Cultivating a Sabbath Way of Life


Adults—Younger and Older
University Students
Serving In Community 
Important Dates for Lent

Encountering Christ: Surrendering and Receiving Life

Lent 2017


We enter the Lenten season as those who are fully known and wholly beloved. It is from this place of belovedness that we encounter Christ, the great Lover who invites us to surrender—our agendas, our brokenness, our very selves—to receive life, to more fully become the beloved.

This Lent, the entire First Pres community is invited to encounter Christ and his invitation to surrender through a fully-integrated six-week experience. Each week will feature a message from the coordinating sermon series, Christian formation experiences for all ages, and missional engagement opportunities.


Encountering Christ: Surrendering and Receiving Life
Sundays, 9 and 11:30 am (unless noted), Sanctuary

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent. On this day and for all our corporate worship through Easter, we enter imaginatively into living encounters with Christ and receive his life-giving invitation to surrender.


Date Theme Scripture Text
Ash Wednesday | March 1 at 7 pm

Encountering Christ: Surrendering and Receiving Life
Mark 6:1–6
First Sunday in Lent | March 5

The Disciples: Surrendering Our Plans
Mark 1:14–20 
Second Sunday in Lent | March 12

The Samaritan Woman:Surrendering As Embrace John 4:1–15 
Third Sunday in Lent | March 19

The Pharisees: Surrendering Our Hypocrisy Matthew 23:1–36 
Fourth Sunday in Lent | March 26

A Sick Woman, A Sleeping Girl: Surrendering What Ails Us Luke 8:40–56 
Fifth Sunday in Lent | April 2

Zacchaeus: Surrendering Our Power and Privilege Luke 19:1–10 
Palm Sunday | April 9 at 11 am

Israelites: Surrendering Our Praise Matthew 21:1–11 
Maundy Thursday | April 13 at 6 pm

The Disciples: Surrendering Our Expectations John 13:1–20 
Good Friday | April 14 at 7 pm

Christ's Surrender



Throughout the six weeks of Lent, adults from all neighborhoods and stages in life will encounter Christ and his invitation to surrender as we gather in community groups of 6–12 people to study the weekly sermon scripture passage and place it in conversation with Henri Nouwen’s spiritual classic, Life of the Beloved, and our own lives. Study guides and copies of Life of the Beloved will be available beginning February 19. For more information, please visit the Community Groups webpage.

Community Group Formation Event (Primary way to find and register for a Community Group)

Date: Sunday, February 12
Time: 10:15–11:15 am
Location: Westminster Gym

Community Group Online Registration 

Dates: Wednesday, February 15–Sunday, February 26

Community Group Gatherings

Dates: Weeks of March 5–April 9
Time and Location: Various


Dates: Wednesdays, March 8–April 12
Time: 7–8 pm
Location: 2:42 House, 2423 Haste Street, Berkeley

Our FoCUS (Fellowship of College and University Students) gatherings during Lent will be a time of sharing stories and exploring practices that respond to Christ’s invitation to surrender and receive life. Our exploration of Christ’s encounters in the gospels, placed in conversation with Nouwen’s Life of the Beloved, will be tailored for university life. For more information, please contact Mandy Kirby at


Dates: Sundays, March 5–April 9
Time: Middle Hour, 10:15–11:15 am
The I-5 (5th Grade): Rooms W306 and W307, Westminster Hall
Rooted (6th–8th Grade): Middle School Room, Room M201, McKinley Hall
Marked (9th-12th Grade): High School Room, Room M202, McKinley Hall

During the Lenten season, the youth department will study the sermon scripture texts, exploring Jesus’ encounters with people and the various ways they were called to surrender to receive life. We’ll hear stories from people in our congregation who have experienced the life-giving power of surrender and further explore together Jesus’ invitation to us today. For more information, please contact Calvin Sodestrom at


Dates: Sundays, March 5–April 9
Time: 9–10 am and 11:30 am–12:30 pm
Location: Second Floor, Westminster Hall

Children in Godly Play will hear stories that focus on the life, teachings, healings, and transformational encounters of Jesus. A Lenten devotional will be available for families to provide suggestions for worship and practical applications throughout the week. For more information, please contact Rosemarie Eichner-Raja at



Date: Saturdays, March 11, March 25, and April 8
Time: 3–7 pm
Location: Westminister Gym

As we enter the season of Lent, join us in encountering Christ as we greet and serve our neighbors in need in the Berkeley community. Come help cook in the kitchen, welcome guests, host tables, or participate in the Bible study following the meal. For more information and to volunteer, please visit the Street Meal webpage.

For other ways to volunteer with First Pres’ local mission partners, please visit the Mission Outreach webpage.