Archived Story

Lenten lunches

Published 12:45pm Tuesday, March 26, 2013

St. James Episcopal Church holds multi-church series leading up to Easter Sunday

Holy Week is uniting local churches for a number of events at St. James Episcopal Church.

Lenten Lunches began Monday and will continue through Thursday at St. James, with a different local minister speaking each day.

“We’re just thankful to be a part of the community effort,” said Todd Henderson of First United Methodist Church. “We think it’s important to work together, share together, eat together and play together – we live together. This is a great expression of our Christian unity.”

Henderson spoke at Monday’s Lenten lunch on being stirred up for God, just as Mary was stirred up to anoint Jesus’ feet in John 12.

After the message, songs and prayers, attendees shared in a soup and sandwiches lunch prepared by members of St. James – a fellowship that will continue each day through Thursday.

“It’s just a great opportunity to have ecumenical services – services where we have pastors from different denominations,” explained the Rev. Rob Iler, rector of St. James. “We’re all brothers and sisters in Christ, and there’s far more that unites us than divides us.”

Speakers for the rest of the week will include Michael Waldrop from the River of Life Worship Center Tuesday, Emerson Ware from Great Bethel Baptist Church Wednesday and Wayne Cowhick from Alexander City Methodist Church Thursday.

“Though our traditions vary, the main message is the same,” Iler said. “There is a particular solemnity to the whole week … (It’s a good opportunity) to share our facility and welcome people to our church from other churches around here.”

At St. James, Holy Week activities will also include a Maundy Thursday service Thursday at 6 p.m., in which the sanctuary will be stripped of all celebratory items and attendees will share a meal of bread and wine. The week will wrap up Friday with the Stations of the Cross, also known as the Passion Play, done in silhouette.

“We’ll have actors behind a screen – they will portray the 14 Stations of the Cross,” Iler said. “I expect people will be walking out a little more in contemplation than what the lunches cause … This will be a spiritual experience. I think people will leave in reflection.”

Lenten Lunches will be held at noon, and the Stations will be offered at noon and 6 p.m. Friday.

All services are open to the public.