Much Deeper than a Birdbath: The Sturdy Street Spirituality of Francis
Tuesdays, February 20 – March 13, 2018

St. Francis statue outside Church of San Francesco, Vigevano ItalyThis year’s Tuesday evening Lenten program will feature an in-depth look at the fascinating life of Francis of Assisi and the spiritual insights that captured his soul as he gave up the comforts of an upper-class life determined to see and serve Christ and his kingdom in the ordinary, everyday world, including nature, animals and in the eyes of beggars. World-renowned Franciscan brother and priest Richard Rohr says that “his spiritual father Francis” knew an enduring, life-transforming truth that many Christians have missed: the visible world is an active doorway, a portal if you will, to the invisible world, and the invisible world is much more expansive than the visible. As Rohr says, “Matter is, and always has been, the hiding place for Spirit” (Rohr, Eager to Love, p. xiv). This everyday, sometimes painful life is where God meets us. This is the “Franciscan way” which can be seen in the life and ministry of Pope Francis.

Francesco de Bernadone lived in Assisi, Italy from 1182–1226. He was born into an upper-class family but experienced a longing for purpose and a search for the reality of God. What he discovered was that God was closer than he imagined. Francis opened his heart and mind to the “imminent” presence of God; God was not far off on a throne somewhere out in space, but rather present in the everyday events of life. Francis’ spiritual perspectives are considered by many to be somewhat unorthodox and to some downright heretical, especially for example, his conviction that Jesus did not die to change God’s mind about us, but rather to change our minds about God. Francis has remained a voice of “alternative orthodoxy” for Christians of many traditions who see in him and his “other way” a Jesus and a faith to whom they will give their heart and devotion.

Come and experience Francis during Lent this year! LPC Pastor Jim Butler will lead a four-part series from 7–8 p.m. beginning Tuesday, February 20, and continuing February 27, March 6 and March 13. A simple dinner will be available from 6–6:45 in Lawther Hall each night. No sign-up is required. PB&J sandwiches will be available for little ones who have discriminating taste buds! Childcare for infants up to 5th grade will be provided. Youth are invited to participate in the St. Francis presentations/discussions.