Helping Families through the Second COVID Lent
Posted on March 1, 2021
We are officially one-third of the way through our second COVID Lenten journey. Lately, it has felt like we have been going through Lent for a full year, so this particular Lenten season may seem less meaningful than others. Now more than ever, I have heard parents and families express how weary they feel. We passed a sobering milestone last week: over 500,000 lives lost to COVID-19. It all feels like it can be too much. Lent is the perfect time to give these emotional burdens to God, though.
Lent is often considered as a time to fast, or to give things up: alcohol, coffee, and candy are all common. Much like New Year’s resolutions, these fasts are often abandoned within the first few days of Lent. When it feels like we’ve had to give up so much already, I propose you and your families try an alternative: adopt a Lenten practice to strengthen your relationships with God.
- Read a chapter from an unfamiliar Biblical book each day.
- Utilize the Daily Office for Morning, Noonday, or Evening Prayers or Compline.
- Gather a list of saints and place them in a hat. Then, pick a saint out of a hat each day, gather a couple fun facts about them, and share what you learned with your families.
- Start each morning with a simple prayer to God: offer thanksgiving for what you have and ask for what you need.
St. Martin’s continues to provide Lenten offerings for families: Compline on Wednesdays, Hymn Sing with Mr. Tyrone on Fridays, and three live-streamed Sunday services. I am available to provide resources and support to any families or children for faith at home.
Anne Alexis Harra
Children & Youth Minister
Anne Alexis Harra (she/her) was born and raised in Wilmington, DE, where she is currently a member at St. David’s Episcopal Church. Anne Alexis graduated from Washington College in May 2019 with a B.A. in English and a minor in Philosophy. She is currently working on her M.S. in Secondary Education from Saint Joseph's University.
Anne Alexis serves on the Diocesan Council in the Episcopal Church in Delaware, as well as the Racial Justice & Reconciliation Commission at the pleasure of the Rt. Rev. Kevin Brown. She moved to West Philadelphia in January 2021 after spending time in the city with her partner (Cole Appelman [he/him], pictured at left) and while working on her Masters in Secondary Education at Saint Joseph’s University. A big piece of her heart may be in DE, but she could not be more thrilled to join the St. Martin’s community!
Beginning with the waters of baptism, Anne Alexis has devoted her life to serving God in the Episcopal Church. Raised on Godly Play in Sunday school and moving into a tight-knit youth group, she is aware of the positive impact that the Church’s presence can have in the life of a young person. She is passionate about encouraging children and youth to explore their faith on a personal level while also committing to a community-centered effort to enact change for the greater good.
Anne Alexis’s father owns and is president of a local funeral home in Wilmington. Some of her earliest childhood memories include observing him engage with bereaved families in a way that can only be described as ministerial. Her mother is a hospice nurse who guides her patients and families through a dignified palliative care stage. Anne Alexis’s parents have left a huge impression on her heart. A ministerial goal she has at St. Martin’s is exploring the often taboo topics of dying and death in the hopeful context of the gospels.
In her free time, she enjoys weightlifting, reading, spending time with her family (notably her godson, Will), and watching new shows with her beloved cat by her side. She and Cole enjoy trying eclectic restaurants in their neighborhood -- observing COVID restrictions, of course!