Dear Holy Trinity Church family member,
Since the beginning of Holy Trinity Church, we have wanted to see men and women grow in their love for Jesus Christ throughout Chicago. We know that the good news of Christ—The Gospel—is power to those who believe. You and I have tasted and experienced that life-changing power. The Scriptures declare that if we are in Christ, we are a new creation, the old has gone, behold, all things have become new!
I’m writing now to ask you join in a journey of discipleship and renewal. In anticipation of the season of Easter and the days leading up to it which are often called Lent, I invite you to a 40 day journey of deeper missional discipleship and renewal. The elements of this shared journey together are:  Easter prayer & invitation;  40 Days of Meditation on the Life of Christ; and  a Lenten fast.
Easter prayer & invitation. In our calendar year, there is no greater celebration of our new life in Christ than Easter Sunday. We have resurrection hope! Compelled by Christ’s love, we want others in the city, our neighbors, family and friends, to taste the goodness of God's grace. So, I have a simple challenge for you: I invite you to enter a process of prayer with me and others to joyfully, prayerfully and actively invite 10 people in your life outside of Christian community to our Easter Celebration service on April 8, 2012. Yes, ten. I know that sounds like a lot. And it is. Let me explain.
This is a simple challenge, but not a simple process. We all have multiple people in our lives with varying levels of closeness or comfort to discuss spiritual matters. For some of you, you might say, "It would take a miracle for so-and-so to attend church with me." Nevertheless, we believe that our confidence comes not in our own abilities, but by the power of the Holy Spirit through prayer and faith. We also believe we have the best news in the world. We want you to enter a discipleship process with us of stretching our prayer and faith to see what God might have in store in our midst to see Jesus Christ more fully experienced in the city. Wouldn’t it be exciting to see God’s Spirit move?!
Let me say a word about Easter. Easter, in some respects, is a peculiar holiday in the city's calendar. It is clearly a religious holiday, and actually many, many people are open to coming to church at Easter.
And while many in the city acknowledge the origins of Easter, the conventional sights and sounds regarding bunnies and eggs, are culturally sentimental at best. Easter, we believe, is the best day of the year to invite someone outside of Christian community to church. People in your life have more openness (versus other days!) to explore church on Easter. What they need is to be lovingly, confidently, and intentionally invited – after much prayer! You have an opportunity this spring to invite others to share in the celebration of Easter.
Because it is a prayerful process, we have provided some guidance in this booklet on how you might approach invitations in your life with prayer. You'll also find a prayer card where you can remind yourself daily of 10 people in your life you will be inviting. You won’t think of everyone all at once. This is a process of prayer. We have worked hard to serve you during this season leading up to Easter.
40 Days of Meditation on the Life of Christ. I would like our community to know Jesus in a deeper way in the weeks leading to Easter. To that end, I encourage you to a journey through the Life of Jesus by daily meditations through the Gospels for forty days. The guide to this journey is later in this booklet. I am confident that your love for Christ will grow in preparation for Easter.
Lenten Fast. Also included in this packet is a card to guide you in a Lenten Fast. This is an exercise in spiritual discipline and self-awareness of unhealthy indulgences in our life during the season of Lent. This practice of self-denial is a response to God's grace, done so through history and even by Chicagoans today; it's a unique spiritual and cultural opportunity. The card also included in the packet that guides you in this further.
I am excited for what God is going to do. Not only in the small (and not so small!) miracles we will see in the weeks ahead, but in your own discipleship with Jesus Christ. We are convinced that through this process of the next 40 days, the Gospel will continue to deepen in your life and Christ-likeness will become more and more evident. This is my prayer for you these days leading up to Easter.
For our Risen Christ,