Archive for February, 2007

Lent & Lent Event

Posted: February 15, 2007 in lent event
Thinking through Lent and the connection between spiritual discipline & providing charity

Lent is the period of 40 days leading up to Easter day (Sunday). It does not include Sundays as Sunday is traditionally seen as the day of resurrection, new life and hope. The number 40 is significant as it is the time Jesus is said to have been in the wilderness prior to beginning his public life of teaching and healing & service.

Lent is an invitation to become more intentional in our contemplations about faith and life. It’s a time when we can ask spiritual questions of ourselves (or often have them asked of us). This normally translates into questions and revelations about everyday life – how we spend our time and money; what we hope for and anticipate; what we say and who we say it to; how we act and react. Most faith and spiritual traditions have times of increased discipline and focus. For the Christian tradition there are two major times, which come as preparation to the two most significant festivals of the church – Christmas and Easter. Lent is the season of preparation for Easter.

Many people speak of Lent as a journey. In many respects the 40 days will be a bit of an unknown, and bring potential learning and insights. Lent is also about discipline. Many of us might have negative connotations of the idea of discipline. We may remember an authority figure demeaning us, or think of a child that’s in need of pulling into line. But the word discipline comes from disciple, meaning someone that is willing to learn. Many artists, musicians and sports people speak continuously of discipline (they even speak of learning a particular discipline) – that is learning their craft. Through absolute commitment and focus in learning the skills they desire, they invariably – by the very nature of the process – grow in maturity and knowledge. That in many respects is the journey, a journey of wisdom and learning.

In spiritual terms Henri Nouwen writes that “Discipline is the creation of boundaries that keep time and space open for God – a time and place where God’s gracious presence can be acknowledged and responded to.”[1] It’s a time that we can be open to new insights, ideas and perceptions about ourselves and the world in which we live. In this I believe we come to experience and know God.

Excess: finally, in the simplifying of our lives which often happens during Lent, we discover that perhaps we have stuff we don’t need like we thought we did. Lent Event builds on this premise, an invites people who find they have excess cash from their Lenten journey or discipline to channel that money into developing communities in need. You may choose to participate in Lent or Lent Event for a number of reasons. It may be as a humanitarian response to those communities in need, and therefore you’re willing to forgo something to raise some cash. Or you may come from the other end of the scale where Lent is purely a spiritual exercise in which a by-product happens to free finances to assist someone else. And of course there are many places in the middle – and all of these are legitimate, as they help us engage with the world around us, by thinking through what we have, and what we need.

Some ideas to reflect on and begin to take it further:

# Lent Event: http://unitingspiritually.blogspot.com/2007/01/lent-event.html & http://lentevent.com

# Movie: 40 days & 40 nights

A comedy with Josh Hartnett & Shannyn Sossamon – a story of a Matt Sullivan, the brother of a Catholic Priest giving up sex for Lent. Rated MA, contains sexual references.

# Living on $2 a day http://www.msainfo.org/newsletter/issue.asp?id=114#517. The story of a family who cuts their food budget to $2 a day per person. This story demonstrates that giving to others [whether it is an individual, a cause, a program or charity] from the excess accumulated by simplifying our living is a natural progression. This is important in reflecting on why we may contribute funds to Lent Event.


[1] Lent and Easter Wisdom from Henri Nouwen, compiled by Judy Bauer, Ligouri Press, Ligouri Missouri 2005, p4.

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Clubs and Societies festival days will be held in O-Week on the 21st & 22nd Feb and in Week 1 on the 28th Feb & 1st March

this is a day where you can check out all the community action UOW has to offer.

UnitingSpiritually will have a stall and activities on both weeks, and would love for you to drop by and say hello, or stick around for an hour or two!

O-Week
Wed 21st Feb – Pancake Day see here for more about US & pancakeday.
Thurs 22nd Feb – LentEvent Launch see here for more about US & lentevent

Week 1
Wed 28th Feb – UnitingSpiritually stall & lentevent table

Pancake Day 2007

Posted: February 5, 2007 in pancakeday

Pancake Day is the biggest fundraising event for UnitingCare. As one of Australia’s largest community service providers UnitingCare serves many people in need throughout Australia each year.

Pancake Day is a fun and easy way to raise funds to support UnitingCare’s work with the homeless, abused and vulnerable children and adults, the frail aged, families in crisis and those with disabilities.

On Pancake Day, held annually on Shrove Tuesday, thousands of individuals, school, community, church and business groups nation-wide cook and sell pancakes to raise funds for UnitingCare’s work with Australians in need.

Pancake Day @ the University of Wollongong

Wednesday 21st Feb 2007
10am-3pm

SO GET INVOLVED!
come flip some pancakes, raise valuable funds and
get UnitingSpiritually seen on campus!

pancakeday 2006