This holy Lent

ThisHolyLent Lent is a 40-day spiritual journey that begins on Ash Wednesday (Feb. 17) and leads to Easter joy at Jesus’ resurrection.  Our churches offer special services and devotional activities to help God’s people focus on the Lenten practices of fasting, giving, study and prayer.  All are welcome!

Ayer
St. Andrew's Church
(7 Faulkner Street) in Ayer is presenting "Baptism Isn't Just for Babies," a soup supper and study on Tuesday evenings, Feb. 23-March 23, led by the Rev. Joyce Scherer-Hoock.  The study will look at the meaning of Baptism, wrestle with the Creed and explore the background for being confirmed or received into the Episcopal Church.  People are welcome to come for supper at 6 p.m. or just for the study, 6:30-8 p.m.

Boston
(See also Jamaica Plain)

The Cathedral Church of St. Paul (138 Tremont Street) in Boston will offer “Who is God?”—a lunchtime discussion series on Thursdays in Lent, focused on understandings and experiences of the divine across different faiths.  The programs begin at 12 p.m., with these featured speakers:  Feb. 25–Rabbi Howard Jaffe of Temple Isaiah, Lexington; March 4–The Rev. Ryuoh Faulconer of Nichiren Buddhist Sangha of Greater New England; March 11–Bilal Kaleem of the Boston Branch, Muslim American Society; March 18–The Rev. Nancy Taylor of Old South Church, Boston; and March 25–The Rev. Hurmon Hamilton of Roxbury Presbyterian Church.

The people of the Church of St. John the Evangelist (35 Bowdoin Street) in Boston invited others to join them for weekly meditations and reflections on the stations of the cross, each Monday in Lent at 6:30 p.m. following simple, quiet plain chant Evensong at 6 p.m.  Part of the congregation’s observance of Lent, stations will include a variety of reflections based on subjects including peace, environmental stewardship, liberation, beautiful reflections written by French poet Paul Claudel and others that reflect on Jesus' experience of crucifixion and resurrection.  A flier is attached.   http://www.stjev.org/

United Lenten Devotions is a longstanding Lenten series among several Episcopal, Presbyterian and Lutheran churches in Roxbury, Dorchester and the South End.  This year’s series, “Saints for the Season,” takes place on Wednesday nights, beginning Feb. 24, and will look at Christian heroes whose feast days fall during this season.  Dinner is at 6 p.m., with liturgy beginning at 7 p.m.  Click here for the full schedule of preachers and locationsSt. Stephen’s Church (419 Shawmut Avenue) in Boston is is joined by St. Augustine’s and St. Martin’s Church (31 Lenox Street) and St. John St. James Church (140 Roxbury Street) in Roxbury; and St. Mark’s Church (73 Columbia Road) and St. Mary’s Church (14 Cushing Avenue) in Dorchester for this series.

St. Margaret's Convent (17 Highland Park Street) in Boston will offer a Lenten Day of Prayer on Saturday, March 6, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., led by Sister Sarah, SSM.  Luncheon is included; suggested donation is $35.  Reserve a space by March 1 (617-445-8961, ext. 127 or reservations@ssmbos.org).

Trinity Church (Copley Square) in Boston presents its annual Price Lectures on Sundays at 1:30 p.m., with a line-up of authors, scholars and theologians including Harvey Cox (Feb. 21), Atul Gawande (Feb. 28), Barbara Brown Taylor (March 7) and Diana Butler Bass (March 21).  Click here to learn more about the series.

Beverly
St. Peter’s Church (4 Ocean Street) in Beverly will host a Lenten Quiet Day on Saturday, March 20, 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m., led by Lis Gordon.  St. Peter’s Church also publishes a Lenten Devotional each year of reflections on the Lenten daily lectionary written by parishioners and edited by Gordon and the Rev. Manny Faria.  They are happy to share pointers with other congregations interested in doing the same.

Brookline
All Saints Parish (1773 Beacon Street) in Brookline will offer a Bread and Prayer Retreat on Saturday, March 13, 10 a.m.-4:45 p.m.  The group will make bread and use the activity to help explore themes of creativity, making time for the things that are sustaining and developing prayer patterns that strengthen relationships with God and all of creation.  Retreat leaders are Susan Forshey and Philip Major.  Cost is $20, with registration requested by March 8.  E-mail pmajor@bu.edu.  Retreat participants are invited to stay for the parish’s regular Celtic Eucharist at 5 p.m.

