Now that we have recovered from Christmas, it is time to look ahead towards Lent.  Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, March 1, this year so it’s not too soon to begin planning your themes.


The ELCA has a resource called Living our Baptism, Five Gifts of Discipleship that can be used in many settings but is particularly suited for the five weeks during Lent before Holy week.


The Five Gifts of Discipleship is based on the five public affirmations those who are baptized and affirm their baptism make:

  • To live among God’s faithful people
  • To hear the word of God and share in the Lord’s Supper
  • To proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed
  • To serve all people following the example of Jesus; and
  • To strive for justice and peace in all the earth

I’ve always thought these were very profound affirmations and would ask confirmation students to write a sentence about how they intended to carry out those promises in their everyday lives and share those with the congregation.  Then I would ask the congregation to consider how they carry out those promises.

A mid-week Lenten series could focus on each one of these promises each week. In fact, there is a downloadable resource with scripture suggestions from the Letter to the Philippians.

Other Resources for Using the Five Gifts of Discipleship:

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  1. Also check out the resources on the Christian Education Network of the ELCA’s website, All year, we will be adding new resources for each of the five gifts for all ages.


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About The Rev. Dr. Joelle Colville-Hanson

The Rev. Dr. Joelle Colville-Hanson has been Director for Evangelical Mission, ELCA for the Northeastern Iowa Synod since late 2013. Part of her job description is to help leaders and congregations use social media and other digital means for outreach and mission. She writes and edits this blog as well as runs the social media accounts for the synod.




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