An Engaging Lent series will kick-off its fifth season in the Rockford are on March 12 with an engaging series of weekly discussions panel discussion.
The six-week educational program — which opens with a talk on Immigrant Fear Mongering — will also cover such topics as as women in the Christian church, spiritual culturalization, the sex abuse crisis, veganism and non-religious street ministry.
Engaging Lent is sponsored by Rockford Urban Ministries and the Sinsinawa Dominicans. The talks are held in various locales pertaining to that week’s topic.
The series is “… a way of celebrating and sharing the ideas of Lent with the community at large, with the hopes of having the community share their concerns and prayers,” according to Stanley Campbell, director of Rockford Urban Ministries, is
Campbell credits the Sinsinawa Dominicans community for the impetus in making Engaging Lent a reality.
“It’s a wonderful way for people in our city to reflect upon the ideals of Lent while being mindful of our community’s needs Lent invites us to slow down our lives to take stock of our loves and our community. It invites us to feel our smallness, our smallness, our vulnerability, our fears, to come to real transformation,” he said.
“Lent invites us to slow down our lives to take stock of our loves and our community. It invites us to feel our smallness, our smallness, our vulnerability, our fears, to come to real transformation. Lent invites us to slow down our lives to take stock of our loves and our community. It invites us to feel our smallness, our smallness, our vulnerability, our fears, to come to real transformation,” he added.
Jim Andrews, a Sinsinawa Dominican associate and one of the event’s organizers said this year’s series aims to, “…(be) more creative, more intrusive into the current issues facing our community and perhaps be somewhat more controversial.”
“With more Americans far less likely to go to church, or attend religious services then in the past; we need to meet people where they are spiritually,” Andrews said. “I think that the Engaging Lent series helps to present religious issues and community concerns in a welcoming, non-judgmental way.”
The full description of each Engaging Lent topic is as follows:
- Stand in one’s shoes: Immigrant Fear-mongerings: Politicians have warned of an ‘invasion’ of illegal immigrants for decades. A rare opportunity to personally hear local Muslim and Mexican immigrants speak on the politics of fear in the Rockford community. With Sara Dady and Linda Zuba, Rockford attorneys in the front line of the immigration debate. Moderated by Mike Garrigan, WIFR News Anchor. Tues., March 12 at 6:30 pm. At Muslim Community Center & Mosque, 5921 Darlene Dr., Rockford (one block south of Harrison & Mulford)
- Reveal: Spiritual Culturalization. The craft of building a community revolves around cultural vitality as much as economic vitality. A look at the shared sense of belonging of the Rockford community through the eyes of a documentarian. Pablo Korona, Visual Storyteller and founder of the ‘Our City, Our Story’ film series. , March 19 at 6:30 pm, at The Norwegian, 1402 N. Main St., North End Rockford.
- Conquer: Women in the Church CONQUER: Men are celebrated when they receive a beckoning to a ministry. Women, on, the other hand, can feel alone on their journey to follow their vocation. Three leading women ministers on their calling and how they overcame barriers. Methodist Ministers Rev. Violet Johnicker, Rev. Fabiola Grandon-Mayer and Rev. Pam Rossmiller. , March 26 at 6:30 pm, Grace United Methodist Church, 3555 McFarland Road, Rockford.
- Repair: Sex Abuse Crisis: A prominent cardinal now defrocked, 100 new priests accused in Brooklyn and Pope Francis acknowledging for the first time the persistent problem of sexual abuse of nuns by priests. Will the Catholic Church’s sex abuse crisis ever end? What, if anything, can be done to help? Moderated by Kevin Haas, Register Star Metro Editor. With Father David Beauvais, Dick Kunnert, former Victim Assistance Coordinator for the Rockford Diocese, and Ruth Kolpack, former Pastoral Associate of St. Thomas in Beloit. Tues., April 2, at 6:30 pm, Fisher Memorial Chapel at Rockford University.
- Pioneer: Midtown Ministry. A look at the blossoming non-religious street ministry of Carly Rice and like-minded social vanguards connecting with those living in the margins in midtown Rockford. Tues., April 9, at 6:30 pm. Home of Miss Carly, 1125 5th Avenue. Please bring personal hygiene items to share with the Midtown community.
- Illuminate: Simple Vegan Meal. Would Christ ask us to take on a vegan lifestyle? A pastor’s personal journey into a plant-based diet. A look at the misconceptions of veganism, spiritual reasons behind the lifestyle and practical tips for choosing better food options. With Pastor Dina Lauman, Garden Prairie UCC, and Vegan Chef Nadia Frisella. , April 16 at 6:30 pm, John’s Restaurant & Pizzeria, 2914 11th Street. Three-course vegan meal which is free and open to public and with a goodwill offering welcomed.
For more information on Engaging Lent, contact Rockford Urban Ministries at 815-964-7111.