What Is Our Tomorrow?
What is Our Tomorrow? A Lent Conversation is a journey that invites us to explore the experience of the pandemic in light of where we are headed in the future. The operative questions are What have we learned? and What shall we bring with us?
Videos and questions may be found on the What Is Our Tomorrow page.
Stations of the Cross
The Way of the Cross, often called Stations, is a traditional walk through the Passion story that involves prayer and images which reflect pivotal moments in the narrative. We are offering an online experience with the voices of several members of St. Stephen’s and the exclusive art of Merrill Downs.
Two years ago, the global pandemic disrupted our lives in the middle of Lent. The following year, many of us joked that we weren’t entering the first week of Lent, but the fifty-third.
What I liked about this joke is that it highlights the different ways people experienced the pandemic. It seemed, that for some, the coronavirus pandemic had us put life on hold. And for others, it changed our lives.
We scrambled to get our worship, formation, and fellowship online. We made new attempts to connect and be with one another. And each of us found new ways to be in a time of constant unease and transformation.
The time has given us the opportunity to examine our patterns of behavior, our norms and expectations, and even our foundational principles, in search of a way forward in a time of confusion and challenge.
What is the world we’re living in now? And what does our tomorrow look like?
These are heavy questions, but they’re the questions we have been wrestling with for nearly two years.
This Lent, you are invited into exploring these questions. Reflecting on what our tomorrow looks like: for ourselves, our community, and our world.
And we will be experiencing this reflection in an experimental way: an attempt to draw on what we’ve learned and what we know of our present to produce a conversation that fits with the moment.
So this isn’t a “Lenten Program” as we know them. Nor is it a “book study”. It is an attempt to facilitate a big conversation through multiple media at the same time.
What this will look like
Reading – Each week, participants may join in reading the book, We Shall Be Changed: Questions for the Post-Pandemic Church. Summaries and excerpts will be available for those who don’t join in reading.
Independent study – Weekly questions for reflection will be offered online and in church. These questions will hopefully invite reflection on the topic and encourage us to think more deeply about what we and others are experiencing.
Integrating Sunday – Each week, sermons and handouts will connect with the week’s material.
Opportunities to Connect – Everyone is encouraged to connect with friends in-person and online to discuss what we’ve encountered this week in our study. This is as easy as going through the questions at coffee hour or starting a conversation on Facebook.
Periodic Zoom Meet-ups – We can take the opportunity to connect with others through Zoom to engage in conversation. To listen to one another and to speak.
Optional Gathering – For those who can meet in person we will have an optional gathering that will be recorded. The purpose of the time will be to draw on what we’ve learned, shared, and name what we learned during pandemic-life that we need to attend to in our tomorrow.
Discussion Questions will be published below on this page by Friday morning for the following week. Print copies will be available in-person or by request.
Tentative dates for periodic Zoom Meet-ups and the optional gathering are below.
- Meet-Ups – March 23 and 30 at 7pm
- Gathering – April 6 at 6:30 pm
Who is this for?
We’re not trying to create “the new” Lenten Program. But we do want to find a way to connect with what we’re learning in a way that makes sense to our moment.
We also want to be able to connect with those who cannot come to our building, who struggle to participate in regular gatherings, or are genuinely curious about exploring something with other people.
And most importantly, we hope to build something together that connects with our current experience and in a way that not only resonates intellectually or emotionally, but in all the ways we engage with our faith. Be that at home, out in our community, with our friends, and even when we gather in-person or online for church on Sunday.
Whether you join us for worship or another church (though, dare I ask, why not both?) This conversation is for all of us. And you are welcome to be a part of it.
Grace and Peace,