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Lent 2020

February 26–March 5, 2020

Church of the Holy Comforter
543 Beulah Road, NE 
Vianna, VA 22180
Driving Directions

Go Deeper with God

Lent is a season to look within. No matter where you are on your spiritual journey and transformation, we encourage you to discover, learn, and participate with us as we Go Deeper with God through these special Lenten Offerings:


Ashes to Go

Wednesday, February 26 in the morning at the Vienna Metro Station
6:30–7:30 a.m.

Ash Wednesday represents the first day of Lent when we seek to prepare our hearts for the solemn remembrance of Jesus’ death and the joyous celebration of his resurrection. The Rev. Jon Strand and the Rev. Ann Gillespie will be at the Vienna Metro Station with ashes and to give a quick blessing to individuals.


Ash Wednesday Services

Wednesday, February 26 at Church of the Holy Comforter
12:10, 5:00, and 7:30 p.m.

There will be childcare for ages for 4 and under in the Childcare Center during the 5:00 p.m. service and incense at 7:30 p.m. service.


Finding God in Your Body

Led by the Rev. Ann Gillespie

Saturdays: February 29, and March 7, 14, 28, and April 4 
9:30–10:45 a.m. in the Ministry Center

Bring a yoga mat if you have one, a water bottle, and a journal.

Create in me a clean heart, O God. And renew a right spirit within me. (Psalm 51)

Join the Rev. Ann Gillespie for five Saturday mornings of her signature brand of Finding God in Your Body class. Through a combination of yoga, meditation, and God, we will make more space in our bodies, minds, and hearts for the divine—the better to hear God’s still small voice within us.

All levels of physical ability are welcome, including those who have never tried yoga. Please wear comfortable clothes you can move in and bring a yoga mat and a journal to write in. Experience the presence and wisdom of God’s spirit in your body.

Please note, there will be no class on March 21.


Discover Who You Are with LifeKeys

Sundays: March 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, and April 5
12:30–2:30 p.m. in the Ministry Center

Light snacks provided. Bring a bag lunch.

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)

You are made in the image of God, endowed with special gifts and talents. LifeKeys is a program designed to assist you in exploring the gifts God has given you—life gifts, spiritual gifts, personality, values, and passions. Different tools illuminate the ways in which you are unique and wonderfully made, encouraging you to go deeper as you seek to discover what God may be calling you to do. While especially helpful if you are in a time of transition or searching for how best to use your talents in the service of God, all can benefit from this journey of exploration.

Register by February 23!

The materials fee is $30, payable at registration. Make checks payable to Holy Comforter (LifeKeys in memo line). Please contact Norma Williamson or Ann Gillespie for more information and to register. Download the class syllabus.


Centering Prayer

Led by the Rev. Jon Strand

Mondays: March 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, and April 6
1:30–2:30 p.m. in the new Contemplative Prayer Room on the 3rd floor

Contemplative Prayer is a form of prayer in which we experience God's presence within us, closer than breathing, closer than thinking, closer than consciousness itself. This method of prayer is both a personal relationship to Go Deeper with God and a discipline to foster that relationship. Beginner’s welcome!


Lenten Midweek Eucharist

Wednesdays: March 4–April 8
12:10 p.m. in St. Mary's Chapel

Join us during the season of Lent for a midweek Eucharist. The service will be brief to allow time for those returning to work.


Lenten Brownbag Lunch & Book Discussion

Wednesdays: March 4–April 8
12:45–2:00 p.m. in the Ministry Center

Bring a bag lunch and join us for a study of Marilynne Robinson's Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Gilead, following the Lenten Midweek Eucharist. Set in rural Iowa in the 1950’s, a Congregationalist minister, John Ames, is dying and he writes a letter to his six-year-old son, so he will know his father through his own words. This letter speaks of his own tales of doing ministry in his small town, of the effects of the two World Wars and even the Civil War on his life and small town. A deeply moving and theologically complex experience, it raises themes of forgiveness, salvation, spirituality, and the limitations of the human heart. John Ames says, “For me writing has always felt like praying.” Join us as we pray our way through this book this Lent.

This special Lenten Book Discussion curriculum is available for use by any group. Please contact the Rev. Ann Gillespie.


Wing Drying by Jon Strand

photo: Wing Drying by the Rev. Jon Strand

Seeing with Deeper Eyes

This Lent we invite you to send a photograph to Elys McLean that you have taken which illustrates the following passage, and tell us in a sentence or two why.

"Wherever you turn your eyes the world can shine like transfiguration. You don't have to bring a thing to it except a little willingness to see." - Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

Your images and words will be shared on Holy Comforter's website, as well as our Facebook and Instagram community, as we explore and imagine Transfiguration, and what it looks like through our own eyes.


Moms' Group Lenten Study:
Parenting as a Spiritual Journey

Fridays: March 13, 20, 27 and April 3
9:30–10:00 a.m. gather/social; 10:00–11:15 a.m. discussion in the Lillian Croy Room

Please join the Moms' Group for this year's Lenten Study, led by Beth Strand. Social time will be from 9:30 to 10:00 a.m., followed by discussion of the topic: Parenting as a Spiritual Journey. Mothers of children of all ages are welcome. Childcare will be available across the hall in the Childcare Center. You can join us for one or more sessions. However, you will benefit most from the study if you can commit to all four sessions. The Moms' Group seeks to build community, support, and prayer among Holy Comforter mothers in all stages of life. Please RSVP to Amy Britton.


Wellness and Spirituality:
Practical Spirituality Forums

Sundays: March 15, 22, and 29
10:10 a.m. in the Ministry Center

In observation of Lent, we offer a series of forums on a variety of spiritual practices—hence the title, Practical Spirituality. Fill up your spiritual tool kit! Experience the light of Christ and learn to rest in the mysterious power of God’s love for us. Questions? Contact the Rev. Ann Gillespie. Topics are listed each week in the service bulletin and the Comfortable Word eNewsletter. Subscribe to the Comfortable Word eNewsletter.


Choral Evensong

Sunday, March 15 at 5:00 p.m.

Holy Comforter’s Adult Choir will present a service of evensong as part of their preparations for their residency at Chichester Cathedral. This brief, yet beautiful choral liturgy will be accompanied by guest organist Dr. Christopher Reynolds, Director of Music and Organist at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Richmond. Music will include compositions by Nardone, Hurd, Noble, Paulus. An elegant reception will follow. Join us, and bring a friend!


Taizé Contemplative Worship

Sunday, March 29
5:00 p.m. in St. Mary’s Chapel

From September through May, Holy Comforter’s Music Ministry sponsors evening services in a contemplative style, offering a unique opportunity to decompress and prepare for the week ahead. The service occurs on the last Sunday of the month at 5:00 p.m. in St. Mary’s Chapel. Taizé contemplative worship is a powerful and moving combination of song and scripture featuring lush greenery, candles, icons, and considerable time spent in silent meditation.