WS Update: Lamenting for Lent

March 14, 2022

Lent is a 40-day season that reflects Jesus’ 40 days of preparation in the wilderness at the beginning of his earthly ministry. As such it is traditionally associated with repentance, fasting, alms giving and prayer. Fasting of any kind (i.e. giving things up for lent) allows us to experience our dependence on God’s grace and raises our awareness of those around us whose lives are marked by ongoing scarcity, fear and injustice.

Like many I have watched in horror as millions of Ukranians have been forced to flee their homeland due to the terror of war. Closer to home I have experienced anger and grief at the most recent of the ongoing hateful and racially motivated attacks against our Asian neighbors, most of whom are elderly and vulnerable. It doesn’t require a season like lent to lament what is going on in the world, but it is an opportunity to stop and pray for those who are experiencing the darkest evils Christ came to confront and defeat. Below is an ancient prayer written in 492 by Celasian that is worth spending time praying this week as we continue our journey to Holy Week. 

Thou Who are Love, and Who seest all the suffering, injustice and misery which reign in this world, have pity, we implore Thee, on the work of Thy hands. Look mercifully upon the poor, the oppressed, and all who are heavy laden with error, labor and sorrow. Fill our hearts with deep compassion for those who suffer, and hasten the coming of Thy kingdom of justice and truth. Amen

Having prayed for those that are ‘heavy laden’ find ways this week to reach out to those around you who might be experiencing fear or anxiety and look for ways to stand with those whose voices and faces are often overlooked. For in the words of Jesus, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40)

In Christ,


“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,  I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

Matthew 25:34-36

Artist Talk and Workshop with Noemia Marinho

Join us for a fun time of art making and learning with Noemia Marinho, artist and founder of the Gleaning Project. Noemia will share about the Gleaning Project’s story and her own creative process, and lead us in a time of making art from discarded materials.

Bring used plastic bags, milk/juice cartons (quarter size), used tea bags (dry them out first), and any other discarded materials you may have. Please clean everything beforehand.

This workshop is in conjunction with the exhibit “At dawn on the first day”, currently showing at the Gallery of W83 through March 27.

Coming Up

  • Become a member of RWS, Apr 3: Our Membership Class helps you learn the gospel theology and ministry of Redeemer West Side. We cover what’s behind the five membership vows, how a PCA church is led, and how members step into our sacred call to love our neighbors and heal our city.
  • Reflect on 40 Days of Hope: The Lenten season has begun! And to help you pray, serve, and give more this season, we’ve partnered with Hope for New York on a “40 Days of Hope” Lent calendar. Find ways that West Siders can serve our neighbors and our wider city. Show how you’re following the calendar by tagging West Side and Hope for New York on social media, and using #HFNY40DaysofHope.
  • Volunteer with Don’t Walk By: Serve uptown neighbors this year during Saturday, April 9! The launch site will be The Salvation Army on 540 Lenox Ave, and Team Leader, outreach, hospitality, and more volunteer roles are needed. Connect with neighbors living on the street!
  • Teach ESL at W83 Ministry Center: The Open Door is hosting in-person classes this fall! Volunteers are needed once a week, to teach adults on Monday or Tuesday evenings.