A Picture a Day - the Lenten Way
Instagram and other photo sharing forums have allowed youth such as Madison Castillo and others across the conference to post pictures that illustrate the spiritual word of the day throughout the Lenten season. This, and other new insights are allowing Woodville UMC members of all ages to experience ‘worship’ in new ways.
During the season of Lent, the entire worshiping congregation of Woodville United Methodist Church, Woodville, TX is focusing on the theme of “Everyday Worship.” Reverend Bryan Harkness introduced this theme to encourage his congregation to experience God in new ways. “What we are seeking to do is help the congregation recognize that anything we do can be worship if we offer it to God. Worship is about opening ourselves to God, who wishes to bless us. We respond by offering back. That's worship!”
In addition to this theme, Woodville UMC has recently launched a new evening worship service on Wednesday nights aimed at connecting those that are young and young in the faith to the Gospel message with a contemporary, unintimidating worship style.
Using the “Everyday Worship” theme as inspiration, Youth Director Amanda Boyd created a way for the members of this new Wednesday evening service to participate in contemplative worship each day through simple cell phone photography.
“We hope to challenge people to seek God in a worshipful sense in everyday things,” shares Amanda, “connecting with God beyond the church building. There’s nothing more accessible to active young people and youth than a cell phone.”
Worship participants are asked to capture photos that reflect a different Lenten-based theme each week such as humility, creation, expression, and passion.
Utilizing social media outlets such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, individuals are challenged to upload these photos including hashtags that allow other participants to follow one another and view the Lenten journey through the eyes of the entire congregation. The photos will ultimately be consolidated into a video that celebrates the entire forty-day journey through Lent to Easter.
“Social media outlets are incredibly popular with our younger generations, so it was a natural way to make the Lenten journey part of something members already utilize every day,” adds Amanda.
Eighteen-year-old Woodville UMC member, Madison Castillo has enjoyed participating in the photo journey. “It’s just such a simple way to show me how the concept of Lent impacts my day to day life… I can see something that reminds me of expression, or creation, or dust and snap a picture and upload it. The image sticks with me throughout the day. It’s helped me take Lent and the journey to Easter more seriously because it connects with my daily life.”Amanda shares, “It’s been really exciting to watch members actively looking for God to reveal Himself to them each day. What a blessing for all of us to make connections between simple, every-day things and our Creator and then sharing those connections with each other.”