatoes and it was so light it melted in the mouth. Unreal. We couldn’t speak.
2. How about Ash Wednesday, past and/or present?
I didn’t do anything this year except be internally mindful. I usually attend a service but as I’m not on a church staff this year, I took it as an opportunity to have my own observance. It was lovely.
3. Does your denomination or congregation celebrate “this joyful season”? Any special emphases or practices to share?
I’m part of a PC(USA) church and we do observe/celebrate Lent. There’s another local congregation with whom we celebrate and swap locations for Ash Wednesday & Holy Week services. It’s always a good service with readings, hymns, communion and ashes.
4. Do you have a personal plan of give-ups, take-ons, special ministries, and/or a special focus for your own spiritual growth between now and Easter?
I do indeed. I usually do some sort of observance and the last few years it has been incorporating a practice. This year I’m returning to a giving up mode. I am giving up two particular comfort foods because I have been using them as a crutch more than usual over the last few months and I need to deal honestly with myself. It takes about 6 weeks to form a habit, and I hope that this time will form a habit of helping me move forward with some things I need to process and relinquish. Also, I’m hoping it will accelerate my weight loss which is coming along quite nicely, thanks for asking.
5. What is your dream for the image of Christ coming to perfection in you, the church, the world? How can we support you in prayer?
I’d love to continue to realize my identity of a person who nurtures other people toward their goals, whatever they be, whether spiritual, career or personal. I’d love to see the church be more active in the world by giving people help and the instructions and resources they need to help themselves. I’d appreciate prayers for healing some of my brokenness that would prevent me from realizing my passion to help others develop.