b'a l e n t e nR e f l e c t i o nDear Friends in Christ,The late John Westerhoffpriest, educator and prolific authorcompared the seasons of the church year to the stages of human growth. Advent is gestation; Christmas is birth. Epiphany, with its wonder (following a star) and innocence, is childhood. HecomparedLenttoadolescence.Thatsnotimmediatelyself-evident,butthinkaboutit.Thenaiveteofchildhoodgiveswaytothe individuals struggle for identity and purpose. In the church, that corresponds toaskingourselveswhoamIinmyChristianidentity,baptizedand committed to following the way of Jesus Christ? What has been emerging in my personhood since Lent 2021? Am I different? Do I wish to be different?Westerhoff: Lent, like every other liturgical season, is lived in the light of Easter. But just as every advent we open ourselves to being pregnant with God, and every Christmas we give birth to new possibility, and every Epiphany we live in the naivete of childhood dreams - so every Lent we face up to who we are in the stark light of reality. In what ways do we need to die, so that we may see our misplaced loyalties, blurred visions and twisted desires? Every Ash Wednesday, we pray privately, and gather corporately, to begin the churchs season of radical truth-telling (A Pilgrim People, p. 72).Right now, mark your calendar and make a point to be at GHTC on March 2. In the liturgy for Ash Wednesday, you will find encouragement and strength for the six-week journey to Easter and Resurrection. Faithfully in Christ, The Rev. Bruce BirdseyAssisting PriestLENT & HOLY WEEK 2022 | 3'