East Church’s Special Wednesday Gatherings during Lent, 2021

a Wordle graphic consisting of words associated with Lent

Nearly one year into this pandemic time we begin a new Lenten journey with lenses of learning that invite us to explore what we have lost and are losing, at the same time we are invited to explore what we have found and are finding.

Many traditions and texts of our Christian faith, including scripture, liturgy, spiritual practices, and keeping time, are rich with the theme of Lost and Found.

Each of our lives in this present moment are also intimately and incessantly influenced by so much that we are losing and finding; perhaps, even ourselves.

These forty days of Lent, beginning on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 17 and continuing until Palm Sunday, March 28, constitute a season for self-examination and reflection, mirroring Jesus’ forty days in the wilderness between his baptism and the beginning of his teaching ministry. Jesus too had much to consider through the lens of lost and found.

We will weave our way back and forth through this season from lost to found, every day, thanks be to God, enfolded by God’s eternal and always present amazing grace.


Each Wednesday begins with a "Virtual Vesper" at 6:00 PM, followed by a virtual communal sharing of an evening meal at 6:20. The discussion content, starting at 7:00 PM, varies each week and is detailed below. You are welcome to share in all or any part of each week’s gathering. Login details will be provided the preceding Tuesday. If you would like to join with us but are not on the church’s mailing list, please ask to be included using contact information provided on the home page.

Weekly Discussion Content

  1. Feb. 17 — An Introduction to Howard Thurman (1899-1981).

    Virtual gatherings on March 3, 17, and 31 will discuss and reflect upon portions of Howard Thurman: Essential Writings, ISBN 978-1-57075-670-2, Orbis Press © 2006

    This African-American theologian, author, philosopher, educator, and civil rights leader was a key mentor to The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and played a leading role in many social justice movements and organizations of the twentieth century.

    In 1953, at the invitation of Boston University President Harold Case, Thurman resigned as Minister-In-Residence of the Fellowship Church in San Francisco(the first major interracial, interfaith church in the United States) to become the Dean of Marsh Chapel at Boston University. Thurman was the first African American to hold such a position at a majority-white university.

  2. Feb. 24 — A Most Beautiful Thing

    Join the Racial Justice “Book” Club as we discuss the documentary movie: A Most Beautiful Thing (watch ahead of time on Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc.) chronicling the first African-American high school rowing team in this country (made up of young men, many of whom were in rival gangs from the West Side of Chicago). Here is the trailer if anyone wants to take a quick peek: https://www.amostbeautifulthing.com/

  3. March 3 — Howard Thurman: Essential Writings Discussion of Section I

    Religious Experience & Encountering God:
    Deep Calls unto Deep/Spiritual Disciplines/The Exemplary Jesus/The Church’s Challenge/Reason for Hope

  4. March 10 — Amazing Grace

    Virtual Viewing and Discussion of a short film on the author, John Newton, and origin, of the hymn Amazing Grace.

  5. March 17 — Howard Thurman: Essential Writings Discussion of Section II

    The Hunger for Community:
    The Nature of Nature/Community as Crucible/The Hounds of Hell/Race as Crisis/Jesus and the Love-Ethic/Nonviolence and Reconciling Community

  6. March 24 — Racial Justice Book Club

    Book, Movie, or Topic to come.

  7. March 31 — Howard Thurman: Essential Writings Discussion of Section III

    The Authentic Self:
    Centered in God/The Meaning of Self/Living as a Free Person/At Home in Community/Near Journey’s End/Renewal of the Self