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Larry Washington plays piano for the 2019 Lenten Breakfast held at the Christian Church.

The annual community Lenten Breakfast will not take place this year. The community event has been a local favorite for area residents for twenty-two years. The Monroe Lodge #64 A.F. & A.M. has decided to cancel the event in light of the present nation-wide crisis and out of an abundance of caution and concern for public health. Chairman Kent Cheek stated, “we felt this to be the most prudent course of action. We wish to thank all the speakers and musicians who volunteered to share their testimonials and talents and make this fellowship the Lenten season event it has become.”

The Lenten breakfast has shared several testimonies and musical talents of individuals over the years. Each year the Monroe Lodge #64 has served a buffet breakfast for the public to enjoy.

In 2002, at the fifth annual Lenten Breakfast there were several local speakers to bless the public with encouragement. Tom Coberly spoke and encouraged all attending to get active and work toward getting God back into everyday life such as in schools, Elsie Jones gave a good description of how good the young people are and were growing up to be real ladies and gentlemen with helpful and caring hearts. Also speaking that year was Jim Underhill, who gave reasons to pray each morning for all God has given us, Michelle Baumgardner spoke about being helpful to each other and to go out of our way to give of ourselves each day and Jim Berry gave a testimony of the many women who had a positive impact on his life.

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Larry Washington provides the music at the 2002 Fifth Annual Lenten Breakfast with his mother Naomi Washington.

In 2017, the event brought speakers which included Carrie Cooper, Lennie Gottman, FFA Advisor Sean Frankenbach, Darin Underhill and Charletta Washington. The Lenten Breakfast has welcomed new speakers each year.

Several musicians have provided music over the years at the breakfast as well. One musician, the late Larry Washington, shared by playing the keyboard and sang gospel hymns for all to enjoy. Washington had attended all twenty-two years of the previous Lenten Breakfast events.

In basic terms, Lent is the season before Easter, in the Western Church, lasting from Ash Wednesday until the Mass of Holy Thursday exclusive. The evening of Holy Thursday begins the Easter Triduum, which lasts from Holy Thursday to the Evening Prayer of Easter Day. However, Lenten fasting and penance continue until the end of Holy Week, and all Holy Week is included in the traditional 40 day Lenten fast, despite Lent ending on Holy Thursday.

The purpose of Lent to the people celebrating it is to be a season of fasting, self-denial, spiritual growth, conversion, and simplicity. Lent, which comes from the Teutonic (Germanic) word for springtime, can be viewed as a spiritual spring cleaning: a time for taking spiritual inventory and then cleaning out those things which hinders the relationship with Jesus Christ and the service to Him.