Lent is the period of 40 days, excluding Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday and concludes with Easter. Sundays are not included as days in Lent because they are celebrations of the Resurrection. Because of this, they are traditionally seen as “Feast” days. The Lenten season reflects the 40 years Israel wandered in the desert, and the 40 days Jesus spent in prayer and fasting in the desert prior to the start of his public ministry. Often people choose to give something up for Lent, as a simple way of saying “no” to something, just as we do when we resist temptation – an important theme of the season.
When choosing to remove something from our everyday lives, a form of fasting, we seek to be filled with Christ instead. As noted, Sundays are Feast days – celebrations of the Resurrection that are not included in Lent – so we don’t have to abstain on those days (you can have your cup of coffee!)
As a church family we engage with the Lenten season through our Ash Wednesday Service (this year please join us online), reading one of the Gospels together, the 2020 Love Calgary Lenten Project, a Lenten seminar, and finally our Good Friday and Easter services. Information about all of these can be found below.
We invite you to join with us in any or all of these ways as follow Christ through this unique season.
This year we invite you to join us online for our Ash Wednesday service. Even while separated, may we take heart in the promises of Ash Wednesday as we open the door to the seasons of Lent and Easter.
As a church family we have traditionally read through one of the Gospels together in a three year cycle starting with Matthew (Year A), Mark (Year B), and Luke (Year C). This is Year B in the church calendar which means we will be reading the Gospel of Mark. We’ve made available a reading plan that includes some guidance for engagement that you can download and follow. Additionally, we will be posting daily videos of some of our staff reading along that will be available on both Instagram and YouTube.
We invite you to join us online for Good Friday and Easter services as we celebrate the victory of the risen Jesus. Watch this space for links to our online services.
A NEW LIFE AND A NEW WAY TO LIVE IT
MARCH 5 & 6
We are very pleased to announce that Darrell Johnson, former senior Pastor at historic First Baptist in Vancouver and professor at Regent College, will be our Lenten Seminar teacher this year. Darrell is well known as an astute and seasoned Bible teacher with a pastor’s heart. He has written a number of books that are treasured for their insight and accessibility.
For our annual Lent seminar Darrell will teach on Galatians 5:16-6:8. “A New Life, And A New Way to Live It.” Darrell will break open this key text that addresses how we walk in the Spirit. And in Covid times, he will offer a fresh understanding of walking in the Spirit and how it relates to also “walking away” from the desires of the flesh.
Perhaps this is you. Perhaps you need a fresh encounter with the Spirit as we journey in these days. If so, please register and invite a friend to grow in the “New Life” that Jesus gives us through the Spirit. This is a three session seminar with one session Friday night at 7:00 pm and two sessions on Saturday morning beginning at 9:00 am.
Our 2021 Lenten Project is a partnership with four community organizations that are well known to our community of faith: The Mustard Seed, the Calgary Pregnancy Care Center, the Sonshine Centre and Inn From the Cold. In previous years, we have partnered with international organizations like Food for the Hungry for our Lenten Project. Yet as we look at our own city in 2021, we see the heartbreaking ramifications of an ongoing pandemic . As we prayed about this year’s project, we sensed a calling for Southview to “Love Calgary” by supporting four organizations who have done exemplary work in loving the people of our city.
The Mustard Seed has done incredible work for the homeless through their shelters and programs and are now seeking to extend their work with a brand new “Hub” in the Manchester area. Seed Hubs provide bag lunches, employment services, clothing, friendship, and spiritual encouragement.
The Calgary Pregnancy Care Centre seeks to build friendships with people facing the question of how to manage an unexpected pregnancy. They aim to come alongside women and couples to answer the many questions that arise and present options and support through the decision-making process and beyond.
The vision of the Sonshine Centre is to develop a community where women and children can live safely in a healthy environment. The organization manages a bustling 24-unit apartment building where they offer a full-year residential program, followed by 6 months of follow-up for single moms.
Inn From the Cold provides emergency shelter and supportive housing for homeless families. A stable home situation is critical for children and families to thrive. Inn From the Cold also provides follow up consultations in financial literacy and job training and makes it their mission to love families in need.
All four of these organizations are long-time partners of Southview. We love the work they do in our city and by resourcing them, we believe that we are loving Calgary in a difficult time. At the end of this year’s Lenten Project, we will divide all funds received evenly among the four organizations. Each of these groups, in their own unique and specific calling, has sprouted up and grown here in our city as a symbol of God’s love and care for those in need. Our prayer is that God would heal and bless many in our city through this year’s Lent project. As you learn more about these organizations and the work they’re doing in Calgary, please prayerfully consider a gift.