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United Methodists Speak: On Lenten Sacrifice


It is an age-old dilemma: whether to give up something or to do something more during the 40 days before Easter. Hear what some individuals have decided to do during this special time.

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Dane Womack: “…give up any frivolous spending.”

Abraham Coltrane: “I’m adding prayer time because I don’t pray enough.” 

Sylvie Routh: “I’m fasting meat for Lent.”

(Graphic) United Methodists Speak On Lenten Sacrifice

Beth Burton, Grays Chapel United Methodist Church, Franklinville, NC: “We’re so used to bread in our out diet and it’s also a big weakness for me. So I wanted to sacrifice something that would be hard to do.”

The Rev. Alanda Harris, Grays Chapel United Methodist Church: “I am adding more devotional times, books that focus on the journey of Jesus Christ during this time.”

Cole Bohnsack, Grays Chapel United Methodist Church:“I’m doing a bread and water fast. It has a symbolic reference of recognizing that ‘Jesus is the bread of life.’”

Sophia Agtarap, Minister of Online Engagement for Rethink Church:

“In the early church, people used the time leading up to Easter as a time of preparation for those who wanted to convert to Christianity. It was really a time of intense focus so they could learn more about the Christian faith and on Easter they were baptized.”

(Graphic) Give up or add something?

The Rev. Alanda Harris, Grays Chapel United Methodist Church: “I enjoy adding something for Lent.”

Jack Goras, Grays Chapel United Methodist Church: “I’d just rather give up something because God gave up his only son.”

Anna Brunner, Grays Chapel United Methodist Church: “Every night or during the day, I’m writing a letter to someone in my life who like challenged me or inspired me to live differently in my faith.”

Beth Burton, Grays Chapels United Methodist Church: “I guess I’d rather add something… but for me it’s more about sacrifice and I feel that I need to give something up.”

Shirley Uber, Grays Chapel United Methodist Church:“We put a cross up in our front yard. It’s nothing big and fancy. It’s just a big wooden cross to remind people. And I put a little thing over the mailbox that says, ‘He is risen.’”

(Graphic) Is it worth it?

Sophia Agtarap, Minister of Online Engagement for Rethink Church: “Because there’s no hard and fast rule about how to observe Lent, I think some people take the approach where, you know, you need to be more somber, you need to cut out certain luxuries in your life. But I think the real question is, ‘What space is it creating to be closer to God?’ and to do a little more self-reflection on your own habits and actions.”

(Graphic) Is it tough to stay with it?

Sylvie Routh, Grays Chapel United Methodist Church: “It’s not extremely hard until the thing I’m giving up is put right in front of my face.” 

Eric Barnhart, Grays Chapel United Methodist: “I get pretty disappointed in myself if I fail.”

The Rev. Alanda Harris, Grays Chapel United Methodist Church: “As long as I do my devotional time first thing in the morning before the rest of the world tries to run in on me, I’m pretty good.”

(Graphic) Does Lenten sacrifice make Easter more special?

Sylvie Routh, Grays Chapel United Methodist Church: “It just reminds me that even though I’m giving up something that, I guess, does mean a lot to me, God’s going to fill that in for me.”

Dane Womack, Bethlehem United Methodist Church, Climax, NC: “It’s just a time of heightened spirituality.”

Shirley Uber, Grays Chapel United Methodist Church: “All of Easter Week is important but Easter morning is just, I wouldn’t miss that service for anything.”

Sophia Agtarap, Minister of Online Engagement for Rethink Church: “This time of Easter, whether or not you were really able to commit to the things that you said you would do is really a time to say, ‘Thank you God for this life you’ve given me,’ and to continue to ask those questions about how you can be a better father, daughter, parent, student, brother, sister to those around you.”

For more resources about the Lenten season, visit

This story was first posted on April 8, 2014.
Media contact is Fran Walsh, at 615-742-5458.