The community of St. Paul’s Church (15 St. Paul Street) in Brookline gathers for Friday House Churches in parishioners’ homes on Friday nights during Lent, starting Feb. 26, for a simple meal and fellowship.  This year they will discuss chapters from The Last Week of Christ by Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan.  On Sundays during Lent at 9 a.m., St. Paul’s will devote its adult education to a study of the apostle Paul.  And, there will be a Quiet Day on Saturday, March 20, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., for anyone who needs to “get away from it all” without going too far.  Using a combination of silence, guided meditation and shared reflection and worship, the Quiet Day will provide participants an opportunity to listen for how God is moving in their lives.  Call the parish office to register (617-566-4953).  There is no cost, and a simple lunch will be provided.

Burlington
St. Mark’s Church (10 St. Mark’s Road) in Burlington will offer a discussion series, “Rediscovering Values,” on Sundays during Lent, focusing on how Christian heritage can guide contemporary living toward the fullness of life which Jesus promises.  Each program begins at 10:15 a.m. and includes a presentation and table discussions over brunch.  Topics will include:  “From ‘Greed is Good’ to ‘Enough is Enough’” (Feb. 21); “A Toxin-Free Environment for Our Children” (Feb. 28); “From ‘It’s All About Me’ to ‘Better Together’” (March 7); “Growing Our Souls—From Birth to Death” (March 14) and “Choices Make Changes” (March 21).

Cambridge
The Episcopal Chaplaincy at Harvard is co-sponsoring with Memorial Church a Lenten Speaker Series “What’s Sex Got to Do With It?” on Thursdays during Lent at 8 p.m.  They invite the public to come learn to think about sex anew within the Judeo-Christian tradition.  Topics range from “Friendship and Intimacy” to “Why Christians Can’t Agree About Sex.”  The programs take place in the Pusey Room at Memorial Church in Harvard Yard.  See the series poster for the full schedule of speakers and topics.

St. Bartholomew’s Church (239 Harvard Street) in Cambridge will offer informal healing services on the Wednesdays of Lent (Feb. 24, March 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31), 7-8:15 p.m.  Worship includes hymns, Communion and a reflection on one of the healing miracles of Christ.  Prayers for healing will include optional laying on of hands.  The Rev. Leslie K. Sterling will preside.

At St. Peter’s Church (838 Massachusetts Avenue) in Cambridge, the Rev. Francois Trottier will present a four-part study on “Jesus and Nonviolence:  A Third Way,” based on Walter Wink’s book of the same title.  For four consecutive Wednesday evenings (March 3, 10, 17 and 24) at 7:30 p.m., the study will examine Wink’s thinking on the issue, including the relation of Jesus and his message to politics and nonviolence, the history of nonviolent efforts and how nonviolence can win the day.

Cohasset
St. Stephen’s Church (16 Highland Avenue) in Cohasset will offer a Lenten book group study on Tuesday nights, beginning March 2, 7:30-9 p.m. (contact the Rev. Margot Critchfield at 781-383-1083), and “A Lenten Journey with Handel’s Messiah on Wednesday nights, beginning March 3, 7-8:15 p.m. (contact John Whiteside at 781-383-1083).

Dover
St. Dunstan’s Church (18 Springdale Avenue) will present its adult Lenten series every Wednesday evening, starting Feb. 24 (6:30-8 p.m., with soup and bread provided), and every Sunday morning starting Feb. 21 (9-9:45 a.m.).  Additionally, on Sunday, Feb. 28, John McDargh of Boston College’s School of Theology will be the guest teacher and preacher.  The church’s guide for the journey will be Martin L. Smith’s book A Season for the Spirit.  

Edgartown
St. Andrew’s Church (34 North Summer Street) in Edgartown will host soup suppers and discussion of A Celebration of Discipline, by Richard Foster, on Wednesdays, starting Feb. 24, at 5:30 p.m.  Click here for the flier.

Falmouth
St. Barnabas’s Church (91 Main Street) in Falmouth will offer soup suppers with a “Saving Jesus” video program on Tuesday nights, 6 p.m., in March; a Lenten study of the Lord’s Prayer on Wednesdays at 11 a.m. through Holy Week; and a Lenten Quiet Day on Saturday, March 20, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., (small fee).  Call the church for more information (508-548-3863).

