The early Christians observed with great devotion the days of our Lord's passion and resurrection, and it became the custom of the Church that before the Easter celebration there should be a forty–day season of spiritual preparation.
During this season, converts to the faith were prepared for Holy Baptism. It was also a time when persons who had committed serious sins and had separated themselves from the community of faith were reconciled by penitence and forgiveness, and restored to participation in the life of the Church.
In this way, the whole congregation was reminded of the mercy and forgiveness proclaimed in the gospel of Jesus Christ and the need we all have to renew our faith.
May this be a Holy Season for you and may the resources below aid in your journey.
The 2023 Lenten Devotionals provide an opportunity to explore scripture and each day’s respective writer’s reflection on that particular scripture.
All of the devotions are written by laity from throughout the West Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church. They offer a glimpse of their personal discipleship journey so that we all might strengthen our spiritual walk and grow in our own discipleship.
For Lent, I invite you on a journey of meditations and reflections guided by a piece of sculpture created for me by one of West Virginia’s District Superintendents, Joe Hill. This sculpture was created from clay that had been used by the entire cabinet during our prayer retreat a couple of years ago...the Sculpture was given to me as a gift, and it has been a centerpiece of remembering, prayer, and meditation ever since.
Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball
The decline of heavy industry in general and coal industry in particular and the declining community populations in southern West Virginia have left many communities’ infrastructure, once built and supported by coal companies and larger community populations, neglected for many years due to declining tax bases and companies going out of business thus leading to many families without access to clean water and adequate wastewater treatment.
Dig Deep, “a human rights non-profit working to ensure that every American has clean, running water forever” has formed partnerships with United Methodists in McDowell County WV and launched the “Appalachian Water Project” bringing clean water to families starting in McDowell County, expanding into Wyoming County with ambitions to go even further.
But, they need our help.
This Lenten season, we the West Virginia Conference Global Ministries Committee, Global Health and Justice and Advocacy Team, encourage churches, organizations, and individuals across the West Virginia Conference to give to the fund established by the United Methodist Foundation of West Virginia for the establishment of sustainable potable water systems for rural communities in southern West Virginia.
To aid local churches in telling the story of the Clean Water project, bulletin inserts and videos are available to share each week of Lent. Follow link below for more.
Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church provides additional resources, all of which are free, including worship planning helps, prayer and music resources and the Book of Worship online.
These resources were curated by laity and clergy of the West Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church and are made possible because of the faithfulness of the local churches of the WVUMC. Thank you for your generous support!