St. Luke & St. Simon Cyrene Episcopal Church—affectionately nicknamed "Two Saints"—is a diverse, joyful, and progressive congregation in the heart of Rochester, New York. We are an inclusive community of people, a family in faith who want to hear God’s word and follow Jesus in our daily lives. We feel strengthened by our diversity and by our unity in the breaking of the bread. Together we strive to be loving and forgiving towards ourselves and others. We try to honor all of God’s creation and not to be the instrument of our own or another’s oppression. We reach across our differences to embrace and support each other in nurturing corporate faith life. Together we use our talents in ministry to the urban community that encircles us, with God's guiding hand and blessing.
One tradition many of us grew up with is the custom of “giving up” something for Lent – like chocolate or alcohol or sweets. This modified fast is rooted in the very early Jewish and Christian practice of fasting on certain days of the week and on holy days throughout the year. In some places, especially in the desert and medieval monastic communities, Lent was indeed kept as a forty-day fast, though acceptance of the practice in parishes seems not to have been widespread even then. In the Middle Ages the keeping of a Lenten fast became associated with Jesus’ forty-day fast in the desert following his baptism. Today the church encourages us to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday during Lent, and many find this way of expressing their Lenten devotion through their bodies very helpful for cleansing the mind and focusing the soul.
Another approach to keeping Lent is to “take on” a spiritual discipline or practice. Some find it is not what they eat or drink that is separating them from God, but their lack of time spent in prayer or study, their neglect of worship, their self-centeredness in relationships, or the ways they spend their time or money or energy. For them, making a commitment to spend a half-hour a day in prayer, or to attend a Bible study once a week, or to devote an evening or weekend to doing something special for a friend or spouse, or to take a meal to a homeless shelter can be a useful Lenten discipline. Lent can be a time for clearing away those things that stand in the way to a vibrant spiritual life, as well as a time for adding practices of prayer, study, and outreach that lead to God.
United Christian Leadership Ministry will convene the 5th Annual Martin Luther King Celebratory Service on Sunday, January 14, 2018 at 4:00pm at the Pentecostal Miracle Deliverance Center, 923 Portland Avenue in Rochester.
Please support this event with your presence. The Rev. Alan Dailey, a visitor to Two Saints, will be the Preacher for the Service. The Praise Teams from First Church of God and Pentecostal Miracle Delivery Center will be participating to render inspired songs of praise.