We may be socially distant, but we are still walking in faith together. This past year of living through a pandemic has been challenging in so many ways. In particular, churches have had to rethink how they worship God, gather, build relationship, minister to the sick, bury the dead, and care for the lonely. At St. Stephen’s, we have met this past year with as much optimism as we could muster. Part of the year we spent completely online, during the summer we gathered in person; and now as we await direction from our diocese on how worship will continue as the vaccine becomes more widely available, we are once again worshiping online.
As we enter into the season of Lent, which is the forty-day liturgical season before Easter that mirrors Jesus’ forty days fasting in the desert, we wanted to find a way to offer spiritual adult formation in an appropriate way during this time of social distancing. With this sentiment carrying us through, we have decided to take on the spiritual journey of reconciliation, featuring the book Christ Walk Crushed: A 40-day Journey Toward Reconciliation, by authors Anna Fitch Courie and David W. Peters. This book is a devotional dedicated to refocusing our lives and letting go of what has held us from God, whatever that may be. This book weaves together both a physical and spiritual forty-day journey that we will take during this season of Lent. Each day there is a meditation to read and questions to answer, as well as the physical portion of walking some distance every day. Together we will walk daily, to journey the 88 miles (2.2 miles per day) that Jesus walked through Jerusalem in the last week of his life and answer questions that coincide with the daily meditations in the book. This Jerusalem Challenge, as this 88-mile journey is called in the Christ Walk book series, provides a very doable physical goal. For those who cannot walk, spiritual practices of 30 minutes a day can take the place of walking.
Our journey begins next week on February 17th, so there is still time to get ready for this! Each week there will be an opportunity for a group to gather outside and walk together, socially distanced and masked. Our first group walk will be hosted by parishioner Ellen Kirby, on Sunday, February 21st, beginning at 1pm. We will begin our walk at the boat landing at the end of Rowe’s Landing Rd. in Heathsville. Beginning on February 24, we will also meet over Zoom on Wednesday evenings at 6:30pm to discuss where we are on the journey and share reflections with each other.
The author, Anna Fitch Courie, will be joining us on March 10th for our Zoom call! Anna is well known in Episcopal circles and also writes for Lent Madness, which St. Stephen's loves to have fun with each Lent. She is self-described on her website as “Wife, mother, author, nurse, military spouse, facilitator, consultant, public speaker, cancer fighter, and program developer of ‘Christ Walk: A 40-Day Spiritual Fitness Program.’ I am a jack-of-all-trades/master-of-nothing! I love people. I love writing. I love health and I love God. Somewhere along the way, I took all these loves and immersed them in the ‘Christ Walk’ program.” If you would like to know more about Anna or the “Christ Walk” series, you can visit her website. http://christwalk40day.blogspot.com/p/about-anna.html
February 21 at 1pm: Boat Landing at the end of Rowe's Landing Rd., Heathsville
Hosted by Ellen Kirby
February 26, at 1pm: 369 Witch Duck Lane, Heathsville
Hosted by Tal and Barbara Day
March 6, at 1pm: Enchanted Forest, Warsaw
211 Wallace St, Warsaw, VA 22572
Hosted by Terry Bain
March 13, at 10am: 159 Laurel Lane, Heathsville
Hosted by Bob and Kathy Brust
March 20, at 1pm: 1068 Cod Creek Dr.
Hosted by Dolly Rabalais
March 27, at 1pm: 452 Westview Lane, Heathsville
Hosted by David and Sandy Kirkpatrick