Wilderness

Creative Resources for the Season of Lent (Year A)

Wilder · ness:
’state of the wild’

Lent begins in the wilderness. The Spirit guides Jesus into the wilderness where he comes face to face with temptation and struggle. Yet, in his forty days of fasting, resisting, and wandering, Jesus is shaped and formed for ministry. Similarly, through the wilderness of Lent, we are invited to surrender to the wild leadings of the Spirit. We rarely enter the wilderness willingly, but hopefully through our wandering we remember who we are and whose we are. The wilderness can become sacred even if it remains dangerous. There is no wilderness space too harsh or threatening for God’s love. This Lent, we welcome you to the journey.

This is a bundle of 10 multimedia resources for you to use in your worship and ministry this Lent & Easter season. The Wilderness theme emerged for us in our group study of the Revised Common Lectionary texts for Lent & Easter Sunday (Year A). If you’d like to learn more about our theme and receive worship + programming ideas for fleshing it out in your context, be sure to download our FREE THEME INFOGRAPHIC HERE. We also include the theme infographic with every bundle purchase.

We bundle our resources because they often overlap in use, and because we want to equip you with comprehensive materials for a whole season. Each resource is also available separately. Scroll down & click the “Resource Details” buttons to learn more about each individual resource.

Note: All resources are digital files.


{We consider your purchase a form of patronage to support our work and ministry. To make our resources accessible to congregations of all sizes, we offer tiered pricing on our bundles. Please choose the bundle price you are able to give. Your support makes our ministry possible!}

$328 TOTAL BUNDLE VALUE (78 digital files)


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WHAT'S INCLUDED IN THE BUNDLE: 

{All of the following resources are included in the bundle, but each resource is also available separately for individual purchase}

1. Wilderness Lent Devotional Booklet

[Individual Price: $18-$85]

In the wilderness our faith is born, nurtured, challenged, and resurrected. This Lent, journey through the wilderness with our devotional booklet. Beginning with Ash Wednesday and ending with Easter Sunday, this devotional includes art, poetry, prompts, and reflections inspired by the Lenten lectionary scriptures (year A) and the theme, Wilderness.

This booklet is great for older youth and adults of all ages—and especially for those who are hungry for readings and prompts to dig into each week. The devotional could also be adapted for use in groups and Sunday School classes.

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[Individual Price: $12]

A collection of 20 liturgies, this resource provides fresh language for worship inspired by the RCL scriptures and our Lenten theme, Wilderness. Resource includes a Call to Worship and Prayer of Confession for each Sunday in Lent, as well as full liturgy for Easter Sunday.

We hope you will copy/paste or adapt these prayers for your corporate worship (with credit).

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 [Individual Price: $7-$55]

“One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).

This Lent, journey through the wilderness with words to sustain you every step of the way. Print, cut, and select a card each day of Lent beginning with Ash Wednesday through Easter Sunday. Contemplate the word you select each day, trusting that it is exactly what you need for that day. Then read the short scripture verse and prayer on the back of the card.

This is a great daily devotional for middle & high school youth, college students, young adults, and adults of all ages—especially those in search of a short and sweet spiritual practice they can sustain for 48 days.

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[Individual Price: $12]

For the Revised Common Lectionary scriptures for Lent, Year A, this guide offers you biblical commentary, theme connections, and links to further reading. For each text, we’ve included suggestions for how to connect the scripture to the theme, Wilderness. These suggestions offer a few ways of approaching and thinking about the texts in light of our theme. 

Please note: We are intentional about including diverse voices, authors, speakers, and theologians in this guide to offer deeper insight into each scripture. This particular guide links to the work and scholarship of: Austin Channing Brown, Walter Brueggemann, Kelly Brown Douglas, Luke Powery, Barbara Brown Taylor, Emily Heath, and more.

The guide features commentary written by our guest contributor, Slats Toole.

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[Individual Price: $15]

This Lent, adorn your sanctuary with elements of the wilderness. Instead of running away from the wilderness, bring the wilderness in—to face it, confront it, and find your way through it. This worship art project includes three phases, however, you are welcome to execute one, two, or all three of the phases. We hope you will adapt the project to best meet the desires and needs of your community.

