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Observing Lent with our Children

Warm winter greetings!

I hope this finds you all with clear driveways and warm homes! The season of Lent has begun and I am looking very forward to our Lenten Scavenger Hunt for the children this Sunday, February 22nd on Sunday, March 8, following the service. The children will have clues for each item they are looking for that relates to Lent. After all the items are found we will gather together to discuss what they have found and why they think it relates to Lent. My hope is to create curiosity and questions about what Jesus was going through and why we set this time aside before Easter. I am always amazed at how much the children of St. Stephen’s know!! During this time we discuss different ways to observe the Lenten season, of course there is discussion of giving up sweets and things we like to enjoy, but we also discuss self-reflection. We talk about ways that we could be more helpful, kind, and giving. We also discuss forgiveness and how very important it is to be able to forgive as well as wanting to be forgiven.

Following the Scavenger Hunt, we will be baking pretzels and are offering gluten free along with egg & dairy free versions so all children can participate. The origin of the pretzel dates back to the early 600’s where legend has it that Monks would reward children who said their prayers with a pretzel. The shape when held upside down is similar to the way children would fold their arms to pray a very long time ago. The pretzel shape is to remind our children to say their prayers. The children are taught that prayer is something that can be done anywhere, anytime, in silence or out loud. God will always listen to their prayers, regardless of how they are said.

Lenten calendars will be distributed to the children and their families with simple prayers, fasting and ideas for almsgiving. I will also post one on the bulletin board in the parish hall for all to read.

In the event of yet another snowstorm, the event will be rescheduled to Sunday, March 8th, but I am hoping that won’t be necessary!

God bless,

Lynda Hickey