Yep, it is finally here. As I have mentioned before, I really enjoy Lent as a time of preparation for not just Easter, but spring, itself. It is a good time to give something up or to take something on. When I do this, it isn't in order to practice self-denial so much as to reflect on the year and how things are going for me personally and spiritually. The first of my Lenten rituals, for example, will be to take the bike in for a tune-up. It is all a part of getting in shape and breaking out into the world after a long winter.
Here at the church we have some special things planned. In particular, we will have two special guest preachers on February 20 and 27. The first of these is Christopher Walton. Many of you know him as "Philocrites," the keeper of the weblog of the very same name. The other is Rev. Bob Batchelder, the Director of the Worcester Area Mission Society (WAMS). This is the service arm of the Central Association of the Massachusetts Conference, UCC. I will be around to hear Chris, but on the 27th, my mother will be ordained into the UCC ministry! I will let you know how that goes...
Speaking of Philocrites, Unity is now award winning! It won an award for its sermon series during Advent (yes, I probably will post my Lenten sermons as well...). It was also nominated in one other category (best writing) but lost handily to "Virginia UU in King Georges War." This weblog is maintained my a marine officer who is currently serving in Iraq. He is, of course, in a long line of writer/soldiers documenting the conflicts that they witness and participate in. This tradition goes back at least as far as Thucydides and his Peloponnesian War. That is pretty good company if you ask me!
Anyway, I have linked to his site in the "links" section. Eliot Church, itself is the spiritual home to more than a few past and current Marines. It might be helpful for us to see how the world looks to a religious liberal and soldier.