Zion Episcopal meditates on Baptismal Covenant during Lent

Published 7:35 pm Tuesday, March 6, 2018

The Lenten season is a time for reflection and soul-searching. It is a time for the faithful to reflect on the sacrifices of Christ as they make their own, lesser, sacrifices.

For members of the Episcopal Church, baptism represents a covenant between a person and God, and for the congregation of Zion Episcopal Church, this Lenten season is allowing an opportunity for church members to reflect on the vows associated with that ceremony.

The group began a series of group discussions and Lenten forums three weeks ago, and will continue for two more Sundays during Lent.

“This year we are going through the Baptismal Covenant in our book of common prayer,” Rev. Sarah Saxe said. “When you are baptized, you make a vow to do these things. Then about four times a year, on our Baptismal Peace Days, we renew these vows. Unfortunately, sometimes renewal of vows, when you’re reading it from a book or when you memorize it, loses its meaning. So what we’re doing this year is more deeply exploring five of those vows.”

The first week saw the group discussing how to proclaim by both word and deed the good news of God and Christ. The second week was an exploration of how to seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving one’s neighbor as oneself. This past Sunday, parishioners considered how to strive more deeply for justice and peace among all people.

The Church will continue its series this Sunday with a discussion of how to respect the dignity of every human being. The forums occur over a meal of soup and bread each Sunday, with church members breaking into small groups for discussion.

“I think one of the weaknesses of relying on a prayer book and words that are already printed for you, is that sometimes it takes away our sense of obligation,” Saxe said. “So by deeply exploring those words, whether it’s this section that we’re looking at now, or any other section of the prayers that we pray every Sunday, it becomes much more personal and people have an opportunity to examine their lives.”