Four Vernon Congregations of various traditions are hosting weekly worship events, from March 13 through April 10, and pray, “Open my life, Lord.” This Ecumenical Lenten Worship series will take place Wednesdays at 1:30 and travel to four different Vernon churches.
Along the theme of Opening our Eyes, Hands, Ears, Hearts and Lives, gathering diverse Christian communities to share common worship also requires opening our minds. The existence of so many different Christian denominations is often seen as evidence of divisiveness, competitiveness and a spirit among Christians that conflicts with the gospel of love. Well, despite episodes of conflict in the church’s history, the broad tone of church dialog since the 1960’s has included an emphasis on the vast common ground we share rather than the small grounds for disagreement we hold.
So, what is an ecumenical Lenten worship series?
The term “ecumenical” refers to efforts by Christians of different Church traditions to develop closer relationships and better understandings. The word comes from the Greek οἰκουμένη (oikoumene), which means “the whole inhabited world.” By definition, these events are open to anyone who wants to attend. This series is an opportunity to meet and deepen understanding of Christians from other traditions.
“Lent” is a season of the church that acknowledges the spiritual need for repentance and God’s mercy. Longing for joy in God’s presence, love of one’s neighbour and harmony with creation, Lent is a time to focus on spiritual renewal as individuals in community. Followers of Jesus are called to a discipline that resists whatever leads away from loving God and neighbour. It is a season of self-examination and repentance, prayer and fasting, sacrificial giving and works of love. It is a preparation for Easter Joy through growing together and sharing God’s word and gifts
These weekly services can be part of that Lenten discipline to build bridges and connect Christians of different traditions. Each congregation will reflect some of their unique tradition and style while affirming a shared commitment to Christian faith.
The host congregations are Knox Presbyterian (March 13 and April 10), First Baptist (March 20), Peace Lutheran (March 27) and All Saints Anglican (April 3).
For more information contact David Hunter at 250 309-0747 or firstname.lastname@example.org.