Do you give something up for Lent? Lots of people still do, whether they are church-goers or not.
Lent, the 40 (or so) days from Ash Wednesday to Easter, is a good time to reflect on our lives and to practice a little self-discipline.
Some people do this by making sacrifices and giving up chocolate or alcohol (but not broccoli as one of my family once suggested!)
At Whiteley Church last year we decided to do something different and to ‘Do Lent Generously’ using ideas from a website called 40 Acts, put together by a Christian charity.
We enjoyed it so much that we’re doing it again this year.
You sign up to the website to receive daily challenges throughout Lent via email. Each day there’s a short reflection and a choice of three different generous acts you can do. The first is quick, easy and cheap; the second takes a bit more time or money; and the third requires a significant commitment.
Each day you choose which you want to do.
Last year, we put together a ‘generosity pack’ so that we were prepared with things like small packs of tissues, pens, chocolate or change for parking to give away when needed.
The suggestions we received included paying for the coffee of the next person in the queue, giving a surprise gift to a friend, making time to listen to someone, or leaving a note to say how much you appreciate a person.
The ideas and reflections really inspired us to make a difference.
We’re very excited that Whiteley Shopping Centre are also going to join in this year. They encourage a week of random acts of kindness and we’re coordinating with them so that their week falls within Lent.
We’ll use social media to encourage the wider community in Whiteley to get involved too.
Both Cornerstone C of E Primary and Whiteley Primary School are going to be using the 40 Acts schools’ resources as well.
The children will choose an act of kindness each day from a bank of ideas. Being a ‘kindness ninja’ was a favourite last year!
Why don’t you join in too? You can sign up at 40acts.org.uk.
WHITELEY CHURCH, based at Whiteley Community Centre
Contact: the Rev Philippa Mills at firstname.lastname@example.org or 07760771667.