As the season of Lent begins, three organizations are offering materials to aid Episcopalians and others in their individual devotions.
+ Episcopal Relief and Development is offering "Seeking God's Perspective," a collection of readings and reflections that focus "on the world around us, seeing our world through God's eyes, and how, together, we make a difference." Each day's entry includes a short verse from Scripture followed by a meditation.
Individual copies of the booklet can be downloaded at http://er-d.org/documents/Lent06Devotional.pdf. The first printing of the booklet sold out and another, limited edition is expected to be available March 7. You may pre-order the booklet by going to http://er-d.org/resourcecenter_70575_ENG_HTM.htm and clicking on the Order Now button below the booklet's description.
ERD is also offering a "Lent for Kids" activity sheet, created for families to share with their children. It includes actions that children ages six to 12 can take to help those in need. You can download the sheet at http://er-d.org/documents/Lent06KidsActivities.pdf and order multiple free copies by following the link above for ordering the booklet.
+ The Higher Education office of the Episcopal Church's Ministries with Young People program offers "Survivor: The Wilderness Experience," so titled because "sometimes living in academia is like living in a wilderness," the introduction says. "The survivor, the one who has waded through these experiences, can emerge a stronger disciple of Jesus Christ." Writers contributing to this series relate to this experience as students, faculty, campus ministers, and church leaders. Each day's devotion has a focused text with the devotional reading, a suggested background passage and a concluding suggested prayer.
The booklet can be ordered by clicking the link at http://www.episcopalchurch.org/49065_71362_ENG_HTM.htm or downloaded at http://www.episcopalchurch.org/documents/Wilderness_Guide_final_Lent_06.pdf
To receive a free daily meditation via e-mail, send your e-mail address in the subject line (leave your message body blank) to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The booklet is published by the Higher Education Ministries Arena, whose members include the American Baptist Churches USA, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA), the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church.
+ Martha Gardner, a consultant to the church's Peace and Justice Ministries,is one of the writers of the "Lenten Fast from Violence" resources offered by the World Council of Church's Decade to Overcome Violence (DOV) project.
She is responsible for the third week entitled Water: A Source of Life. The each week's resources include a reflection, suggested actions, resources and prayers. The topics of other weeks include the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, public debate, suicide, and the media's portrayal of the world's issues.
Each week of the package can be downloaded individually at http://overcomingviolence.org/?id=1816.
The DOV project was launched in 2001 with the goal of building a culture of peace. It annually focuses on a region of the world. A theme is developed with the churches of that region to promote and structure the study processes around the DOV and to exchange specific experiences and learnings from the region of the focus. The 2006 focus is Latin America. Gardner is the Episcopal Church's representative to the DOV project.
Lenten materials may also be ordered through Episcopal Books and Resources, phone: 800 903 5544; online: www.episcopalbookstore.org.