Lenten season begins this week

a-way-other-than-our-own_sm.jpgThe season of Lent begins this week with Ash Wednesday on March 1. All are invited to special worship with optional imposition of ashes at noon in Community Hall and at 6 p.m. in McIver Chapel. 

Wilshire’s 2017 Lenten theme is “A Way Other than Our Own,” drawn from a daily devotional book of the same title written by Old Testament theologian Walter Brueggemann. Copies of this book are available for $5 apiece in the church office for anyone who would like to follow the daily readings. Digital copies of the book may be purchased directly from Amazon or other online vendors.

Sermon texts in Sunday worship during Lent will draw from Old Testament stories of biblical characters’ life-changing encounters with God, characters who followed a way other than their own.

Also during the Lenten season, two weeks before Easter, Wilshire will offer a new multisensory experience for all ages. “Road to Resurrection,” a family Lenten experience, will be in Community Hall on Sunday, March 26, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

This come-and-go event takes about an hour to complete. Participants travel the path of Jesus during his last week on earth. The event will be filled with Bible-time experiences that will engage participants of all ages, especially older preschoolers through middle elementary ages.

Volunteers are still needed to staff this experience. Contact Julie Girards at (214) 452-3104.

The Lenten season also will prepare the Wilshire congregation for a new phase of the Vision 20/20 strategic plan.

The first step in this will begin Sunday, March 19, as adults and older youth will be invited to participate in an online survey administered by the Gallup Organization. The Gallup Member Engagement process will provide guidance for our Vision 20/20 strategic plan, as we seek to identify where Wilshire members believe they are doing well in their spiritual lives and where they need help in their spiritual lives.

This will be a focus on encouraging spiritual health. According to Gallup, Spiritual Commitment plus Member Engagement leads to Spiritual Health. The goal of participation in the confidential Gallup survey is to help church leaders understand how best to help all of us become spiritually healthy. The confidential survey may be taken online from any location with an Internet connection, or paper copies will be available at the church.

Data from that survey will feed into a second Vision Day planned for Sunday, April 23. Much like the Vision Day held in August 2013, congregants will be invited to gather around tables in Community Hall and interview each other, this time about spiritual health and faith engagement.