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Holy Week

GRATITUDE & GENEROSITY

Gratitude and generosity go together like fire and heat.

This Lent, we have been trying to embrace Christian Simplicity by bringing contemporary meaning and value to the Lenten discipline of fasting. Abstaining from over-consuming or recklessly wasting God's creation is essential for anyone striving to walk in the footsteps of Jesus today. Taking up the cross means making decisions to forgo self-centeredness and indifference to the needs of our world.

During Holy Week we recall how Jesus washed the feet of his disciples, asking us to follow his example. We believe in Christ, but we also follow Christ by living and acting as Jesus did. Washing feet is a striking model of generosity and service for us to imitate.

We live in the wealthiest nation in human history. Jesus had a lot to say about not being attached to our possessions and taking responsibility for the common good.

Gratitude and generosity go together like fire and heat. Gratitude is ignited when we realize how precious the fragile gift of being alive on this beautiful planet is and how blessed we are. Generosity naturally flows from a sense of being part of the web of God's creation. When it finally dawns on us that we participate in one vibrant community called life, we rediscover a responsibility to get involved and make a difference. 

As Christians, we practice simplicity for the sake of generosity. Fasting and almsgiving are Lenten companions. In the end, our observance of Lent 4.5 is not only about doing less harm, it is about doing more good by sharing what we can. The goal is to bring forth a new springtime in our world - a human presence which is environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling and socially just.

To learn more about actions you can take, what the church is saying about gratitude and generosity, and additional resources click on the buttons in the column to the right.

Loving God, 
your heart is open 
to the call of your creatures and all creation.
Open our eyes to see the needs of others. 
Open our ears to hear their cry.
Open our hearts that we might feel their anguish. 
Open our hands that we might respond. 
Give us compassion like your own. 
Amen.

 

"If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another's feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do." – John 13: 14-15
Imagine if the Earth were divided equally among all of us. Each person would receive 4.5 acres. Now imagine that everything you need – food, energy, home, clothing, gadgets – must come from those 4.5 acres. But it takes 22.3 acres to maintain the average American lifestyle.There is a new way of observing Lent that helps us care for God’s creation by taking steps toward using only our fair share of its resources. Moving in the direction of 4.5 is essential for anyone walking in the footsteps of Jesus today.

Our Ministry

Lent 4.5 is a seven-week faith formation program which inspires and informs Christian communities on how to use the traditional Lenten disciplines of prayer, fasting and almsgiving to protect God’s creation, embrace Gospel justice and nurture spiritual fulfillment. It offers practical opportunities for people of faith to apply the values of Christian Simplicity to their everyday lives.


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