February 12, 2015
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The holy season of Lent begins February 18th with the double reminder of our mortality and the call to a new start through intentional repentance. Ash Wednesday brings us face to face with the temporary nature of our earthly life while reminding us of the eternal life which is God's plan for us.
I invite each of you, both laity and clergy, to take advantage of this opportunity for personal transformation. God has given us His Word as a means of receiving direction, teaching, and encouragement. Anglican spirituality is based on the final authority of the Word of God in fashioning not only the beliefs of Christian faith, but our own lives as followers of Jesus Christ. Let Lent this year be a season where the Scriptures are your daily companion.
Lent is much like a parish retreat: we are all in this together. So I encourage you to take part in parish Lenten devotions, whether a mid-week Eucharist, or the Stations of the Cross, or a Lenten teaching series at your church. It is the supreme season to make a sacramental confession and experience the Lord's personal forgiveness and restoration. Lent is the time for us to let the Holy Spirit deepen our own sense of conversion and discipleship. He calls us to a more profound love of Jesus Christ and also our sisters and brothers in Christ. He calls us to a closer walk with the Lord and to carry out our spiritual ministries for which he has prepared us.
I encourage all the clergy to model this deepened engagement in Christian life by intentional prayer, study, reflection and preaching. I encourage you to set the example of being present and engaged in that common conversion that the Lord provides for every parish and ministry.
Prayer, fasting, and self-denial are the outward signs of the inward change to which the Lord calls each of us. Pray for one another. Pray for me, for all your fellow disciples, and for the world which so desperately needs the Gospel of Christ and for whom Jesus gave his life.
With every wish for a holy Lent, and a joyous season of spiritual renewal, I remain,
Your Brother in Christ,