Grace - fresh vital worship since 1993

February 2021: Re:lentless

Grace February 2021 Re:lentless flyer

It feels like we have been in Lent for a year, and we haven't even got to Lent yet!

February is the depths of winter, but it is also a time when the first signs of spring begin to show - signs easily missed, hope that is still a long way from fulfilment. What have we learned from the journey? How have we been changed? Nothing will be the same, but how do we want to be different?

Things you will need for the service:

  • Images or words that represent things you want to leave behind in this desert time.
  • a candle
  • some salt

The cafe took place in the Grace space in Gather that we used for last month's service.

The slideshow for the service is here.

intro [steve]

Grace has often done Lent in the past - have we been too shallow? Using it as a desert we can choose? But now we are in a desert that we did not choose.

dropping stuff symbolically as we enter the desert - putting it aside - in a cave [a Google jamboard] - here

jesus in the wilderness [dean]

si smith '40' pics

distractions - what are things that are filling our time / need [another jamboard] here

confession [gill]

Jesus, you said

“And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? You told us not to worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”

We’ve called it scenario planning,
or coping strategies,
or feeling anxious,
or looking after our mental health,
following the science,
keeping abreast with current affairs...

However we label it
We’ve allowed worry
Or avoiding worry
To prevent us from being

Present to ourselves
Present to our community
Present to you
Present to the gift of now
Forgive us

Give us the courage
to remove one of our protective layers,
dismantle a barrier,
eschew a comfort,
to start out in a different direction in this wilderness

We seek to be more:

Present to ourselves
Present to our community
Present to you
Present to the gift of now

With your help.
This is what we strive for

lament [sue]

Psalm 22 and Lamentations

Switch off your camera

Wait in silence

Write down those things you lament and grieve over
In your community
In the world
In your own life.

Keep your note for later in the service.

Hold Yourself Together and Pull Yourself Apart by Pádraig Ó Tuama

being refined [tony]

what can we learn from god in the situation?
what will we become and how will we continue?
what does god want us to be?
how will we be refined by this time?

tony to share a personal example of challenge from God. how did this come up? how did God bring it to your attention?

psalm 139 [extract]

instructions on slide:

1. Read the passage from Psalm 139
2. What catches your attention?
3. How might this (whatever has caught your attention) be a gift to you at this time?
4. Pray with the phrase that has caught your attention, allowing it to carry all your hopes and prayers.
5. Let the phrase fall away - enter stillness.

then people will go away for a time / turn off camera

timing: 15 minutes

and come back - ask people to share if they want to

hope [mike]

Vaclav Havel quote

A prayer for hope in lockdown

Do not get lost in a sea of despair
Be hopeful, be optimistic
Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month or a year
It is the struggle of a lifetime

Our defences
Have become fences
Our fears
Have created walls and borders

We look to the one
Who chose to become defenceless

Not to smash up our barricades
Not to chip away at the foundations
or to widen the cracks
But to rebuild them into doors and windows,
floors and ceilings
To remove the “No” on our vacancy sign
And to stamp “Welcome” on our doormats

So may we see you in the darkness
As well as in the light
And may we carry on
When we stumble on the journey and see no hope

So may we stop and be silent
When we don’t hear you in the earthquake, wind and fire
But listen to the small voice
You have not done with us yet...
There is still hope

salt and light ritual [steve]

taste some salt

taste some more salt

salt by itself is unpalatable
we can only eat a little
but a little is all that is needed
to change everything

salt can’t sit alone and pure
it has to mix and mingle to enhance
it has to become invisible

light a candle

turn all the other lights out

a candle is only small
but the darkness cannot overcome it

when small candles come together
they light up a room
a church
a street
or a nation

salt and light are small things that go a long way

they change the whole of their surroundings
even though they are small

hope is a series of small things
that sustain our humanity

the big things will not happen for us
unless the small things have carried us there

hope is a butterfly effect
each tiny act changes the future

in the end, no hopeful act is wasted

god of small hopes
of mustard seeds and grains of sand
of stables and babies and upper rooms
of salt and fragile flames

encourage us to value small acts of hope

if we can’t be the flavour or the food
help us to be your presence

if we can’t be the sun or a spotlight
help us to be your presence

make us salt and light in all our situations
changing them by your subtle love


Quote from Sonya Renee Taylor on screen before moving to the cafe space in

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