Once generally thought of as a time to give up stuff, Lent is now being seen as more of an opportunity for personal reflection.
And one church that really hadn’t celebrated Lent much until the last couple years is offering a weekly taped seminar during the season.
Spokane Valley United Methodist Church, 10422 E. Main, will show an installment of “Discovering Everyday Spirituality” each Thursday through March 28. The seminars begin at 6:45 p.m., preceded by dinner at 6. Similar events have turned the Lenten season into a time when about 100 people will attend church on a weekday there.
“Since they’ve started these programs, it’s becoming more of a tradition,” says church spokeswoman Susan Heitstuman. “Advent was always much more of a tradition at this church.”
The video series explores ways people can lead a more substantive life - concentrating on a healthy soul and relationships instead of everyday hub-bub. The seminars assert those are the important things in life, not the work problems, bills and minutia that can nickel-and-dime away one’s life.
The upcoming Thursday topic is “Dark Night of the Soul.”
That might be heady material for children, so the church is offering an alternative elementary school students. Kids will study the Good Samaritan instead.
Prices for the dinner are $3 for adults and $1.50 for children younger than 12. Thursday’s dish will be taco salad. Corn chowder and French bread are the menu for March 14, spaghetti and garlic bread will be on the plate for March 21 and folks can dive into submarine sandwiches on March 28.
Lenten Gospel series
St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 304 S. Adams Road, is hosting group discussions on Gospel readings Wednesdays at 8 p.m.
The four-week series allows people to really mull over the Gospel excerpt read during each 7 p.m. Wednesday evening Mass.
“We look to see what the wisdom of the group is,” says Diana Sanderson, the parish’s religious education director.
“It’s examining how we really prepare for Easter, and not just get stuck on routine.”
The sessions don’t last long - they’re usually over by 8:45 or 9. It’s just a chance for people to hear the real-life experiences of others. It makes the Gospel stories more real.
“Each person has a story,” Sanderson says.
Health seminar coming
Spokane Valley Adventist Church, 12323 E. Mission, has opened registration for a health seminar happening on March 31 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The seminar will focus on nutrition, dealing with stress, weight management and hidden fat in foods.
Registration is $25, and a lunch is included in the price. Late registration is $30. The seminar is sponsored by the Valley church but is scheduled to happen at Whitworth College since organizers are expecting a big turnout.
For more information, call 926-5866.