Congregational Church of Jefferson Park

Pastor’s Message

GayleTucker's photo

Pastor Gayle’s Reflections

January 2018

“Lent – an invitation
to reflect, to reconsider,
to slow down, to discover.
Invited by Jesus
to join him on the journey.
Invited to humble ourselves.

We are called forth
out of the winter of ourselves
to re-imagine our relationship with God.
On Ash Wednesday we are marked-
tagged as Christ’s own;
humbled now, readied to be exalted
as we draw closer to that place called Jerusalem.”

From “Journeying to Jerusalem” by Gay Williams,
printed in Before the Amen, edited by Maren C. Tirabassi & Maria Tirabassi

The season of Lent begins on Wednesday, February 14. We will begin with an Ash Wednesday service at 7:30PM. We will be marked with ashes, symbols of death, mourning, and repentance, as well as symbols of new life and change to come. And we will spend the next six weeks preparing for Jesus’ fateful journey into Jerusalem.

As the poem-prayer excerpted above notes, Lent is a season of reflection, reconsidering, and re-imagining, starting with repentance. We sing a variation on Psalm 51, “Give Me a Clean Heart,” praying for a clean heart, so that we may serve and follow God (text & tune by Margaret J. Douroux). It is a contemplative hymn, drawing us into this contemplative season. I will be using the hymn and the poem above as part of my daily meditations during Lent, and invite you to do the same, or to choose your own texts, music, or art to focus your reflections.

I will also be hosting Open Sanctuary: Lenten Reflection & Recreation again this year. All are invited to join me in our sanctuary for prayer, reflection, meditative coloring, walking meditation, or just plain walking. I play a variety of music during the sessions, ranging from contemporary folk, to Bach, to Christian, to lots of music composed by our pianist-composer Phil Orem. The sanctuary will be open to the public Mondays from Noon-1PM, and Wednesdays from 5:30PM-7:30PM, starting February 21st and continuing through March 28th.

Blessings on this contemplative season,