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Lent: A Time For Connection

March 28, 2022 | Jessica Smith

It is the season of Lent. Lent is forty days (signifying the forty days that Jesus was in the wilderness) beginning with Ash Wednesday and ending with Easter. The word “Lent” comes from an Old English word that means “lengthen” or “springtime.” 

Lent is a time for quiet reflection, a time for examining those things that separate us from God and weed them away. It is a time to connect with God and God’s story. During Lenten worship at Mustard Seed School, students in grades K-8 hear the stories of Jesus’ life from the announcements that foretold his coming to his death on the cross. This leads us to the joy of the resurrection at Easter. 

This year, we are hearing the stories from the Gospel of Matthew. Each day, we hear a different story and see a piece of artwork that is based on the same passage. Students then have a time of quiet contemplation while they draw and write in a Lenten Journal. By examining scripture and art together, we hope that students will come to a deeper understanding of God’s story and deep love. As we see representations of God’s story by artists from different time periods and cultural backgrounds, we hope that students will experience that they are part of a story that is bigger than themselves. 

“Jesus Walks On Water,” by Laura James. Students used this painting to reflect on Matthew 14:22-33.

 

As humans, we are wired for connection with each other and with our Creator. As part of our Lenten practice at Mustard Seed School, we work to connect with the world around us by serving others. This year, the seventh grade is hosting a school-wide Lenten collection to benefit the Arbor Day Foundation to combat climate change. 

The season of Lent culminates with Holy Week the week before Easter. During Holy Week, we experience the Palm Celebration led by Kindergarten, the Way of the Cross Observation (walking through the Stations of the Cross), and ending with a commemoration of the Passover meal and telling of the Exodus story that Jesus would have experienced at the Last Supper. We return from spring break to a joyful celebration of Easter and the Resurrection.

Jessica Smith

Music Teacher, Preschool and Grades 6-8; Worship Coordinator

With more than 20 years experience teaching music in a variety of settings from elementary to college, Dr. Jessica Smith has a deep love for music education, integrated arts curriculum, world music, and worship.
In 2017, Smith traveled to Ghana to study West African drumming and dance as part of a fellowship from Fund for Teachers. In 2015, she completed four years of training to become a Guild Certified Feldenkrais™ Practitioner, a method that uses neuroscience and movement as a catalyst for potent learning. As a clinician, Smith has led workshops in vocal studies and drum circle facilitation. Before coming to Mustard Seed School in 2008, Smith was the Director of Preparatory & Continuing Studies at the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music where she also served as a Visiting Professor.

Dr. Smith enjoys traveling and spending too much money on plants at the Union Square Greenmarket.

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