Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Lent: A Costly Love

Hi ECVers,

I hope your Lenten experience is off to a great start. We are still near the beginning of our journey, so I want to share a few helpful reminders as we explore what ‘A Costly Love’ has to do with our lives whether we are longtime followers of Jesus or just beginning to grow in curiosity about faith.
1) Commit. In our community, we often talk about the power of the pre-made decision. If you haven’t yet, please commit to being a part of what God is doing in ECV through Lent. The easiest way is to attend Sunday Gatherings to hear and respond to great talks exploring different elements of A Costly Love (you can catch up with past talks here). Also, there are Lenten journals available on Sundays that are designed to help you interact with God daily.
2) Pray. Respond to the invitation in the opening pages of the journal and choose one big thing that only God could do for your life. Think about one thing that would be a demonstration of God’s love for you and/or something that would help you love others well. Pray for that to happen in your life. Also, pray for six others who are not churchgoers to experience more of God's goodness during this season. New to praying? Consider this an experiment. I hope God surprises us with His goodness.
3) Be Formed. For the first time ever, ECV is hosting a Spiritual Formation Day. It is a day of reflection on Saturday, 3/14, from 9:30-4:30pm at the Caritas Center (295 Beham St, Hamden). This day will provide space, time, quiet, and instruction around the question, “How are our souls?” When we think about loving God and loving others, we often hit a wall where we simply do not have more to give. Spiritual formation unpacks why that happens and invites God into those places in our lives.  The day will be led by pastors Bill and Lanie Elander from the nearby New Haven Vineyard. They have led many retreats helping people discover what God is doing on the inside. Register here! A family friendly program for kids in the morning and afternoon childcare is provided. If you have more questions or need a ride, e-mail
4) Fast and Dine Together. On Fridays, we are encouraging our community to fast as an external commitment of our internal desire to grow in love for God and in unity amongst one another. You can fast from food or withhold from something else that is costly for you. In the evenings, we will break fast. Each Friday, the following three ECV homes will break fast together with a simple meal (rice and beans, soup, etc.). Feel free to bring a dish or simply bring yourself! 
Asha and Robb's @ 530 Norton Parkway. 5:30pm. Family-friendly.

Josh and Tina's @ 66 Kensington St. 7:30pm. Dinner followed by prayer and worship.

Ed Limmer & the Mansfield Crew @ 192 Mansfield St. 6:30pm. Reflections on the Cross.
The staff at ECV truly hope this Lent will be a time of growing in love for God and love for one another. Please see the above as invitations for you to step deeper into what God is doing in our church, our city, and our world.
Josh Williams
Lead Pastor

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