Lent in a Bag

by Michael Ford last modified 19 Mar, 2019 04:05 PM

One Dorset Church is offering Lent in a Bag this year.

The Revd Jo Neary, Pioneer Priest for the Beaminster Area Team came across the idea while browsing the Build Faith site.

While the idea was great as it stood, she felt it could be customised, as she explained:
"I wanted to make it slightly less reflective and more practical, engaging with spirituality and God's presence in our lives everyday.

"It was also designed as a resource for those who might come to some of our new worshipping communities eg Messy Church, After school club or Walk in Wednesday and would not necessarily have an idea of what Lent is about and how they could use Lent as a way of blessing others and drawing closer to God.

"We made 50 bags and gave out one per family at Messy Church, after school club and Walk in Wednesday. Regular church goers didn't receive a bag, but were encouraged to find the resources for themselves on the website."

Jo and her team made sure each bag was packed with a number of Lent activities. There were practical ways of serving other, using the likes of a bin bag or a '40 Acts' calendar.

There were items that warranted personal moments of reflection such a as a button and tea bag, as well as connections with the wider world, for example Fairtrade chocolate, prayer and there was of course our Salisbury Diocese 'Praying Together in Lent' booklet as a resource for Bible study.

Finally, there was an invitation to a number of events designed to get people together.

"Our first extra event is this Friday - 'God in the Archers with Gin' - a chance to get together and talk about the Archers whilst sharing a tipple!

"We hope that through Lent in a Bag we might be able to help some of our fringe attenders move closer to God and perhaps feel encouraged to continue their journey of discipleship by meeting with other people who share common interests," she said.

"Other events planned include a litter pick, 'Big Questions with Cake', and a family walk. We are also pointing people towards our Messy church on Good Friday and services around the team at Easter."

And in terms of how the Lent in a Bag is going down so far,
"I keep meeting people who are carrying their button about. A couple of people have told me what they are fasting from and also that they are busy filling their charity shop bag. And the local primary school emailed to ask if we would help them set up a permanent reflection space in school after pondering the tea bag in their collective worship.

"Our prayer is it will help people have time to think about God's presence and activity in our everyday lives and hopefully enable them to move forward on their own journey of discipleship."

For more information go to http://beaminsterteamchurches.org/lent-in-a-bag and https://www.buildfaith.org/lent-in-a-bag.

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