Groveland
St. James’s Church (119 Washington Street) in Groveland is offering a “Kid’s Winter Morning Retreat” on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 17, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.  Children are invited for a morning of prayer and activities focused on being caretakers of the earth.  The art they make will hang in the church from Easter Day, April 4 through Earth Day on April 22.  The group will end its time together with a simple lunch, with families joining the children for the imposition of ashes at 12 p.m.  Cost is $7 per child, with advance sign-up requested.

Haverhill
Trinity Church (26 White Street) in Haverhill is hosting a Sunday evening program, 4:30-6:30 p.m., during Lent for all who desire to know Jesus the Galilean rabbi better.  Those gathered will study Jesus’ Galilean ministry as recounted by Luke.  A light supper and child care will be available.

Ipswich
Ascension Memorial Church (31 County Street) in Ipswich will offer a lecture series, "The Hero's Journey," on five consecutive Mondays starting Feb. 22, 7-9 p.m.  The first four sessions are free and will feature viewing and discussion of "Joseph Campbell and The Power of Myth," a collection of Bill Moyers's interviews.  The final evening, March 22, will offer "The Hero's Journey," a presentation of storytelling and songs by singer-songwriter Becky Williams, followed by a workshop to help participants discover how they are the heroes in their own lives.  Cost is $10.  Call the parish for more information at 978-356-2560.

Jamaica Plain
St. John’s Church (corner of Revere Street and Roanoke Avenue) in Jamaica Plain will present a community workshop, “Finding Your Spiritual Home,” on Saturday, March 13, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.  Jamaica Plain psychotherapists Veronica Akins and Shannon McCarthy will facilitate a supportive and safe environment where participants can begin to explore the complexities of sexuality and spirituality.  The group will discover together how authenticity and connection can begin to heal spiritual wounds, as well as increase connection to spiritual selves and communities.  This is a free workshop where donations are welcomed.  For more information and to register, contact Veronica Akins (617-331-5939 or Veronica.Akins@gmail.com) or Shannon McCarthy (617-524-4666 or Smccarthy111@gmail.com).  St. John's Church also features on its Web site, here, daily poems, prayers and other selections for use as Lenten meditations.

Lexington
The Church of Our Redeemer in Lexington is sponsoring “A Still Quiet Place,” a Lenten retreat day, on Saturday, Feb. 27, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at the Bethany House of Prayer in Arlington.  Participants will contemplate the spirituality of stillness through prayer, reflection, meditation, Scripture, song and silence.  The retreat will be facilitated by Mary Ann Christie Burnside, an Our Redeemer parishioner and founder the educational organization Hearts and Minds.  Cost is $20; space is limited.  Register by contacting Emma at office@ourredeemer.net or 781-862-6408.  Click here for the event flier.

Lincoln
St. Anne’s-in-the-Fields Church (147 Concord Road) in Lincoln is offering fellowship, lively conversation and quiet, candle-lit worship on five Wednesday evenings during Lent.  At “Soup Suppers and Conversation” (Feb. 24, March 3, 10, 17 and 24), 6:30-8:45 p.m., those gathered will discuss two works by Henri Nouwen, Here and Now:  Living in the Spirit and Our Greatest Gift: A Meditation on Dying and Caring.  All sessions will end with a service of Compline at 8:30 p.m.  A suggested contribution of $5 will benefit the parish’s summer mission trip.  St. Anne’s will also host three Lenten Library Teas (Feb. 25, March 4 and 11), 3-4:30 p.m., for hot tea and discussion of Forgiven and Forgiving by L. William Countryman.  Anyone interested in attending may e-mail patrick@stanneslincoln.org.

Lynnfield
St. Paul’s Church (127 Summer Street) in Lynnfield is joining with Episcopal churches in Stoneham, Wakefield and Winchester to offer “Stories of Healing and New Life,” a Lenten series for learning and fellowship.  Each session runs from 6:45 to 8:30 p.m. and includes a simple supper of homemade soup and bread.  Click here for the full schedule of topics and locations.

Malden 
St. Paul's Church (26 Washington Street) in Malden will present a series, "Beginnings:  Stories from the Book of Genesis" on Wednesday evenings in Lent, Feb. 24-March 24, at 7 p.m.  The sessions will focus on the biblical stories of the creation of the universe, the Garden of Eden and the fall, Noah and the flood, Abraham and Isaac and Jacob.

