Hello St. Stephen’s and friends!

My name is Brian Cerney, and I am one of the 25 Episcopal Urban Interns working around Greater Los Angeles. This Lenten season I have decided to periodically record my progress in keeping my chosen discipline. I’ll be sharing my experience with the St. Stephen’s community, so be on the lookout for updates.

This Lenten Season, rather than giving something up, I’ve decided to take on two disciplines: daily spiritual practice and daily preparation of at least one meal. I chose these two disciplines because a) I believe they are important and should be a part of my everyday life, and b) by the end of a long day, they are often little more than an afterthought. After working with middle schoolers at EXCEL Charter Academy for upwards of 10 hours, I’m usually drained and just want to sit down with some fast food and zone out on the internet. But that sort of Path-of-Least-Resistance living isn’t what this Year of Service is about, nor is it the sort of lifestyle I want to call my own. I’m hoping that adding them to my daily routine this Lenten Season will help turn them into habits that continue on indefinitely.

The parameters for my disciplines are as follows:

– Daily Spiritual Practice: This can be any activity that I find spiritually nourishing. Prayer, meditation, attending a religious service, playing music – whatever! The goal is simply to take some time each day to engage in something that lifts the soul. During the course of the season I also hope to take part in some spiritual practices that I’m not as familiar with (for example, Taize prayer) as well as attend at least one worship service of a religious denomination that I’ve never experienced before.

– Daily Preparation of At Least One Meal: Here we are using the word “preparation” pretty loosely. This could mean cooking a full meal from scratch or just making myself a sandwich for lunch. Heating something up in the microwave or oven doesn’t count, even if they’re leftovers from a previously cooked meal. I would also like at least one prepared meal a week to be something I’ve never cooked before.

I’m excited to take on these challenges, and I hope you’ll check back to see how I’m doing. With that said, good luck to all in your personal Lenten disciplines!

All the best,

Brian Cerney