Dear friends,

To be honest I’ve had trouble finding words to start this column.  On the one hand, it was such a joy to gather with you on Sunday (in person in the sanctuary some of you and 73 devices on Zoom!)  It was an important Sunday for this congregation as you listened to Katy Walker, co-chair of the Search Committee, give a wonderful homily about the vision and promise they are seeing in candidates as well as the qualities that will be necessary in this congregation as you begin a new ministry.  She mentioned 4 watch words—humility, compassion, commitment and patience—and I loved those.

Although it will be hard for me to leave in June, because I’ve so appreciated our partnership in ministry, I’m also buoyed up to see the upsurge of hope and anticipation in the congregation as you look forward.  You can read my reflection on discernment here, and Katy’s homily here.  Afterwards there was a presentation about the minister’s job description and compensation package.  That meeting is available for active members and friends in the “members only” section of the website.  To login, click here, and enter the password. (Contact silvia@fplincoln.org for the password if you need it.)

And on the other hand, as I write this, my heart is so heavy about the situation unfolding in Ukraine; days in now, the crisis deepens, the violence escalates and our hearts break as we think of people trapped and waiting for what will come next.  It is hard to find words.  In the days to come, I trust we’ll find opportunities to gather, talk, support each other as well as figure out how we can mobilize our community to be of active help. Stay tuned.

Tomorrow begins the Christian season of Lent.  My beautiful little Lenten booklet arrived in the mail and I’m looking forward to quiet time with it.  Lent has gotten something of a bad rap, I’m afraid.  For some, it’s so associated with guilt and “somber” things, they want nothing to do with it.  I hope we can broaden our conception of Lent and reframe it for I think it offers us an invitation for reflection and taking inventory of ourselves that we give up at our own spiritual peril.

To me, these weeks before Easter are a chance to return, to re-align ourselves with Spirit, with the divine, with a more true and authentic version of our own selves.  As Sarah K said last week, Lent is a chance to “reground ourselves in Spirit.”

Whatever spiritual vocabulary you use, as the days lengthen and the light returns, Lent means we can roll up our sleeves and do a kind of “spiritual spring cleaning.”  And who among us doesn’t need a little of that?

I hope you’ll join us for some of our special Lenten activities which you can find on our event page, on Sunday morning, or at another class or activity during the week.  It is good to have one another as we walk through these unusual and difficult times.

In faith,
Jenny

Rev. Jenny Rankin

Interim Minister

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