Book Club Book – “Pastrix” by Nadia Bolz-Weber
“Pastrix” is a great book that was recommended to me a couple years ago by Emma Dolley. It’s an easy read (i.e. I read it at the pool), but thoroughly engaging, too. Nadia is a heavily-tattooed, profanity-laden ELCA (Lutheran) pastor in Colorado.  She wrote this book “for people who hunger for a bit of hope that doesn't come from vapid consumerism or navel-gazing; for women who talk too loud, and guys who love chick flicks; for the gay man who loves Jesus, and won't allow himself to be shunned by the church. For people who listen to “This American Life” and have more education than money; for people who know the difference between American cheese and real cheese. In short, this book is for every thinking misfit suspicious of institutionalized religion, but who is still seeking transcendence and mystery.”

The plan is to read the book on our own and then get together to talk about it.  Here are some proposed dates for talking about it:

Tuesday, March 1 or Thursday, March 3, in the evening.  We can gather at the church or someplace a little more lively.

Saturday morning, March 5, definitely at a place where we can get a good cup of coffee or tea.

Let me know by all the usual ways which date works for you.

Also, this is for all ages and genders, and feel free to invite a friend – especially your cranky and beautiful friends who are both sinners and saints, because that’s how Nadia describes herself!

A Photo-a-Day in Lent
Are you interested in taking on a spiritual discipline this Lent? How about a photo-a-day challenge, where we share with each other how we perceive each given word of the day? (Words provided by, a United Methodist organization.) This is about the practice of paying attention and being intentional, not being a great photographer. All you need is your phone or camera, and we share with each other our photos on Instagram or a Facebook group. Would you like to join me in this spiritual exercise? If so, let me know in all the usual ways. For more information, click the link. Invite your friends to join you.

Lent Study for Adults February 17-March 16 6:00-7:15 pm
We’re offering a special Lent study for adults on Wednesdays from 6-7:15 pm. It’s a DVD-based study on spiritual practices.. The series is an opportunity for all of us to learn about the rich history of spiritual practices and practice them ourselves.  Daily exercises are suggested between sessions. We’ll cover prayer, food, worship, sacraments, money, service, and community. The sessions are designed to raise questions, flip established answers on their heads, and stay with you for months and years to come. During the class time we’ll also practice the practice.

The sessions will include a light meal, so let us know you’re coming.  We’ll eat and talk and explore spiritual practices together.  Sign-up in the Gathering Space or email Annie or Yolanda to let us know you’re coming.  Also, let us know if you need childcare.  We can provide it.  Hope to see you there!

Love Life/Live Lent
Be the Change

These are daily devotions for you to do on your own during Lent, similar to the Advent devotion book. Books for adults and children were distributed at PALS in January, but a few extra copies are available in the Gathering Space or can be ordered.  Just let us know if you want one and can’t find one.

Walking to Jerusalem (a special Lent activity) –
Did you know that it is 6437 miles from St. Louis to Jerusalem? That’s 12,874,000 steps (2000 steps in a mile)!! Did you know that Pastor Annie has challenged us as a congregation to walk collectively that distance during Lent? Sound crazy?  Read on . . .

The Walk to Jerusalem is a walking program developed by St. John Providence Health System parish nursing and designed to increase the physical, spiritual and emotional health of participants.  This “imaginary” trip to Jerusalem is accomplished by individuals within the church and their friends (anyone can participate) logging their own walking miles and/or exercise each week. The idea behind the Walking to Jerusalem program is that physical health impacts our spiritual health and vice-versa, so as a church we should be concerned about our physical health.  After all, walking is good for the mind, spirit and the body.

You are asked to keep track of your steps during Lent. You can also keep track of any exercise – 20 minutes of activity equals 2000 steps.  We will give you the tools you need to track, and we’ll keep track of them and watch our progress with a visual in the Gathering Space. If you can’t walk long distances, don’t worry. Do what you are able to do and let’s see how we do as a congregation.

And if 12,874,000 steps sounds like a lot, if 40 people participate in this each person would need to log roughly 7000 steps a day.  That’s a lot, but keep in mind some will do more and some will do less, and doctors recommend people get in at least 10,000 steps/day. Join the walk!