On Wednesday, March 6, Bishop Hopeton Clennon, pastor of Central Moravian Church, joined Lower and Middle School Chapels for a conversation about Christian tradition, Ash Wednesday and the season of Lent.
In Middle School Chapel, Bishop Clennon used the acronym L-E-N-T to share what Lent is all about. The L was for “length”. Lent is 40 days long, not including Sundays. This specific length commemorates the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert and the 40 years the Israelites wandered in the wilderness. The season begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Easter. Easter is the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox, and then we count backward to find Ash Wednesday. Bishop Clennon taught us that the E in L-E-N-T might stand for “examination”, the N for “no” and the T for “take-on”. Lent is a season of self-reflection, where Christians say no to what distracts us from God, and take on the habits that bring us closer to God, especially prayer and service to others. Rev. Clennon brought this acronym to life with stories from his own travel and experience.
In Lower School Chapel, students learned about the length and timing of Lent, and then learned to play a simple finger game called “Whoops, Johnnie”. The trick to playing the game is paying close attention to duplicate exactly the movements of the leader. It’s easy to miss the twist at the end. Rev. Clennon connected this game to observing and copying the actions of Jesus, and to learn from others who go before us.
As pastor of Central Moravian Church, Bishop Clennon is an annual visitor to Chapel as we celebrate our common history and shared space. He is an engaging speaker and leads worship most Sunday mornings at Central Moravian Church, where visitors are always welcome. Rev. Clennon was born in Jamaica and attended the University of the West Indies and the United Theological College of the West Indies. In 1998, he was consecrated as the 320th bishop of the worldwide Moravian Unity. In addition to pastoring a number of congregations, he has also served as the Chaplain of Moravian College and Moravian Theological Seminary. We enjoy having him as our neighbor and friend of the school.