By JB Brayfindley
“Even before the stay at home order, people who could and did attend weekly Lenten activities wanted a kit to use at home daily,” said Dedra Beauchamp, administrative assistant at Fair Oaks United Methodist Church. “The kits were new this year for us and were popular even before the stay at home order ended our regular Lenten activities and traditions.”
“Kathy Glass, a Worship Ministry team member and Lenten Soup Supper coordinator, did a version last year for one of our members who couldn't attend our weekly Soup Supper and Service. She decided to do more this year, explained Beauchamp, “and it really took off.”
During a recent online worship service, Rev. Kimberly Montenegro pastor at Fair Oaks UMC, reminded members that more Lent-On-The-Go bags were available for pick up. So far, 50 people have picked up a bag and are involved in the study activities. The church started the season of Lent by viewing the movie, “The Way,” a 2010 Spanish drama film by Emilio Estevez which describes a pilgrimage taken by a father after his son dies in the Pyrenees while walking the Camino de Santiago.
“The Lent-on-the-Go kits tie in with the idea of Lent as a pilgrimage that we take together or separately,” added Beauchamp. She said that Glass, who wrote the curriculum herself, was inspired by Adam Hamilton’s “The Walk” series that the church chose to use as part of a book study this Spring as well as the movie they watched.
Each kit contains a passport, to mark milestones of the group study pilgrimage as well as a daily prayer journal from Hamilton's "The Walk" series, the church’s choice for a book study during Lent. It also includes special small ‘tokens’ to help underline aspects of the spiritual journey for members.
“The tokens include ashes for Ash Wednesday, a widow's mite coin to remind us to give what we can to God, a shell which is the pilgrim's symbol of the [Cathedral of] Santiago de Compostela, a rock to remind us to share our burdens with God, and a feather because the breath of God can carry us the way the wind carries a feather,” summed up Beauchamp.
She said the church is using the Lent-on-the-Go Kit in conjunction with other portions of the Lenten pilgrimage but, the curriculum is strong enough to be used on its own, as a doorway to a new spiritual practice.