Marblehead
Again this year St. Andrew's Church (135 Lafayette Street) and St. Michael's Church (26 Pleasant Street) in Marblehead will join for a Wednesday evening Lenten series, with sessions alternating between the two churches.  Soup supper begins at 6 p.m., a presentation and discussion at 6:45 p.m. and Compline at 8:15 p.m.  The sessions will focus on the prodigal son story (Luke 15:11-32):  Feb. 24 (entitlement and greed) at St. Andrew's; March 3 (spiritual poverty) at St. Michael's; March 10 (desire to return home) at St. Andrew's; March 17 (compassion and forgiveness) at St. Michael's; and March 24 (resurrection and willingness to celebrate) at St. Andrew's.  Sessions will be led by the Rev. Andrew Stoessel, the Rev. Susan Russell, the Rev. Bob Landreth and Jutta Ayer.

Medford
Grace Church (160 High Street) in Medford is doing a community hunger justice campaign for Lent this year.  A “Food for Thought” series on Wednesdays, Feb. 24, March 3, 10, 17 & 24, 6-8 p.m., will focus on hunger issues—what they are as well as how to address them; alternatives to emergency food pantries; famine and feast in the Bible; and sustainable eating.  Click here for the full schedule of speakers and topics.

Needham
Christ Church (1132 Highland Avenue) in Needham presents a Tenebrae Service (Latin:  “shadows”) on Good Friday, April 2, with music beginning at 6:45 p.m. and the service at 7 p.m.  The Passion story unfolds through Scripture, song and special effects depicting Christ’s last days on earth.  (This service is not intended for young children.)

Newton
St. John's Church (297 Lowell Avenue) in Newtonville, St. Paul's Church (1135 Walnut Street) in Newton Highlands and the Parish of the Messiah (1900 Commonwealth Avenue) in Auburndale are joining to host a Saturday morning series on Lenten spiritual practices titled "Giving in Lent."  The programs will be led by the Rev. Mark D.W. Edington, the Rev. Gretchen Grimshaw and the Rev. Devin McLachlan, and take place at 10 a.m. on Feb. 20 at St. John's Church (topic:  "Giving Up"); Feb. 27 at St. John's Church ("Giving Away"); March 6 at Messiah ("Giving Over"); March 13 at St. John's Church ("Giving a Break"); March 20 at Messiah ("Giving Sacrificially"); and March 27 at Messiah ("Giving Glory").  The programs will offer coffee, conversation and community.

At St. Mary’s Church (258 Concord Street) in Newton Lower Falls, the Rev. Margaret Schwarzer will lead an exploration of Lent’s spiritual landscape during adult forums at 11:15 a.m. on these Sundays:  Feb. 21 (topic:  fasting and silence); Feb. 28 (yearning, temptation and sin); March 7 (prayer); March 14; (forgiveness); March 21 (practicing resurrection).  Sessions are linked, but not dependent on each other, so it’s possible to miss a session or two and still travel thoughtfully through Lent with other members of the community.

Orleans
A winter film series is underway at the Church of the Holy Spirit (204 Monument Road) in Orleans, held on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month at 10:30 a.m. in the parish hall.  Everyone brings a bag lunch to enjoy while discussing the day’s film, finishing by 1:30 p.m.  Scheduled films include:  Black Gold (Feb. 25); “Food, Inc.” (March 11); “Call Me Malcolm” (March 25); and “Beyond Hatred Lies the Path to Forgiveness” (April 8).

Rockland
Trinity Church (3 Goddard Avenue) in Rockland will present “The Bible, Alaska and Me” on Thursday evenings beginning Feb. 25, 6:30-8:30 p.m.  Using episodes of the ‘90s television series “Northern Exposure” alongside pertinent Bible passages to “expand the mind, Alaska-style,” the programs will include a simple soup and bread supper along with discussion of topics such as temptation, death and rebirth.  Each evening will end with sung Compline.  Pre-registration is greatly appreciated (781-871-0096).

Salem
St. Peter's Church (24 St. Peter Street) in Salem will offer a Lenten series of 7 p.m. Wednesday services with meditations on the writings of St. Teresa of Avila, on Feb. 24 (Night Prayer from A New Zealand Prayer Book), March 3 (Taize), March 10 (Service of Reconciliation); March 24 (Compline) and March 31 (Tenebrae).  The services will be held in St. Peter's Chapel, whose entrance is located at the back of St. Peter's Church.  

Stoneham
All Saints’ Church (79 Central Street) in Stoneham is joining with Episcopal churches in Lynnfield, Wakefield and Winchester to offer “Stories of Healing and New Life,” a Lenten series for learning and fellowship.  Each session runs from 6:45 to 8:30 p.m. and includes a simple supper of homemade soup and bread.  Click here for the full schedule of topics and locations.

