by Melissa Taft
Lent marks an intentional journey to the glorious joy of Easter – one that is marked often with contemplation and prayer. It begins with Ash Wednesday: literal ashes smeared on foreheads, a marking of grief and beginnings/endings. As Christine wrote in her Meditation Monday Rise from the Ashes, “This year it seems this practice has added significance as we already feel we have ashes not just on our foreheads, but in our mouths. To the lament of COVID, economic injustice, and climate change, we have added the ashes of war in Ukraine. It is a difficult time and we all feel a heavy weight as we head into Lent.”
Yet, Lent is a journey towards joy, towards redemption – a journey that can and must be marked by Easter’s celebration. How do we find beauty among the ashes of Lent? How do we find what we are longing for this Lenten season? What are we looking forward to about Easter?
In their most recent virtual retreat, Christine Sine and Lilly Lewin unpacked what it means to lay out your garment of lament and put on a garment of praise. Journey with Christin, Lilly, and other retreat participants to lay down grief and gather joy through artful activities, quiet contemplation, scripture, inspirational reflections, and more – we are now offering this retreat as a course!
Adapted from the live retreat, the course includes downloadable resources and activities, a handout complete with coloring pages, activities, resources, and all the things you need to follow along, 4 module videos that are in bite-size chunks to work through at your own pace, and more. Here are a few of the comments from participants:
“Thank you both for rich, meaningful ideas and today’s shared hours of exploration.” – Laurie Klein, participant
“Many thanks to you both, Christine and Lily, for leading this lovely retreat this evening. I’ve really appreciated it and felt the Presence of the Lord very much during our time together. I’m not creative in the sense of painting and drawing but still found those times immensely powerful.” – Penelope Swithinbank, participant
A number of our participants used their ashes to create beautiful art pieces in eluding this from Godspace author June Friesen: