Into these early days of Eastertide, I bring gifts from what was a most meaningful season of Lent. Lent 2021 was different from past observances including the worldwide journey through the COVID-19 pandemic and its implications for life as we had known it.
Like many during the pandemic, I appreciated, cherished, and celebrated new and enriching things, especially the small group experience of exploring Jack Kornfield’s The Art of Forgiveness, Lovingkindness, and Peace. Often it is said that small group participation is one of the most important aspects of nurturing faith, spiritual formation and growth, and forming community with other pilgrims.
This year, I was blessed to spend four Lenten Wednesday nights in a ZOOM class with Kay Abernathy, Anne Ayres, Judy Beaird, Doug Duncan, Barb Frazer, Sandra Ireland, and Beth Perkins. Even when all eight of us were unable to be present at the same time, a certain community was instantly in place. Kornfield’s collection of quotes were perfect for the observance of holy Lent, a 40-day period of self-examination, prayer, and undertaking what is necessary to make a right beginning through repentance.
At our final gathering, I shared that time in community with others made for a most meaningful Lent. I attribute it to fellow classmates and the compilation of invitational and transformational words offered by Jack Kornfield. If you’re reading this, do yourself a favor and obtain a copy of The Art of Forgiveness, Lovingkindness, and Peace to become a “bedside” or “companion” book. (Some of our personal favorites are shared below.) Maybe you too will find the book meaningful, helpful, and worth conversations with others on the journey of life in this world.
Eastertide peace and blessings, Ollie+
The Rev. Ollie V. Rencher, Rector
14 April 2021, Eastertide
Lenten Class Favorites from The Art of Forgiveness, Lovingkindness, and Peace (Jack Kornfield)