Ash Wednesday is tomorrow! This year, the Anglican Church in North America is providing the Church a resource, in the form of a website – GiftofLent.org, to support the Lenten disciplines of prayer and almsgiving.
We are familiar with prayer, but in some quarters of the church “Almsgiving” during Lent has fallen out of focus. Almsgiving is defined as the practice of giving money or food to the poor.
As explained by Archbishop Foley Beach, “Throughout the Church’s history, Christians have given alms as a Lenten discipline, following Christ’s command to love the lost and least. During Lent, the Anglican Church in North America encourages you to make giving to the poor central to your Lenten fast.”
The Anglican Church in North America has collaborated with The Anglican Relief and Development Fund, the Matthew 25 Initiative, and LeaderWorks to provide GiftofLent.org to help you enter into God’s chosen fast as described in Isaiah 58:6-7: “Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?”
For Anglicans, this biblical discipline is reflected in the 38th article of the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion that “every man ought, of such things as he possesseth, liberally to give alms to the poor, according to his ability.”
On this resource website, you will be greeted with a video message from Archbishop Beach that further explains almsgiving, and that you can share in your congregation. You will also find daily readings of morning and evening prayer, see stories of disciples from around the province living into this chosen fast, and experience Lent through featured artwork. To cap it off, each week you can hear amazing stories from ministries living out the Isaiah 58 fast and have the opportunity to join in the ancient almsgiving tradition by donating to your ministry of choice.
On February 14th, Ash Wednesday, Lent begins, a season of fasting. Each day, a new story from around the province will be posted. Each week, a new piece of art will be featured. Daily, morning and evening prayer will be offered. You are encouraged to sign-up here for weekly emails highlighting these featured content updates.