Live Lent Together!
When I think about Lent, the words “fasting” and “fish fries” come to mind. But what if Lent was more than giving up chocolate? What if gathering as a community to pray with the Word of God was as much a part of our Lenten culture as fish fries?
I want to invite you to start a small group at your parish this Lent and witness the transforming power of the Gospel. Your small group could include friends, neighbors, co-workers, or even your children and their friends. There you will experience community built on authentic friendship as well as an encounter with God. There you will find an oasis, refreshment in the desert experience of Lent.
At our Live Lent Together Trainings, you will learn to lead a 6-week small group study. There you will receive the guidance and resources necessary to feel confidant starting a small group.
What you can expect from a Live Lent Together Small Group:
- To Encounter Jesus: At its heart, the Live Lent Together movement is a commitment to form small groups around the Word of God, specifically, though the use of Lectio Davina. The verses selected in the Encounter Series (a resource provided by the Archdiocese) highlight the kerygma, the core gospel message. You will be invited to foster a deep personal encounter with the good news of Jesus Christ.
- To Experience Real Community: Many of us have experienced a greater sense of loneliness and isolation over the past year. The pandemic made matters worse, but the absence of real fellowship was a pandemic that pre-existed our troubles with COVID-19. The Encounter Series is designed to let the Lord become the leader and facilitator of the group. As He speaks to the hearts of the individual members, He begins to bring them together in a real and authentic fellowship around Himself.
These small groups are ideal for your parish because they are:
- Adaptable: Adaptability is a pretty important characteristic of doing ministry today. Small groups have an almost unlimited flexibility of time, schedule, location, and content.
- Recession Proof: There is no cost to doing the Live Let Together small groups. We provide materials that you are welcome to print. And while it wouldn’t be a bad idea to provide some snacks or refreshments, they are not necessary. And so, there is absolutely no reason that finances should limit a parish or an individual’s ability to pursue mission in this way.
- Persecution proof: If your political perspectives are giving you trepidation about religious freedom, take comfort in the fact that it’s easier for small faith sharing groups to gather together unnoticed by the watchful eye of Big Brother.
- Pandemic Resistant: Small groups are not pandemic proof, but they do provide a mechanism for deep and meaningful ministry while also respecting the need for safety. It is possible to gather with masks and appropriately distanced in small groups. And if that is beyond the health needs of individuals, there is always zoom for a virtual gathering. I can promise even as zoom small group is worth the effort.
- Scalable: Small groups will never outgrow parish facilities because they can meet in living rooms and coffee shops. Since we provide free resources, they will also not outgrow subscription rights to a program either.
- Empowering: Live Lent Together is a simple and actionable way for lay leaders to step into their role as missionary disciples.
- Missional Communities: This is a unified Archdiocesan effort that brings every aspect of the Vision and Priorities to life. Depending on which study you choose, you can foster initial encounter, the personal call to mission or the call to live mercy. Additionally, when people gather and get to know one another, their needs become known. And when our neighbors needs are known, we are far more likely to extend God’s merciful love in a personal way.