Lent is observed

By: Anne Stokes, Loomis News Correspondent
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Some local Christian churches began the season of Lent last week.
Ash Wednesday, on Feb. 13, marked the start of the 40 days of Lent, a period of prayer, fasting and alms giving, and for many a time of introspection on how followers of the faith can become closer to their religion. Lent culminates with Easter.
Shepherd of the Sierra Presbyterian Church in Loomis holds Taizé services every Wednesday evening from 7:30-8:15 p.m., through March 27.  
This increasingly popular style of service, which originated in France in the 1940s, is marked by quiet prayer and meditation.  
“We, as Presbyterians, talk a lot,” said Pastor David Ratcliff.  “In a normal Ash Wednesday service, there’d be a lot of call and response, a lot more words, the bulletin would be very filled with words.  Whereas the Taizé service, a true Taizé service, has only the reading of scripture, prayers, and a lot of silence, and a number of songs.  So, there’s less of a verbal assault and more of a quietness.”
“It’s very meditative,” said Bee Besecker, of Rocklin.  “We can sit and they repeat the verses from scripture.  Sometimes we read over Scripture, and we read over it so fast, we don’t really think about it.  But if you repeat them over and over again, you can start thinking of what they mean.”
The church is located at  5400 Barton Road. For more information, call 652-4851.
Loomis Basin Congregational United Church of Christ invites the community to join them for Souper Suppers every Wednesday evening at 6 p.m., through March 27. Guests enjoy a simple supper of soup, bread and dessert, followed by a short program.
Church moderator Carol Zaworski said she wants people to know that the atmosphere at the Loomis Basin Church is casual and friendly.
“We really mean it when we say come as you are. We are an open and affirming church that welcomes everyone to join us in the daily life of the congregation and in leadership.”
The church is located at 6440 King Road. For more information, call 652.6011.
Sacred Space Retreat Ministry invites interested participants to a Lenten Meditation and Study group on Wednesdays mornings from 10-11:30 a.m., through March 27, at Sierra Christian Church, 5645 Rocklin Road, in Loomis.  Church staff said they will use their labyrinth and other “forms of embodied prayer to deepen our prayer life and spirituality.”
For more information, call 837-1109.