Follow Phase One to create wilderness vase displays. Similar to an Advent wreath-making workshop, Phase One could be an intergenerational event, or it could be used with a youth group or small group. Using our design guide, follow Phase Two to adorn your worship space with the wilderness elements. At the start of the Lenten season, follow Phase Three to begin worship with an opening litany to highlight and introduce the wilderness elements adorning the sanctuary.

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[Individual Price: $12]

This creative worship service for Palm/Passion Sunday follows Matthew’s telling of the events from Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem to his arrest in the garden of Gethsemane, highlighting a few narrative moments in between. This service is designed to be a hybrid of worship and dramatic reading. The hope is to engage people in a new way using the ancient Jewish tradition of midrash, helping teach and immerse them in the narrative flow of the Passion story.

Invite members to be midrash readers, embodying characters who each testify to who Jesus is. Get creative with blocking and offering the midrash with emotion and authenticity.

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[Individual Price: $70]

This is a collection of 15 visuals inspired by RCL scripture texts for Lent (Year A). Download includes files formatted for print and web/projection, as well as artist statements for each visual, plus a visio divina bible study guide.

Left: “Unbind Me” inspired by Lazarus’ death (by Lauren Wright Pittman)
Right: “Through Samaria” inspired by the Samaritan woman at the well (by Lisle Gwynn Garrity)

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[Individual Price: $12]

When trudging through the wilderness, songs give us strength and courage to keep moving. This service interweaves song and poetry within the passion narrative to keep us singing on the journey to the cross. This is intended to be a Holy Week service to experience the fullness of the story of the last days before the resurrection. It would be appropriate for either Maundy Thursday or Good Friday, and is particularly intended for churches that only have one service during Holy Week and want to encompass the whole narrative in that one service.

Liturgy includes numerous suggestions (with licensing info) for the hymns and sung responses. Download includes sheet music for two original hymns by Slats Toole.

Liturgy, poetry, and original hymns by guest contributor, Slats Toole.

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[Individual Price: $45]

Whether you are a church with a full-time communications staff or one whose pastor handles all communications (on top of everything else), this branding bundle provides everything you need to effectively share the Wilderness theme with your community. Download includes beautifully-designed logos and theme graphics for print and web so you can use them for worship projection, bulletins, study materials, church publications, or for advertising events on your website and social media platforms.

We encourage you to use these branding materials to share the Wilderness theme throughout Lent and Easter.

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[Individual Price: $10]

This collection of 8 poetic prayers explores the Wilderness theme. Each poem reflects on a different type of wilderness space through which we may journey. Honest and intimate, these poems offer Lenten meditations that might become prayers of your own. We hope you might adapt them for worship liturgy, use them to open and close programming events, or print them as they are for members in your community to read and return to throughout the season of Lent.

So like a child memorizing their home address,
You’d think I’d learn my way out of this wilderness.
But like the Israelites who wandered for forty plus years,
I think I’ll spend most of my day to day here.
For the wilderness is everywhere that I start to grow.
Cracks in the sidewalk, daisies take hold.
And the wilderness is every single place of unknown,
Or when shame and fear move into my home.
And the wilderness is where dusty feet tread,
Familiar with the truth that we have days left.
—Sarah Are, from “The Wilderness is Somewhere We’ve Been Before”

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about our guest contributor

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slats toole

Liturgy & Hymn Writer

Slats Toole (they/them/theirs) is a writer, musician, theater artist and preacher, whose work has been published in Call to Worship, Sacramental Life, The Presbyterian Outlook, Fidelia Magazine, and Discipleship Ministries’ “History of Hymns” column. They are the author of the poetry collection Queering Lent. They are a Deborah Carlton Loftis Ambassador for the Center for Congregational Song, a member of the NEXT Church Advisory Team, secretary of their town’s Human Relations Commission and a frequent presenter on queer/trans issues in the church. Recently, Slats served on the team that compiled “Songs for the Holy Other: Hymns Affirming the LGBTQIA2S+ Community” with the Hymn Society—they also have a hymn published in that collection. They are the resident sound designer for The In[heir]itance Project and their multidisciplinary piece about difficult Biblical texts, Who Do You Say That I Am? was recently developed with Undiscovered Countries’ “Blast Off!” development lab. Slats holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drama from New York University and a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary. www.slatsite.com

Look for Slats’ contributions in our Sermon Planning Guide and the Singing Through the Wilderness Holy Week Liturgy!

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