Wait, What’s Lent? Am I Too Late?

Kristin Pelletier

Kristin Pelletier

Central Writer & Editor
I saw someone with ashes on their forehead in the grocery store, and I realized that it must be Ash Wednesday – the first day of Lent – but our church doesn’t do an ashes service, so what do I do about Lent?

Tardy to the Lenten Party?

Weeks have gone by, and the vague sense that I’m missing out on something important in the Christian calendar persists – but mostly in those hazy hours between waking and sleeping.

And so, at the halfway mark, I’m going to stop telling myself that I’ll “do it next year” and instead, I’m going to observe Lent for its final 20 days. After all, every day that we choose to be just a little more still, just a little more intentional, just a little more surrendered to Jesus, can bring about enormous and lasting transformation.

Here's More About Lent

Lent literally means “springtime,” and is tied to the lengthening days – let there be light! – and the season of budding trees and baby lambs. We’re leaving behind winter, darkness, and maybe even some of our creature-comforts and self-soothing habits to instead embrace new life.

Historically, “Lent” is the 40-day period leading up to Easter in which Christians prepare themselves to fully celebrate the resurrection of Jesus by adding a new practice or discipline to their daily lives, or by abstaining from a specific activity, food, or habit. It’s out-of-the-ordinary and so, it’s a tangible way to turn your heart back to Jesus, and to focus on the spiritual rather than the earthly.

The traditions or practices vary greatly – many include specific fasts, but I’ve also heard of people doing acts of kindness, or praying Scripture daily – but the goal is always to come to Easter with a tender, repentant heart, ready to see our risen Savior, Jesus, with fresh eyes.

For more details on Lent, read this blog from a few years ago by Andrew Kim, Teaching Pastor at Troy Campus.

Here's A List of Resources

Kensington has several resources to help you personally prepare for Easter during this season of Lent. This year more than ever before, we feel that tug on our hearts to really dig in this season and quietly reflect. Check out this list to help you on your Lenten journey to Easter – even if you’re starting it today like me

Current Series: Personified
Instead of having Good Friday and Easter as isolated services, we are currently in the middle of a seven-week series that focuses on the humanity of Jesus. It’s been so powerful to consider his final days leading to the Cross and the very real human emotions He felt as someone poured out a beautiful love-gift of perfume on his feet and another someone in his inner circle of closest friends betrayed him for pieces of silver.

If you missed a weekend service or want to re-watch one that moved you, you’ll find all of them on our YouTube channel. Get the most out of services by downloading our Discussion Guide for personal or group reflection. You’ll find the orange button near the top of our website’s homepage.

Coffee Convos on Facebook
Cliff Johnson, one of our Teaching Pastors, has been hosting Coffee Convos on Wednesday mornings at 9am on Facebook. He and his wife, Angela, are bringing humorous stories and profound insights on the previous weekend’s teaching. If you’ve missed any of them, check them out now on Facebook. Next week, Coffee Convos will feature the upcoming Move Out Gathering, but the Johnsons will return on March 24.

Lenten Prayer Journey on Social Media
Every morning – Monday through Saturday – of Lent we’re sharing a daily prayer from a notable individual of faith on Facebook and Instagram Story. These prayers have been carefully chosen to help start your morning with reflection and a posture of surrender. Not on social media? 

RightNow Media Bible Study
We asked our Discipleship Staff for a RightNow Media Bible study for Lent, and they selected the two-session study, Good Friday and Easter by Francis Chan. In these two brief sessions, Francis Chan invites us to reflect on Jesus’ death and resurrection and challenges us to live differently because of His victory over death.

The videos are powerful yet under 15 minutes – check them out here.

Don’t have RightNow Media yet? Get your free subscription at kensingtonchurch.org/rightnow-media.

Good Friday & Easter Services

Whether you ‘do’ Lent or not, please join us for our Good Friday and Easter services – in person or online. We’d really love to have you there and the story of Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice and victory over death is personally relevant and hope inspiring (whom could you invite?). Free tickets will be available starting March 14 at kensingtonchurch.org/easter.  

If you’re someone who tends to only celebrate Easter Sunday and not Good Friday, consider that the light really only dazzles when the darkness has been experienced. So even if Good Friday seems solemn or uncomfortable, remember the Cross also represents the ultimate act of love for you and me. Let’s not shy away, because the redemption – new life – is only experienced fully in the context of death. 

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Birmingham Campus

We are offering a time for our congregation to gather after the 10am service for prayer in the Groves Auditorium, 20500 W 13 Mile Rd, Beverly Hills, MI 48025.

On Sunday evening, Dec 5, parents of high school and middle school students are invited to the second half of our Edge gathering at Genesis Church, 309 N Main St, Royal Oak, MI 48067, at 6:15pm. We will have a breakout to equip parents in caring for themselves and processing pain with their children in times of tragedy.

Parents & Student Resources

Parents – self care is critical. It’s important to do your own processing with another adult so that you can be more present as your child processes. Here are tools that you can use to get you started.

