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What is Lent?

Lent | Easter Services and Resources

The Lent tradition began in the 3rd and 4th centuries of the early church. The practice derived from the biblical narrative of the people of Israel being tested in the wilderness for 40 years, as well as from Jesus’ forty-day fast in the wilderness. The church has adopted this 40-day period as a season of preparation and repentance in anticipation of the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter day.

In Lent, we follow Jesus to the cross, and discover more and more what it means to belong together to the crucified and risen One. It is also a season of reflecting on our deep need for the great salvation that Christ purchased for us. Whether you are only beginning to follow Jesus, or have been a Christian for quite some time, we hope these resources and services on our church calendar will help to shape your life around the cross and empty tomb of Christ in fresh ways.

Services and Events

Wednesday, Feb. 14: Ash Wednesday Service | 5:30 p.m. (Childcare Provided)

Sunday, Marcy 25: Palm Sunday | Regular Sunday Worship 10:30 a.m.

Friday, March 30: Holy Week Stations | 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. and 3:30-5:30 p.m. (Childcare Provided)     

Liberti Church will offer open hours for opportunity to reflect. We will have multiple stations set up that range from listening to music, to writing, to sitting quietly, to watching someone create live. Our hope is to create an invitational space to slow down and encounter God profoundly in this significant season.

Friday, March 30: Good Friday Service | 5:30 p.m. (Childcare Provided)

Saturday, March 31:  Hike at White Rocks Trail | Meet at trailhead 9:00 a.m (1387 Kuhn Rd, Boiling Springs, PA 17007)

This Easter as we mourn the sin of our hearts and the death of Christ and also as we celebrate His depth of love for us and His resurrection, we invite you to join us in a reflective hike as a community to experience this season in a different and powerful way!  We will hike up the trail in quiet reflection, stop at a beautiful overlook where we will read scripture and sing a few hymns, then be free to fellowship and celebrate and continue on the trail or head back down as your time allows. 

Everyone is welcome!  This trail is fairly easy, with a few steep/rocky parts.  For our small children, it is recommended you bring a carrier for those spots!  Also, bring water and snacks for while you’re on the trail.

Sunday, April 1:   Easter Service | 10:30 a.m.

Ash Wednesday Service and Explanation of Ashes

The season of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday. This year, we invite you to join with us in celebrating Ash Wednesday on Wednesday, February 14, with a service at 5:30 pm. Childcare is provided and the earlier time this year is especially intended to serve families with younger children who have had a more difficult time joining us in years past.
This year, for the first time, we will offer the imposition of ashes at our Ash Wednesday service. You by no means must participate, but as it is an historic tradition rich in meaning and symbolism, we wanted to make it available.
As you consider participating, I invite you to contemplate how and why we use ashes during this service. I’m grateful for how it’s framed in the Companion to the Book of Common Worship:
The Lenten journey from the ashes of death to resurrected life begins on the first day of Lent, Ash Wednesday…This first day of Lent reminds us that unless we are willing to die to our old selves, we cannot be raised to new life with Christ. The first step of this journey calls us to acknowledge and confront our mortality, individually and corporately. In many traditions, this is symbolized through the imposition of ashes — placing a cross on one’s forehead. During the imposition of ashes the words: “You are dust, and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19) are repeated again and again. We are to remember that we are but temporary creatures, always on the edge of death…
Ashes on the forehead is a sign of our humanity and a reminder of our mortality. Lent is not a matter of being good, and wearing ashes is not to show off one’s faith. The ashes are a reminder to us and our communities of our finite creatureliness. The ashes we wear on our Lenten journey symbolize the dust and broken debris of our lives as well as the reality that eventually each of us will die…
Trusting in the accomplished fact of Christ’s resurrection, however, we listen for the Word of God…We follow Jesus into the wilderness, resist temptation, fast, and proceed “on the way” to Jerusalem and the cross. Our Lenten journey is one of metanoia (“turning around”), of changing directions from self-serving toward the self-giving way of the cross.
Whether you choose to receive the ashes or not that night, we’d love to have you join us to begin this season of lent with times of Scripture reading, prayer and repentance.


By Name Intiative: 40 days of Prayer

BY NAME is a period of intentional prayer, connection, and sharing the gospel during the Lenten season. This initiative will run from February 14th -April 1 (Easter Sunday). Commit to PRAY every day, BY NAME, for someone that doesn’t know Christ. Make an added effort to CONNECT and spend time with them. As the Holy Spirit gives you opportunity, SHARE the gospel of Jesus Christ with them.

Learn more on the By Name website.

Easter Outreach


As we’ve done in year’s past, Liberti Church will partner across the Liberti Network and with other churches and organizations to provide clean water to the people of South Sudan through Water is Basic.


Over the past 6 years, Liberti Harrisburg has participated in Easter Outreach by distributing meals to people in need. This is a good and valid way to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. However, we’ve found that in our context and with our congregation (largely middle- to upper-middle class, suburban) meal distributions have not led to any kind of good follow up or relational connections after the meal distribution is over. To put it succinctly, it’s felt like a one-and-done service opportunity. We serve, we step back, and we wait to do it again next year.

As we prayed and planned for 2018, this has led us to another approach. But, in contrast to 2016 and 2017 where we simply tweaked our approach to meal distribution, in 2018, we’re aiming to not only serve people in our region, but to really cultivate a deeper love for our neighbors among the men, women and children of Liberti Church – a love that will continue to find expression throughout the year. Read about our vision for Easter Outreach 2018 here. 


Liberti Church Lent Guide 2018: Coming Soon!

Further Reading:
Keeping a Holy Lent by Craig Higgins
Lenten Lights by Noel Piper
Journey to the Cross by Will Walker and Kendal Haug

Fasting and Prayer

Fasting and prayer are two traditional focuses of Lent. Fasting, joined with fervent prayer and reading of Scriptures, is a spiritual discipline of humbling ourselves in abstinence before God to turn away some tragedy, or for obtaining of some special blessing. Fasting is traditionally the act of willingly abstaining from some or all food, drink, or both, for a limited time. Some people give up a certain behavior or habits during the season. We fast (not just during Lent) because Jesus told us to do so (Matt. 6:16, Mark 2:20). We fast because we continue to see the pattern of fasting practiced in the Church (Acts 13, for example). We fast because it is one of the means God uses to break the power of sin in our lives, prepare us well for prayer, and humble us before him (for unlike God, we need food to live). The act of self-denial can be a helpful tool in your Christian growth. There is nothing magic about it; however it can be a helpful reminder of your deep need for Jesus and the way that Jesus meets and satisfies your every need. So as you pray, join the Psalmist in praying, “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me an know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” (Ps. 139:23-24). (Excerpt from “Why Bother With Lent?” By Elliott Grudem and Bruce Benedict)