Lent 2024

The 40 days of Lent begin on Ash Wednesday, February 14, and culminate in Holy Week observance leading up to Easter Sunday, March 31. Here at First Church, our theme for this Lent is Finding Courage in Community. With so much uncertainty ahead, political and otherwise, let’s come together to find the courage and resilience that inspires us, connects us, and grounds us in the deep resources and spiritual practices that our faith tradition offers.

As was the case last Lent, we will be surrounded and encouraged by several stunning new portraits on loan from Robert Shetterly and Americans Who Tell the Truth. Through worship, small groups, and some time set aside for one-to-one after-worship conversations, let’s en-courage one another, deepen our community of resistance and resilience, and lean into God’s truth and healing for the journey ahead!

Ash Wednesday Service

Wednesday, February 14, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Sanctuary and via livestream

On Ash Wednesday, we reflect on our origins in the dust, our brokenness, and our dependence on God. Through a liturgy of readings, song, and prayer, we gather together in the Spirit to acknowledge ashes as a sign of creation, mortality, repentance, and the Cross. Join us in person for our evening service with the imposition of ashes, or participate from home via our livestream.

Lenten Formation Series: Courage That Inspires

Sundays, February 18 – March 17, 9:30 – 10:15 a.m.
Harter Room and via Zoom

We begin on the first Sunday of Lent with a general orientation to the liturgical season of Lent by our own Beth Spaulding. Then, join First Church leaders, staff, and guests as they guide us through a time of prayerful meditation and learning from the remarkable lives and stories of various Americans Who Tell the Truth. The four portraits on loan to us this year will be rotated between the Harter Room and Hastings Common so that we may sit with the featured truth teller each week in the Harter Room.

  • February 18: The Liturgical Season of Lent, led by Beth Spaulding
  • February 25: Courage that Inspires – Rev. William Barber II
  • March 3: Courage that Inspires – James Baldwin
  • March 10: Courage that Inspires – Pauli Murray
  • March 17: Courage that Inspires – Leah Penniman

Lenten Gatherings: Courage That Connects

Midweek Soup Suppers
Tuesday, March
5 and Thursday, March 21
5:30 – 7:30 p.m., 
The Parsonage (44 Garden St.)

During March, we set some time aside to break bread and find courage and nourishment of body and soul through a series of informal gatherings and conversation that will be hosted both at the Parsonage (44 Garden Street) and in the homes of First Church members. After a meal and a gently guided conversation about where we are needing and finding courage, First Church Deacons will offer a simple ritual of Communion to close out the gathering. If you plan to attend one or both of the Parsonage suppers, please RSVP to Dan Smith. And if you’d like to host an additional soup supper in March, please contact Dan by February 18.

After-Worship Conversations

Sundays, February 18 – March 17 at 12:15 p.m.

Looking for a simple spiritual practice to take on this Lent? What about a commitment to reaching out to another member of our faith community for 1:1 conversation? Consider sharing your faith journeys, and perhaps some struggles, with each other. We’ll have conversation prompts and extra snacks available as you find a quiet spot in the building (or even outside on a walk) for conversation and connection.