Lent 2018 Small Groups

Lent 2018 Small Groups

REGISTER NOW! Small groups with two different tracks will meet through Lent, beginning the week of February 19. Choose a weekday that works for you.

Dear Members, Friends, and Neighbors,

The Christian season of Lent leading to Easter is a period of time that gives us the opportunity to deepen our relationship with God, with our neighbors, and with our best selves. Like the “WHOLE30” diet plan, Lent is a forty-day plan to bring healing and wholeness into your life. The “WHOLE40” of Lent is a series of physical and spiritual practices in which people have engaged over the centuries in order to prepare for the Easter newness God will give.

Practices like self-examination, or taking stock of your values and how closely your life reflects these values. Like repentance, which means literally “turning around” from going the wrong way and bringing yourself back on track to God. Like prayer, or speaking to God and listening to God: reading a psalm in the morning (Book of Common Prayer, pages  585-808) or trying the prayers written for all sorts of occasions (Book of Common Prayer, pages 814-835). Like fasting: abstaining from certain foods in order to understand bodily that all of life, including the food given to nourish our bodies, is a gift which we receive from God. Like self-denial, or choosing not to do something for yourself so that you can do something for someone else. Like reading and meditating on God’s holy Word, the Scriptures.

In my experience doing these practices by yourself is unnecessarily difficult, unnecessarily lonely, and unnecessarily discouraging. But when you share in these practices with others there is joy, accountability, and spiritual growth that cannot happen in solitude.

To this end, I invite every person in our community to participate in one of the WHOLE40 small groups where we will engage in these Lenten practices together. There are five small groups with two tracks from which to choose:

Track One: Journeying With the “Greats”
John Chrysostom, Benedict of Nursia, Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Jonathan Edwards: figures who would not welcome the title “great” but nonetheless are counted among the greatest spiritual guides of the Christian tradition. 

Download materials
Week 1: John Chrysostom | Week 2: Benedict of Nursia | Week 3: Teresa of Avila | Week 4: John of the Cross | Week 5: Jonathan Edwards

Track Two: Meeting Jesus in the Gospel of John
Encountering the figure of Jesus in John’s Gospel with guided meditations by the monks of the Society of St. John the Evangelist in Cambridge, MA ( 

Small groups will meet in people’s homes or on the Church grounds, 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM including dinner. Each participant will receive a binder with the following for each week: specific readings; questions for reflection, conversation, and journaling; and prayers. Registration is essential: contact Lydia in the church office at & 312-944-1083, or use the sign-up sheets in the church.


Thursdays at the Rectory • Fridays at Katalina Groh’s Home

Journeying With the Greats — Anne Brinsmade at the Church:
Mondays February 19, February 26, March 5, March 12, March 19

Journeying With the Greats — Will Bouvel and Fred Grier in their home: 
Tuesdays February 20, February 27, March 6, March 13, March 20

Journeying With the Greats — Liz Braun and Adam Crampton at the Church: 
Wednesdays February 21, February 28, March 7, March 14, March 21

Journeying With the Greats — Wes Smedley in the rectory: 
Thursdays February 22, March 1, March 8, March 15, March 22.

Meeting Jesus in the Gospel of John — Brian & Teri Odom in Katalina Groh’s home: 
Fridays February 23, March 2, March 9, March 16, March 23.

In the words of the Ash Wednesday liturgy: “Dear People of God: The first Christians observed with great devotion the days of our Lord's passion and resurrection, and it became the custom of the Church to prepare for them by a season of penitence and fasting…I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God's holy Word.” (Book of Common Prayer, pages 264-265)


The Rev. Wes Smedley
Rector, St. Chrysostom’s Church & Day School

Whoever you are, and wherever you find yourself on the journey of faith, you are welcome as you are at St. Chrysostom's, to hear the call of God in your life and to receive the blessings of God freely given.