Lent at Good Shepherd

What is Lent?

The Season Lent starts with Ash Wednesday on Wednesday, 2/14. As early as the mid-fourth century, Christians have observed a time of preparation before the Easter celebration. The Lenten season begins on Ash Wednesday and lasts for 40 days. The forty days of Lent recall the 40-day fast of Jesus in the wilderness after his baptism (Matthew 4:2, Luke 4:1-2) and Moses’ 40 day fast on Mount Sinai (Exodus 34:28). It is a time of simplicity and preparation. The principal themes of Lent include penitence; baptismal renewal; prayer; fasting; service; and confession of sin rooted in the promise of God that comes through the cross of Christ.

Lent at Good Shepherd

Theme: “Unconditional? The Call of Jesus to Radical Forgiveness”

Utilizing the book by the same title, author Brian Zahnd writes, “Forgiveness lies at the heart of the Christian faith. Whatever else may be said about Christian people, it must be said that we are a people who believe in the forgiveness of sins… we believe in the forgiveness of sins as surely as we believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As we grow in our faith, it is vital we become aware that we are called to be those who extend forgiveness to others, thus making the world a more forgiving place. For if Christianity isn’t about forgiveness, it’s about nothing at all.” This will guide our lenten Wednesday services.

  • Ash Wednesday – February 14th
    • 7-9:00 AM – Ashes will also be shared in downtown Decorah that morning near the Food Co-op by the Lutheran pastors of Good Shepherd, Decorah Lutheran and First Lutheran.
    • 10:00 AM, 1:00 PM, 2:30 PM (repectively)- Services at Eastern Star, Wellington and Aase Haugen led by Pr. Dave and Brooke Joyce. 
    • 7:00 PM – Holy Communion and the Imposition of Ashes will be shared at the service. All are encouraged to invite family and friends to join us for worship on this holy day.
  • Midweek Worship – Holden Evening Prayer: The musical setting and liturgy used during Wednesday Lenten Worship services will be Marty Haugen’s Holden Evening Prayer liturgy. Short messages around the theme of forgiveness will all be a part of the 45 minutes services on the 5 Wednesdays of Lent, 2/21-3/20, between 5:30-6:15 pm. Short messages on the theme of Forgiveness will be offered by 5 pastors who are members of Good Shepherd. Stick around after for simple soup suppers.
  • Augsburg Fortress Lenten Devotionals are available in the Gathering Space. A suggested donation of $3.50 is appreciated to help cover the order cost.

Check out the February Newsletter for full details or print out this brochure of information. 

Also happening during Lent:

  • Spiritual Growth Class: Spirituality and Aging. Using the background of Lent with the ever-stark reminder of our deaths, Good Shepherd member, Pr. Marion Pruitt-Jefferson will use Joan Chittister’s book, “The Gift of Years” as a segue into the topic of spirituality and aging and Richard Rohr’s book, “Falling Upward – A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life”. Starting on Wednesday, February 21, this class will meet on Wednesday afternoons from 4:00-5:30, prior to Lenten Evening Worship.
  • Lenten youth project: 7-8 graders have chosen to focus this year on mental health awareness, resources, and assistance in NE Iowa. They will share in short temple talks at worship inviting participation of service and giving by the congregation. Offering collected at mid-week worship services and in a special collection box goes to this project.

  • Lenten Wednesday Simple Soup Suppers will be served each week following worship, at about 6:15 pm. The Flock groups are assigned various Wednesday to prepare, serve and cleaning up supper. Good Shepherd’s six 7-8 graders will meet with their selected adult mentors during the Lenten suppers 4 times.

  • Lenten Musical Recital Series: Midday on certain Wednesdays from 12:15-12:45 pm on the following dates:

    • March 6: Mattie Snyder, cello and friends (solo and chamber music)

    • March 13: Luther College Organ Studio (students of Alex Meszler)

    • March 20: Craig Hultgren, cello and Brooke Joyce, keyboard (meditative music)