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Lent-Creatively Engaging Your Congregation

This year, Lent is February 17, 2021- April 3, 2021. For those not familiar, Lent is a season of reflection and preparation. It begins on Ash Wednesday and ends approximately six weeks later, the night before Easter Sunday. Lent is important because, as Christians, it gives us time to set aside moments of reflection of Jesus, his life, his sacrifice, his suffering, and his death and resurrection. 

 

In previous years, churches may have specified services or activities educating their congregation on Lent and its traditions. Sadly, with many churches still unable to have in-person services, people search for creative ways to involve their congregation. Rosewell Community Church and the Director of Operations Kim Ali decided to make Lent boxes delivered to each of their congregants! Kim was kind enough to give us insight into what they chose to do and why. 

 

What’s in it?

“The box contained an introduction to Lent and an activity calendar that follows all 46 days, starting with Ash Wednesday. Our Ash Wednesday and Good Friday services are online this year, so we added all that anyone would need to watch the service and still participate. For the Ash Wednesday service, we added ashes, communion, and family discussion cards. For the Good Friday service, we asked everyone to have 2 elements ready from home for the activity: a bowl full of water and a hammer. We included in the candles, nails, wood pieces, red paint, activity card, communion, and family discussion cards. 

We made each box for a specific family. For a 3, we added 3 nails and 6 communion cups (both services), and the right amount of kids/adult cards. 

Because we were not creating a “one box fits all,” this took quite a lot of time but SO worth it!”

Why Make a Box?

“One of the beautiful things about Ash Wednesday is in the receiving. You receive the ashes and communion –  it’s been such an impactful part of these services, so we were unfortunate really, sad at having to stay distanced this year, so handing someone a box was one way we could still have some semblance of that receiving. The graphic inspiration came from the Ash Wednesday imposition of ashes and the “smudge” the ashes create. So, as you go through the season of Lent within our box, it points you back again and again to that “smudge,” reminding everyone that we are mortal and fall short and in desperate need of Easter morning! 

We hope that our congregation feels connected, even when separated and loved, seen and remembered by the gesture of hand delivering these.”

 

Advice for those looking for inspiration

“My advice would be not to underestimate how others feel valued and loved by such intentional efforts, especially the effort of creating something specific to each family and handing it to them vs. a drive-through “one size fits all” approach. Go as small as you can with the box. Ours are 6.5×6.5 x2(h). Small packages force you to create tight presentations free from unnecessary fluff and set the right expectation of the person receiving it. Use the box! We attached a “What’s in the box” along with our introduction to Lent inside the Lent top. It was less expensive than double-sided printing and took very little time. “

 

Logistics

“The box’s total costs were about $9, including the box and all the items. We got the boxes designed in collaboration with Becky Miller Designs (beckymillerdesign.com) and printed at uprinting.com and the cards we printed at Advantage Printing, a local printing company Woodstock, Ga. They do incredible work! It took a staff team of 8, only 2 hours to put all 150 boxes together. We prepped a couple of hours the night before, created an assembly line.

 

Conclusion

It may not be ideal, but Rosewell Community Church is a great example of making the most less than ideal situation. With the intentionality of recognizing each family’s individual size to connecting with the members of their congregation. This is one of many creative ways to engage your congregation through this Easter season. We pray you’re inspired, and we can’t wait to see what you come up with. Let us know how your church is engaging its members this Easter and post in our Facebook group. 

 

 

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