Lenten project

 A Lent of Living Generously

40 Acts

Wednesday March 5th to Sunday April 20th , 2014


Have you ever wondered how to observe Lent?  Give up chocolate?  Attend church every week?  What if you could add something transformational to the traditional?  What if Lent was a preparation for a lifetime of Radical Living?

40 days of Lent

40 acts of Radical living

How does it work?

Pick up a Lenten Offering Box.  Write your name in pencil -so we can use it again.

Pledge an amount for each act completed.  It can be 5 cents to….well, $500!J

On the reverse page, there are more than 40 actions.  Each day of Lent, pick a different action (in any order) and complete it.  Tick off the box beside the act and deposit your pledge in your Lenten box.  (Don’t worry if you can’t manage every day.  This is not a contest.  Do your best.)

Then…and this is important…each day, ask yourself these two questions:

1. How, in this action, have I encountered  God?

2. Where is the Holy Mystery leading me?

At Easter, we will collect the Lenten boxes and donate the total amount to the United Church of Canada Typhoon Hayaan Relief in the Philippines.

And you will have lived, for 6 weeks, generously, radically and dangerously.

Turn the page over to see the 40 acts.

I pledge ________ for each completed action.

(There are more than 40 actions here, so you have a bit of choice!)

  • Wash one window.  Look outside and feel grateful for what you see.
  • Put out some seeds for the birds .  Really watch them for 5 minutes and see the miracle.
  • Listen to music from another generation.  Think about what it is saying.
  • Find a good news story & a bad news story in the media.  Feel the hope and the sadness.
  • Have a meatless day.
  • Read a poem
  • Think of someone you don’t like and all day think loving thoughts about them
  • Eat some food produced locally
  • Do one random act of kindness (ie bring in a neighbour’s blue box, buy a stranger  a coffee, lend your newspaper)
  • Have a day without coffee
  • Walk rather than use a vehicle.  If this is not possible, try to piggyback errands, so they will be accomplished in one car trip.
  • Give up e-mail for a day
  • Put on favourite music & dance with a broom; if you can’t bring yourself to do this (…ahem gentlemen), beat your chest to your best music
  • Greet a neighbour that you don’t know
  • Go on a media diet  for one day
  • Go for a gratuitous walk – just walk with no special destination in mind.  How does it feel?
  • Find a good joke and tell it to someone.  Hope they laugh(!) and see it as good energy in the world.
  • Find something in your home that you give to the Thrift Store.  Take it on Sunday.
  • Put something in the Mustard Seed Box at the grocery store.
  • Think of a person in power in our world.  Imagine what you wish he/she would do and pray about it throughout the day
  • Spend a day being very conscious about how much water you are using.  Find ways throughout the day to conserve (ie shower rather than bathe; turn off the tap while you brush teeth)
  • Spend a day being very conscious of how much electricity you are using.  Find ways throughout the day to conserve electricity (ie turn out lights when you leave a room, dinner by candlelight)
  • Try meditating for 3 minutes
  • Pick up something at the store that you know would be welcome at Our Place
  • Visit or offer a ride to someone who is alone
  • Pick up some paper litter on the street
  • Buy free-range eggs or other food of humanely treated animals.  More expensive, but….
  • Have a day without TV
  • Have a half a day without radio
  • Take a last look at the Wondercafe (www.wondercafe.ca).  Unfortunately, it will close soon.
  • Have a bag-less day.  Take a cloth bag .
  • Pretend you have a SuperPower.  Choose one : Kindness, generosity, friendliness, helpfulness etc.  How many times today can you use your Superpower?
  • “There’s nothing to compare with the push of life” (Emily Carr) Think about this quote several times today.  Where do you see this push of life?
  • Take a book, cd, or dvd out of the church library
  • Have a “buy nothing day”
  • Say grace before a meal
  • When you are out of your home, hold the door open for someone.
  • Share something with a friend
  • Do a random act of thanks (thank someone for being your friend, for tucking you in at night etc)
  • Make a sandwich without meat
  • Remind yourself of your place in the universe.  Recall your family of origin, your ancestors and then your connection to all of humanity
  • Make muffins or a casserole for the Casserole Caravan (contact Val Bauld)
  • Send a card of support or friendship to someone.
  • Buy a Fair trade item (hint:  Fair Trade coffee is for sale on Sundays at coffeetime)
  • Look at the National Church website social action page.  Pray for one of the concerns on that page
  • Give up negative thoughts for a day.  When they sneak in, blow them off.
  • Sit outside for 10 minutes in silence
  • Light a candle and watch it flicker for three minutes
  • Spend a day without your watch
  • Bake some cookies to leave in the church kitchen for people who rent the facilities
  • Smile or say hello to a stranger; write down where and when
  • Call a shut-in
  • Volunteer to do something at the church
  • Give up treat food for a day
  • Bring a friend with you to a social event or service at St. Aidan’s
  • Name something for which you are grateful
  • Read a story to a young person
  • Journal your food consumption for one day.  Reflect on how much we have and what we need.
  • Show your solidarity with someone who is trying to right a wrong & change the world. Send a contribution or volunteer your services.
  • “There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.”  What is Gandhi asking us to do?  Think about this all day.
  • Be interested in the future of the United Church of Canada.  Go towww.unitedfuture.ca and sign up for updates and conversation.
  • Light a candle and say the Thrift Shop prayer.  (Maureen, Vivian, Andrea, Barbara M., Library can give you a copy)
  • Buy something at the Thrift Shop (open Wed & Sat, 10am-1pm).  Help save the world.
  • Learn about Oikocredit 
  • Rest and laughter are the most spiritual and subversive acts of all.

— Anne Lamott in Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith  .  Today, do one.