Lent Devotional and Calendar

The First Church and JPWL staff are providing two materials for you to choose from (or use both!) this year to augment your Lenten practices. The first is a wonderful devotional created by the Presbyterian Mission Agency “The Way to Shalom: A Lenten Journey to Peace and Wholeness” reminds us that  “Lent is not a time to wallow in worry about God’s wrath…Lent is a time of reflection on how we can live a whole and full life as a child of God.” You may download a copy of “The Way to Shalom” here.

The second resource is a 40-day “calendar” of practices and reflections to add or “give up” throughout your Lenten journey.  You may download the Lenten Practices calendar here. Or our family friendly version here. You may also pick up a printed version of either resource at the JPW Library Curbside Service on Mondays between 2 and 3 pm, or by appointment. 


The Challenge of Easter:  A Lenten Series with John Dominic Crossan

The JPW Library is delighted to hostIrish-American theologian and former Roman Catholic priest John Dominic Crossan for two special evenings during Lent. Crossan, best known for his association with the Jesus Seminar, will explore with us the historical and metaphorical meaning of Jesus’ death and resurrection. “Easter is about a physical event and a theological interpretation, that is, about a fact—the Execution of Jesus; and a metaphor—the Resurrection of Jesus. Metaphors are processes of seeing—and, as such, they are not literal but real because, as lived out, they create human reality—good metaphors for good and bad for bad but still and always human reality (Crossan).

Crossan’s focus is on the historical Jesus as the benchmark for the entire Christian Bible. “The challenge is this,” says Crossan. “If we get the history of the first century right, we will get the theology of the 21st century right (and if not, not). I am never interested in the past as merely ancient history but rather as a contemporary model and challenge.” Please join us for this exciting seminar! Register Here:

February 18, 7:00 p.m: The Execution of Jesus

February 25, 7:00 p.m: The Resurrection of Jesus

2021 Lenten Book Study 

Join Rev. Amie Giguere for a 7 p.m. book study Tuesday evenings in February and March (2/23, 3/2, 3/9, 3/16, 3/23, 3/30). Using short videos and readings from Dr. Amy-Jill Levine’s 2018 book, Entering the Passion of Jesus: A Beginner’s Guide to Holy Week, we will explore the events of Holy Week and uncover fresh insights into the familiar stories — specifically addressing the notion of risk-taking as a necessary act in the service of certain ethical and spiritual values. According to Levine, “Jesus’ final days were full of risk. Every move he made was filled with danger and the potential for great loss or great reward, risking reputation, rejection, and his very life. The disciples took risks of their own when they left behind their homes and families, or when they anointed him with costly perfume.” Levine’s wry and inviting style of storytelling and analysis, coupled with her deep understanding of Jewish history and culture, provides a coherent narrative of Holy Week for seekers of all backgrounds. We hope you will be able to join us! Books will be available to check out or purchase ($10) through the JPW Library’s curbside service (Mondays, 2-3 pm) or by appointment.  Click here to register.

New Music Study Program for Lent!
Between the Notes

Thursdays March 18 and 25 at 7:00 pm
Understanding the stories behind great musical works and how they are constructed can provide a deeper awareness and appreciation of the music that enriches our lives. In Between the Notes, Jim Boratko, Director of Worship Arts at First Church, will take us behind the music and explain why certain pieces have such an impact on us. Join him for a deeper understanding of the Requiem by Gabriel Fauré. Jim will explore the background of the piece, the composer, and the creative elements Fauré employed that makes this work stand out among the greatest sacred choral works of all time. Register here to join this unique new event!