In February of 2020 (which now seems like seven years ago), we gathered as a team in Richmond, VA, for our annual planning retreat. We had spent the day reading through the lectionary scriptures for this coming Lent, searching for a theme to connect the threads between the texts. A few hours in, we got stuck. And when we get stuck, we take a break and find a change of scene. As we were walking to a nearby cafe for lunch, one of us said, “What about, ‘Again & Again?’”
Again & Again. . . we said it over and over, letting it roll through our minds as we walked. As we crammed around a small table filled with food and laptops, our ideas began to take shape: Again and again, suffering and brokenness find us. Again and again, we perpetuate destructive cycles and broken systems. With exacerbation we exclaim, “Again?! How long, O God?” And yet, in the midst of the motion blur chaos of our lives, God offers a sacred refrain: “I choose you, I love you, I will lead you to repair.” Again and again, God breaks the cycle and offers us a new way forward.
Of course, I don't need to tell you what happened in the weeks and months that followed our theme brainstorming that day. Oh, to the days of gathering carefree with friends at a cafe. . . I don't need to tell you how Again & Again has taken on new meaning over and over again throughout 2020. I don't need to tell you that, no matter what the days between now and Ash Wednesday bring us, this theme will still hold power and meaning. We're ever grateful for the Spirit who stirs us—pulling us into the directions we never knew we'd need to go.
Download our theme infographic to learn about:
Our ideas about the theme and the lectionary scriptures that inspired it
The resources we have planned
Our guest contributors, Rev. T. Denise Anderson and The Many!
Join us this Lent as again and again, we bring all of who we are to God and trust that God will meet us, time and again, along the way.