Dear Church of the Holy Communion Family and Friends,
Thank you so much for the warm welcome I received at the Ash Wednesday service! (A BIG thank you to Mr. Frank Royster and the Rev. Mr. Jerry Jellico for the excellent coaching!) It brought me great joy to be among you, and I look forward to these next months. My prayer continues to be that our time together might be one of fruitfulness.
In the Ash Wednesday homily, I sounded our shared invitation to enter the Lenten desert of forty days which is not only a place of trial but also transformation. Often we associate Lent with giving something up or taking on an additional discipline as a form of trial.
This was certainly the number one question at our house growing up. Usually, my brothers, sisters, and I would announce that we were giving up something that really was not a significant sacrifice, i.e. climbing trees for the sister who really did not climb trees. The year my mother gave up smoking cigarettes, however, was very different. While we did not have the language of addiction, we knew it was profoundly difficult. She completed her Lenten trial very faithfully and never touched them again. I was impressed then and still am when I recall that particular Lent. My encouragement to each of us is that we ask our Lord to show us some area of our lives where we need to grow more into the likeness of Christ and, then, to enter the desert with that in mind. May you be blest in this journey.
Collectively, I’d like to invite Holy Communion to engage with Lent as an opportunity to reflect on your unique mission. How would you articulate it? How are you doing with it? Where is repentance needed? Where are gratitude and celebration needed? Where is discernment needed?
Finally, I have an invitation. You each are invited to a Lenten Zoom Bible study beginning next Wednesday (March 1) at 7. The Sunday Gospel readings will be the focus, each session lasts about an hour, and employs a kind of modified lectio divina. Each evening concludes with Compline. This will be a joint study with members of St. Mark’s, and I hope you will join in. I (or the office) will send out the Zoom link early next week.
Lenten Blessings to each of you, I am
Your sister in Christ,
- Since I’ve already received the question multiple times (and thank you for asking!), you can address me as Mother Jennie, Mother Olbrych (pronounced Old Brick), Mrs. Olbrych, Dr. Olbrych, or Jennie – truly, whatever you desire. As the comedian says, I don’t care what you call me, just call me.
To contact me, email the church office at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 843-722-2024