Lent is the liturgical season of repentance and confession, prayer and fasting, and preparation for the resurrection of Christ. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and lasts for forty days, representing the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, enduring temptations and preparing to begin his ministry. It is a time of self-examination and reflection.
We live in a world where truth is often hard to come by. Amidst all the noise, confusing and conflicting information, and arguing past one another, we find ourselves searching for a place or an experience where the truth of God’s love and grace can settle upon us. Such a place, such an experience offers us clarity that is beyond debate and brings us closer to the realm of God. The season of Lent is an opportunity to make such a journey.
While the journey from the cross to the empty tomb may not be an easy road nor one that we prefer to travel, it is real. Undertaking such a journey in community deepens our relationship with God and with one another. Bring your questions, concerns, and your honesty. Most of all, bring a willingness to be wrapped in a love that is far stronger and filled with far more meaning than those matters which divide us. All are invited on this Lenten journey, Seeking Truth.
Lent and Holy Week Worship Opportunities
All are welcome at Highlands! Join us for worship throughout the Lenten season. Sunday services are at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Evening services are at 6:30 p.m. For more information on worship at Highlands, click here.
Lenten Study Opportunities
The season of Lent is a time of repentance and confession, prayer and fasting, and preparation for the death and resurrection of Christ. This time of holy contemplation provides a perfect opportunity to examine your faith more deeply and join together with others on our pilgrimage with Christ toward Holy Week and Easter. Lenten Study Groups meet throughout the week, so there is sure to be an option that is right for you. For more information, contact Reggie Holder at 205-933-8751, ext. 213.
Entering the Passion of Jesus: A Beginner’s Guide to Holy Week | 9:15 am in Church Library
Contact Kathleen Lalor at email@example.com
Using Entering the Passion of Jesus: A Beginner’s Guide to Holy Week by professor and biblical scholar Amy-Jill Levine, we will explore the biblical texts surrounding the Passion story. We will see how the text raises ethical and spiritual questions for the reader, and how we all face risk in our Christian experience. Entering the Passion of Jesus will provide a rich and challenging learning experience for us in this Lenten season.
This group is led by Kathleen and Michael Lalor and begins on March 10 at 9:15 a.m. in the Church Library. The first session will focus on distributing books and community building. The class will begin in earnest the following week.
Upper Room Sunday School Class | 9:30 am in Room E209
Adult Sunday School class taught by Janet Holt and Bill Hairston, journeying through the Book of Hebrews.
Explorers Sunday School Class | 9:30 am in Room E204
Adult Sunday School class taught by Matthew Penfield, studying the life and teachings of John Wesley.
New Sunday School Class | 9:30 am in Room E210
Adult Sunday School class taught by Bill Clark, studying the Gospel of John.
Forty Days to a Closer Walk with God: The Practice of Centering Prayer | 5:30 p.m.
Contact Sandi Simmons at firstname.lastname@example.org
Using J. David Muysken’s excellent guide on centering prayer, Forty Days to a Closer Walk with God: The Practice of Centering Prayer this group will use short daily readings and a prayer practice suggestion for each day of Lent and will meet weekly for reflection, shared insights and to encourage one another.
This group is led by Sandi Simmons and meets on Wednesday evenings at 5:30 p.m. beginning March 13 at the Simmons’ home in Homewood.
The Poetry of Lent: Devotions by Mary Oliver | 5:30 p.m.
Contact Reggie Holder at email@example.com
Using scripture and the beautiful words of the poet Mary Oliver, this group will meet once a week during Lent to read together and embrace simple practices to travel together through the spring days of Lent toward the Easter morning.
This group is led by Reggie Holder and meets on Thursday evening at 5:30 p.m. beginning March 7 at the home of Frances Owens in Mountain Brook.
Lenten Journey Opportunity
Montgomery Pilgrimage | Friday, April 12
Contact Jettye Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lenten tour of the Chapel at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Montgomery to experience the Stations of the Cross painted by Camilla Brunschyler, an Alabama artist and teacher. Her work, which is in private collections throughout the U.S., stays true to her basic need to express meaning through symbolic and iconic imagery. The Stations of the Cross were created for St John’s over a two year period. She will meet with us to share her vision behind this moving series. After the Chapel, we will walk the labyrinth in quite reflection, and then join together for a silent lunch in their great hall, eating together with intention. We will then proceed to The National Memorial for Peace and Justice, and then back to Birmingham. You are encouraged to bring a journal to keep your thoughts, where at a later date we may meet again to share our experiences.
Our pilgrimage will be on Friday, April 12. We will depart the church at 9:30 a.m. and depart Montgomery at 3:00 p.m. You will want to bring a journal, bag lunch, water, and comfortable shoes. We will be carpooling. For more information or to sign up email Jettye Davis.
Lenten Daily Reflections
The Adult Christian Formation team will share short inspirational reflections by email with the congregation each day during Lent beginning on Ash Wednesday. If you already receive weekly Happening At Highlands emails on Fridays, you will receive these emails. To sign up for Lenten daily reflections, text HUMCLENT to 84576 or visit www.flocknote.com/HighlandsUMC.
If you would like to update your email communication preferences, contact Mary Elizabeth Neal at email@example.com.
Reflections on Prayer: An Illustrated Lent for Families
Families with children are encouraged to pick up a copy of Reflections on Prayer: An Illustrated Lent for Families from the Greeting Space or Atrium hallway. This beautifully illustrated Lenten guide contains weekly devotionals, activities, and coloring pages for families to use together as they journey through Lent. The guide invites families to focus intentionally on the spiritual discipline of prayer during the Lenten season. By exploring different Gospel passages of Jesus engaged in prayer, families will be encouraged to learn new ways to expand and enrich their experiences of prayer, individually, as a family, and in community.