Click on the "Read More" link below to participate in Bishop Steven Miller's Lenten Study Program. The program will take place at 7pm on Thursdays during Lent and focuses on the passion narrative in the Gospels.
The Diocese of Milwaukee offers two resources to its parishes for use in their weekly services. In the spirit of building community, all parishes are encouraged to use both resources beginning in Advent 2014 so that all voices are lifted together as we offer these prayers, week by week.
Parishes throughout the Diocese maintain programs that extend Christ's hospitality to those in need of warmth, food, and other necessities—including compassion. Check out our Hospitality Ministries page to learn about and support these vital ministries.
I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination, and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word.(BCP p. 265)
Dear Friends in Christ,
These words above contain the invitation made at the beginning of each Lent, the season of the Church year which begins this Wednesday, February 18. I have heard and read these words for over 30 years and each time I encounter them I am struck by the depth of this invitation.
I suspect that when most of us think of Lent we think primarily of self-denial. The idea of giving up something for Lent was part of the Christian formation of many of us early in our lives. Some years later it became fashionable not to talk so much about giving up something for Lent but taking something on such as bible study or a service project. All of these are good things when they are done out of love and gratitude for what God has done for us. Remember God’s favor is unmerited, undeserved, and unearned. God loves us just because we are. We love because God first loved us.
What leapt out at me as I read the invitation this year was the invitation to prayer. The invitation to prayer comes before the invitation to fasting and self-denial. This reminds me that prayer is primary—fasting and self-denial flow from prayer, our conversation with God. As I read these words, the words of the hymn from my childhood came to mind.