Lent is the 40-day observance beginning with Ash Wednesday where Episcopalians and Christians around the world acknowledge their failings, faults, and sins. This is a season of spiritual preparation before Easter, during which Christians remember the events leading up to and including the death of Jesus Christ.

We have a variety of events and activities planned at St. John’s to make the most of this holy season. We also have a clergy and parishioner-written Daily Devotional Guide that you can download here.

Adult Sunday School
Our discussion-based Adult Sunday School resumes for Lent after the 9:30 a.m. service each week. 

February 18
The topic will revolve around the Great Litany. We pray the Great Litany annually on the First Sunday in Lent, and at other times. It is part of our great Anglican Tradition, and its origins go back even further. We will discuss what is at the heart of the Litany – asking for God’s mercy.

February 25
Monthly Parish Breakfast in the Parish Hall

March 3
What is Wilderness? The Gospels record that Jesus went into the desert wilderness for 40 days before he began his earthly ministry. These 40 days are the basis for our season of Lent. Why the wilderness? What kind of spiritual encounters can occur in the great outdoors? Perhaps you have a story to share about being in the wilderness – sensing the spiritual forces which are at work in our world. Perhaps you have even gotten lost in the wilderness before. What was that like? We will consider these ideas, especially the idea of a spiritual wilderness in our talk today.

March 10
Fasting vs Abstinence. There are many different Lenten Disciplines out there, what have been some that you have tried? What has worked well and what hasn’t? What were your goals in trying these different practices through Lent? What spiritual fruit has been gained in your own personal experience? Sometimes there is confusion about Fasting and simply Abstaining from certain things. We will discuss these in further detail in our conversation today. (Hint: Fasting isn’t just for physical health purposes, but for spiritual health as well).

March 17
A Walk through Holy Week – What is your favorite Holy Week liturgy? Have you ever wondered where our Holy Week liturgies come from? Palm Sunday is a week away when Jesus entered Jerusalem for the final time before his crucifixion and Resurrection. What was that week really like? What can the events of this week teach us? From Triumphal Entry to shouts of Condemnation, commitment and denial, human failure and divine reconciliation.

Wednesday Nights in Lent Classes: Five Hard Questions Begin February 21

Our annual program for all ages will begin on Wednesday, February 21, with “Five Hard Questions for Lent.” We will have optional Stations of the Cross devotions in the Church at 5:30 p.m., then will gather at 6:00 p.m. in the Parish Hall for a meal followed by discussion. Those conversations will stem from five difficult questions which we will wrestle with together. All ages will discuss the same topics in an age-appropriate manner.

Week 1: Why do bad things happen to good people?
Week 2: Why does evil exist?
Week 3: Do prayers really go unanswered?
Week 4: Can science and faith co-exist?
Week 5: Are there any sins that are unforgivable?

Please join us as we fellowship together as a parish family and engage and learn from one another. You do not have to attend all the sessions to benefit from the discussion!

Special Lenten Services and Feast Days

Sunday, February 25
A Service of Choral Evensong, 5:00 p.m. in the Church
The music across our two Lenten Evensong services will include T. Tertius Noble’s Magnificat and Nunc dimittis in B minor, together with the first St. John’s performance of the very fine (and tricky!) Preces and Responses of Kenneth Leighton, composed in 1964. Anthems will include Edgar Bainton’s famous setting of “And I saw a new heaven”, and Pablo Casals “O vos omnes.” Choral Evensong is widely considered the “Jewel in the Crown” of the Anglican Choral Tradition. Please join us for this service, which is a wonderful way to conclude the day!

Tuesday,  March 19 – The Feast of St. Joseph
10:00 a.m. Service in the Chapel

Holy Week and Easter

Sunday, March 24 – Palm Sunday
8:00 a.m. The Holy Eucharist (Rite I)
9:30 a.m. The Holy Eucharist (Rite I)
Following the 9:30 a.m. service, we will have a petting zoo including bunnies, chickens, and a goat!

A Service of Choral Evensong, 5:00 p.m. in the Church
The music across our two Lenten Evensong services will include T. Tertius Noble’s Magnificat and Nunc dimittis in B minor, together with the first St. John’s performance of the very fine (and tricky!) Preces and Responses of Kenneth Leighton, composed in 1964. Anthems will include Edgar Bainton’s famous setting of “And I saw a new heaven”, and Pablo Casals “O vos omnes.” Choral Evensong is widely considered the “Jewel in the Crown” of the Anglican Choral Tradition. Please join us for this service, which is a wonderful way to conclude the day!

Wednesday, March 27 – Holy Wednesday
Evening Prayer, 4:30 p.m.

Thursday, March 28– Maundy Thursday
The Holy Eucharist Rite I,  6:00 p.m., in the Church. Nursery will be provided.
Prayer Vigil in the Garden of Repose from 7:00 p.m. through 7:00 a.m., in the Parish Hall

Friday, March 29 – Good Friday
Liturgy with the PreSanctified,  7:00 a.m., in the Chapel
Liturgy at 12:00 noon, in the Church. Nursery will be provided.

Saturday, March 30 – Easter Vigil
Holy Baptisms and The Holy Eucharist at 6:00 p.m.,  in the Church. Nursery will be provided.

Sunday, March 31 – Easter Sunday
8:00 a.m. The Holy Eucharist (Rite I) in the Church
9:30 a.m. The Holy Eucharist (Rite II) in the Church. This service will also be streamed live on our websiteFacebook, and YouTube.
11:15 a.m. The Holy Eucharist (Rite I) in the Church
The nursery will be open at all three services on Easter Sunday.