Lent 2023

Thought for the Week
from Pastor Lisa

Looking for Some Food for Thought? Try these devotionals.
2023 Lenten Devotional Running From Empty

This Lenten Devotional is written by writers from the UCC Stillspeaking Writers Group.  The introduction begins,

“Life these days.  It’s a lot… many of us are constantly on the go, not only because our production-addicted society demands it, while shaming those with too little to do, but also because staying busy is a familiar way to avoid existential anxiety and angst.  We are simultaneously running from empty while running on empty.

Sometimes our running is frantic and dramatic. Sometimes it is subtle. I can be found running from (and on) empty in habits like nail biting, overthinking, eating, Netflix, and doom scrolling. You likely have your own form of running.

At this point, jesus might ask, “Beloved, is empty the worst thing that can happen to you?  Is stillness and doing nothing so awful?  Perhaps the thein you are running from is the very thing you need most.”

The pages to follow offer invitations to embrace the empty places we might prefer to avoid… May they inspire you to breathe deeply, love fully, act justly, and find Jesus in stillness and in storm.”

Matt Laney for the Stillspeaking Writers Group

May this devotional help you as you as you seek a holy and meaningful Lent.


Pastor Lisa



As I prepare to retire and reflect upon my  gratitude for my time at Olivet, I share this, my last Thought for the Week. It is by Maya Angelou, a 21st century American author and poet.  “Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.”  

In faith, gratitude, and love,                                                            Pastor Lisa


In his book, Being Peace, Thich Nhat Hanh speaks lovingly about a smile.  He says that we can smile even in our sorrow because we are more than our sorrow.  He says, “If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it.  This is the most basic kind of peace work.”

He also offers a short poem for us to recite “from time to time.”   

“Breathing in, I calm my body.                         Breathing out, I smile.                                     Dwelling in the present moment                              I know this is a wonderful moment.”                                                                                            (p. 5)

                                                                                  This week, I invite you to start your day with these words and later share a smile.  Perhaps, you will find that you are bringing peace to your part of our world.           

Blessings of a Smile and Peace,

Pastor Lisa