Podcast

Helpful Blogs

Other Materials

Counselors Are Needed After Tragedy

“The aftermath of the Oxford shooting tragedy will undoubtedly result in traumatic symptoms and experiences across our communities for quite some time. Healing the brain through evidence-based therapies is absolutely possible with clinical guidance. There is a valuable village of Trauma Therapists with collective resources standing by for Oxford, for both direct and secondary survivors to engage in therapy. Until then, we honorably hold a sacred space, as students, families, staff and school partners continue to mourn.” -Laura Azoni, LMSW, Founder of Sanctuary Services

Orion Campus

We believe that unity at this time is more important than ever. Several churches in the area are partnering together to offer space for students to begin the process of healing.

We will have several grief and trauma specialists on site this Sunday evening at our Orion Campus (4640 S Lapeer Rd Lake Orion, MI 48359) from 5-6:30pm and will have a night of prayer, worship and an opportunity for students to process with each other.

Tate Myre Funeral:
Monday, 12.6 Visitation 1 to 8pm
Tuesday, 12.7 Visitation 10-12pm and funeral at Noon

Clinton Township Campus

We will be offering a time for our congregation to gather after each service for a time of corporate prayer in the Greatroom. Prayer will be offered at 10:15 am and 12:15 pm. (25000 Hall Rd, Charter Twp of Clinton, MI 48036)

This Sunday at 3:30 pm as a community we want to gather, pray and mourn together. We are all looking for answers and wondering why tragedy happens but we can find hope and peace in Jesus. 

Troy Campus

Join us Sunday night, December 5th for a Community Prayer Vigil at Kensington Church at 6:00 pm. Invite friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers to come together for a time of hope and prayer. 

Following the Vigil, at 7:00 pm, there will be breakouts for students and for parents to process and be equipped in caring for themselves and those around in times of tragedy.

Marriage Classes

What grows marriages? Focusing on the two of you and being in community!
The Marriage Course includes seven sessions, designed to help couples invest in their relationship and build a strong marriage. Some couples do the course to intentionally invest in their relationship, others are looking to address more specific challenges. Either way, the course offers essential tools and practical ideas to help you build a relationship that lasts a lifetime. The Marriage Course is based on Christian principles but designed for all couples with or without a church background.

Please email marriage@kensingtonchurch.org with any questions.

Financial Peace University (FPU)

Financial Peace University (FPU) is a catalyst to help people live in financial freedom and enable them to have a posture of openhandedness. We have witnessed numerous Kensington families experience life change as a result of applying Biblical truths to their personal finances. The real blessing is seeing people create lives of margin that allow them to hear and respond to the Lord’s calling on their lives.

Please email discipleship@kensingtonchurch.org with any questions.

Bible Basics

Whether you are brand new to the Bible or have been reading it for decades, Bible Basics is a course that will help you understand the overall flow of the Bible. Over the course of several weeks, learn how the Bible came from the original writers to the English versions we have today. We’ll look at the big-picture story of the Bible and how all the individual books add to the whole. We’ll even learn a little about the history of the Jewish nation. But most of all, we’ll grow in our awe of the amazing author of this amazing book!

Please email discipleship@kensingtonchurch.org with any questions.

All Campus

Orion

Clinton Township

Alpha

What is my purpose? What value does the Bible have in my life? How do I pray? How can I grow in confidence to share my faith? These are the big questions that are at the heart of what it means to have a relationship with God. Alpha is a space to explore life’s big questions, to say what you think and to hear other people’s points of view. Over ten-weeks you will explore and discover while listening to weekly topics, participating in table discussion, and developing community. Alpha courses meeting in-person gather around a meal.

You don’t have to come for the whole series—just check it out for the first session and see what you think. No pressure.

Please email discipleship@kensingtonchurch.org with any questions.

All Campus

Orion

Troy

Clinton Township

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For additional questions, please contact giving@kensingtonchurch.org or call 248.786.0637

GROUP LEADER DEVELOPMENT

Together Again

updated June 23, 2021

It’s been life-giving to be in-person for our weekend services since last July when we reopened. If you haven’t yet, we invite you to join us in person sometime soon.

Reservations and ticketing have been discontinued at all our campuses.

Masks are optional at all services, events, and ministry gatherings for kids, students, and adults. We know that everyone needs to make the right health decisions for themselves and their family, so if you feel comfortable removing your mask, you may. And if you’d like to continue wearing a mask or face covering, you may do that as well. This is a personal choice that only you can decide what is best for yourself when attending in person at Kensington.

If you are sick, are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or have possibly been exposed to COVID-19, please plan to stay home and participate in our services via our many online streaming options.

At the start of the pandemic, Kensington’s Executive Team commissioned a group of staff members as a COVID Task Force to establish protocols and procedures for the safety of our church community. Thanks for sticking with us throughout all the changes and adjustments over the past 15 months.

We’re grateful to be together again!