Sunday, March 8, 2009

Good Stuff In TEC: Ohio

Toledo church offers place for Lenten journey

At St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Toledo, the Lenten journey is not just a spiritual experience but a physical one as well.

Visitors to the stately Old West End church can walk through a miniature desert set up in the back of the sanctuary for the 40 days of Lent, a season that began with Ash Wednesday on Feb. 25 and concludes on Easter Sunday, April 12.

"Jesus wandered in the desert for 40 days before entering public ministry, and the Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years because they didn't learn what they needed to learn," said the Rev. Kelly O'Connell, rector.

The symbolic desert, made of sand in a makeshift container with curved edges mindful of wavy dunes, is designed to engage visitors with thoughts of biblical deserts and spiritual quests.
"Jesus was tempted in the desert. It's a place where he needed to find that strength. For us, the desert is a visceral image - stark and barren, even forbidding," Ms. O'Connell said.

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