Lent is the 40-day journey from Ash Wednesday through Holy Week to Easter Sunday. It is a time when we renew an intentional life of prayer. At the heart of prayer is a deep listening for God. We listen for God as individuals, as community, and as we walk with our neighbors. Prayer is often the very personal listening in the morning or at night. Prayer is the center of our life together in worship.
Wednesday Night Examen
Begins Wednesday, February 21, 6 p.m.
Nativity or Zoom
You are invited to join the pastors for a weekly Lenten class on the Daily Examen. We will learn about the prayer form, practice each step, and discuss the wonderful possibilities of this for our faith lives. Plan to join in person or on Zoom. You do not need to attend all five, you can join when it works as we journey together these 40 days of Lent.
Lenten Devotional Available Now!
You can pick up your print version at the Welcome Desk beginning February 10 or you can download the Lenten Daily Devotional here:
Adult Forums: The Psalms
Sunday, February 25, 9:30 a.m.
“Psalms as a Prayer Practice”
Join Pastor Stephanie for an adult forum on using the Psalms as a regular prayer practice. Whether your prayers are in thanksgiving for a joyful moment, comfort in the midst of concern, or lament at a significant loss, there is a Psalm that connects you to God and offers words of compassion and understanding.
Sunday, March 3, 9:30 a.m.
“The Psalms in Art”
This week, we’ll explore the Psalms in art through the ages. What are the images that come to mind when you think about the many metaphors present in these beautiful poems and hymns? Join us for a tour of some of the great artwork of the Psalms. As always, coffee and cookies will be available for your enjoyment!
Sunday, February 18, noon
As we continue our journey as One Community in Christ, please join others here at Central to hear about Marvin Anderson’s remarkable work in the restoration of St. Paul’s Rondo neighborhood. Marvin is a community activist and has been a key figure in the efforts to memorialize the historical Black neighborhood of Rondo Avenue in St. Paul, which was destroyed in the 1960s during the construction of I-94. He is the co-founder of the Rondo Days Festival in 1982. He was instrumental in the conception and construction of the Rondo Commemorative Plaza, which opened in the summer of 2015, and the acquisition and renovation of the Rondo Center of Diverse Expressions which opened in 2021.
More about the Daily Examen
This year our shared devotional journey will be grounded in St. Ignatius’ prayer, the Daily Examen. The Daily Examen is a prayerful reflection on the events of the day to help us listen for God’s presence and discern God’s guidance. It is an ancient practice in the Church that can help us see God at work in our lives and world.
Prayer suggestions are grounded in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola and offered by Pastor Kathie Nycklemoe. The invitation is to practice the Daily Examen prayer for each day, perhaps in the morning or at night.
Each step of the Daily Examen prayer will be the theme for each of the five weeks in Lent. A daily prayer is offered to deepen awareness of the step. The prayers included in this devotional have been written by fellow members of the congregation. Thank you to all who were able to write a prayer or two for this Lenten devotional.
The Daily Examen (also pronounced like examine) follows these five steps:
- Become aware of God’s presence – asking God for light and illumination.Look back on the events of the day and ask God to bring clarity and understanding. Ask God for light. (Emphasis for the first week in Lent)
- Review the day with gratitude and giving thanks.Gratitude is the foundation of our relationship with God. Walk through your day in the presence of God and note its joys and delights. Focus on the day’s gifts. Look at the work you did, the people you interacted with. What did you receive from these people? What did you give them? Pay attention to small things—the food you ate, the sights you saw, and other seemingly small pleasures. God is in the details. (Emphasis for the second week in Lent)
- Pay attention to your emotions.One of St. Ignatius’s great insights was that we detect the presence of the Spirit of God in the movements of our emotions. Reflect on the feelings you experienced during the day. Boredom? Elation? Resentment? Compassion? Anger? Confidence? What is God saying through these feelings? You will most likely notice some ways that you fell short. Make note of this and look deeply for other implications. Does a feeling of frustration perhaps mean that God wants you consider a new direction in some area of your work? Are you concerned about a friend? Perhaps you should reach out in some way. (Emphasis for the third week in Lent)
- Choose one feature of the day and pray from it – facing shortcomings and limitations.Ask the Spirit to direct you to something during the day that was particularly important. It may involve a feeling—positive or negative. It may be an encounter with another person or a moment of joy. Or it may be something that seems rather insignificant. Look at it. Stay with it. Allow a prayer to arise spontaneously from your heart—whether intercession, praise, repentance, or gratitude. (Emphasis for the fourth week in Lent)
- Look forward to the day to come in hope.Ask God to give you light for tomorrow’s challenges. Pay attention to the feelings that surface as you survey what’s coming up. Are you doubtful? Cheerful? Apprehensive? Full of delighted anticipation? Allow these feelings to turn into prayer. Seek God’s guidance. Ask God for help and understanding. Pray for hope. (Emphasis for the fifth week in Lent)
Summary: St. Ignatius encouraged people to talk to Jesus like a friend. Close the Daily Examen with a conversation with Jesus. Ask forgiveness where needed. Ask for his protection and help, wisdom about the questions you have and the problems you face. Do all this in the spirit of gratitude. Your life is a gift, and it is full of gifts from God.