Taunton
St. Thomas’s Church (111 High Street) in Taunton will present a six-week series of Lenten classes on Friday evenings, beginning on Feb. 19, with supper at 6 p.m. and class at 6:30 p.m.  Topics will include the history of St. Thomas, the ancient Celts and their influence on Anglicanism, early to medieval Christianity, the Reformation and the via media, Baptism, Eucharist and other sacramental rites.

Vineyard Haven
Grace Church (Woodlawn Avenue at William Street) in Vineyard Haven will host two book discussion series:  On Thursdays, beginning Feb. 18, at 11 a.m., discussion of Learning to Fall by Philip Simmons, with Eucharist at 12:15 p.m. followed by brown bag lunch; and on Sundays, beginning Feb. 21, at 10 a.m., discussion of The Case for God by Karen Armstrong.  Click here for the event flier.

Wakefield
Emmanuel Church (5 Bryant Street) in Wakefield is joining with Episcopal churches in Lynnfield, Stoneham and Winchester to offer “Stories of Healing and New Life,” a Lenten series for learning and fellowship.  Each session runs from 6:45 to 8:30 p.m. and includes a simple supper of homemade soup and bread.  Click here for the full schedule of topics and locations.

Waltham
Christ Church (750 Main Street) in Waltham will meet for a Taize-style meditative Eucharist at 6:30 p.m. each Tuesday in Lent, and share dinner and conversation beginning at 7:15 p.m.  This year, they’ll look at the Gospel of Luke, focusing on the Gospel passages for the coming Sunday as well as background information about the book itself.

Wareham
The Church of the Good Shepherd (74 High Street) in Wareham will offer “Simply Making Room,” a Lenten program on cleaning out the clutter and making room for what is most important.  The series takes place on Wednesdays, 6-8 p.m., starting with soup supper, followed by the program and concluding prayers and music.  Topics will include:  “Stuff:  Do We Own It, or Does it Own Us?”; “Family:  Anybody Home?”; and “Technology:  Help or Hindrance?”

Wayland
The Church of the Holy Spirit (169 Rice Road) in Wayland will offer a Lenten study and supper discussion of Conversations with Scripture:  The Gospel of Mark by Marcus Borg, on Wednesday evenings, Feb. 24-March 24, 6-8 p.m.  Details and a link to order the book are at www.chswayland.org.

Wellesley
St. Andrew’s Church (79 Denton Road) in Wellesley is offering a Lenten series on “The Spirituality of Food” on four Wednesday evenings in March, 6-8 p.m.  The programs include a potluck supper followed by forums for both adults and children, with closing worship.  Topics include “Ethical Implications of Nutritional Choices”; “Growing Food as a Spiritual Practice”; and “Our Holy Meal:  Origins and Practices of Communion.”  The full schedule of programs and presenters is here.

West Newbury
All Saints’ Church (893 Main Street) in West Newbury will offer Lenten Bible study and reflection on Sundays at 8:30 a.m., as well as “Prayer as Relationship,” an exploration of various forms of prayer as ways of relationship with God, self and others, on Saturdays, March 13 and 20, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

Weston
At St. Peter’s Church (320 Boston Post Road) in Weston, the Rev. Stephen Voysey and the Rev. Hall Kirkham will lead a book conversation about The Last Week:  What the Gospels Really Teach About Jesus’ Final Days in Jerusalem, by Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan, on five consecutive Sundays at 11:30 a.m.:  Feb. 21 and 28 and March 7, 14 and 21. 

Weymouth
The Church of the Holy Nativity (8 Nevin Road) in South Weymouth is offering a Lenten program "Who is Jesus and What Does He Want Us To Do?" on Tuesdays, 6 p.m., Feb. 23-March 16.  The evenings will begin with light supper, conversation and meditation, followed by a film presentation and discussion.  More information is available by contacting the church at 781-335-2030 or office@holynativityweymouth.org.

Winchester
The Parish of the Epiphany (70 Church Street) in Winchester is joining with Episcopal churches in Lynnfield, Stoneham and Wakefield to offer “Stories of Healing and New Life,” a Lenten series for learning and fellowship.  Each session runs from 6:45 to 8:30 p.m. and includes a simple supper of homemade soup and bread.  Click here for the full schedule of topics and locations.