March, 2020

Dear Riviera Family,

As March begins, we enter the Season of Lent.  This is the time in our Christian Year where we traditionally study theology and we recommit ourselves to living a life of faith. Where other holidays in the church calendar are celebratory, Lent is meant to be introspective and contemplative.

The Gospel lessons in the Lectionary for this year provided the Lenten theme for this year.  It is difficult to talk about sin, atonement, forgiveness, and grace, but these topics are central to our Christian faith.  It is my hope that in struggling together with these concepts we will understand in greater fullness God’s gift of unconditional love which is so freely offered to us.

(and as an aside – All adults in the church are invited to watch the award winning movie Atonement on March 14th with pizza and discussion, and we will have a movie and pizza for younger members of our church family at the same time.)

As most of you know, I give up sarcasm each year for Lent.  I do so as I am aware that what we say has so much power and that a humor I frequently use can be hurtful and lead to misunderstandings.  Funny, the outcome of each Lent has never stopped me completely from using sarcasm but it makes me very aware of what I say and the importance of honest and direct communication.  In our society’s climate of polarization and miscommunication, real and respectful dialogue is of critical importance.

I look forward to hearing what Lenten discipline you are taking on this season.

In Love and in Faith,


The Rev. Martha M. Shiverick

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