from the Rev. Penny Warren, Priest Associate

You are invited to a book discussion group that will meet after Sunday worship beginning February 18 and continuing through each of the Sundays in Lent. The book is A Different Kind of Fast: Feeding Our True Hungers in Lent (2024) by Christine Valters Paintner. It’s available in print and digital versions from a variety of sellers. (Do a Google search on the title for options.)

About a month ago, I attended the on-line book launch of A Different Kind of Fast. Immediately, I knew I’d found the book I wanted to read for Lent this year, and almost as quickly, I envisioned inviting others into conversation about the experiences to which this book invites its readers. Don’t let the word “fast” mislead you. This is not simply about restricting one’s diet during Lent. It’s about making room for embracing the “things” for which our souls really hunger—that is, for experiences like simplicity, slowing down, and abundance. “I want to invite you into a different kind of fast, one which helps you identify those patterns and habits that distract you from the fullness of life and open up space for the
feast that awaits each of us.” So writes the author in her introduction.

Following a thought-provoking introduction, daily readings begin with Ash Wednesday. Each full week in the season has a theme reflecting something to fast from, and something to embrace. Entries for each day of the week guide the active reader through one of several time-honored approaches to
prayer: lectio divina , breath prayer, visio divina , meditation with one of the desert mothers or fathers, a contemplative walk, imaginative prayer. The week concludes with a “creative ritual for the senses.”

So here again is the plan: After a suitable interval at coffee hour on each of the Sundays in Lent, participants can step aside in the Undercroft to join a 30-minute conversation about the book and our experiences with it.

UPDATE from Rev. Penny:

The first printing of A Different Kind of Fast has already sold out (it remains available as an e-book). The publisher has agreed to expedite a second printing, likely to be available soonest via Amazon; I advise ordering now.  Amazon Link:

Meanwhile, please let me know as soon as possible if you are awaiting delivery of an order for the print version and intending to join the discussion. We have been given permission by the author to reproduce material taking us through the second Sunday in Lent. You may wish to read some or all the introductory material before Ash Wednesday. Regardless of what you have or haven’t read, know you are entirely welcome to join the discussion group.

A Different kind of Fast