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Pysanky, Ukraine, and Love

Twelve years ago during Lent, my mom and I attended a Pysanky egg workshop at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in Dallas. I learned about this art form and spiritual practice from her, so I thought it would be a fun activity for the two of us to experience together. You may be familiar with this Ukrainian Easter tradition that dates back centuries. From a Christian perspective, Easter eggs represent the empty tomb of Jesus. For Ukrainian Orthodox Christians, Lent, the 40 days before Easter, is time to "Pysanky"! The word "pysanka" comes from a word that means "to write," and the designs are not painted on but written with beeswax. Each egg is written with a design using the centuries-old wax-resist method. In the Ukrainian Orthodox tradition writing pysanky is a meditative form of prayer. Pysanky as a prayer practice is powerful. And using these "prayers" as gifts in the Ukrainian Orthodox tradition is a common practice, not only during Eastertide but throughout the entire year. Consider Pysanky similar to the modern-day Hallmark greeting card where your particular message is written in symbols. I love this practice and have made it a part of my family's Easter ritual. In December 2021, a group at Ascension started planning Eggstravaganza, a Lenten Pysanky workshop. Little did we know then that the beautiful people of war-torn Ukraine would be on our collective minds and hearts this season. As our plans unfolded, we decided this event would be a fundraiser with donations benefiting Episcopal Relief and Development’s Ukraine response effort. We will collect donations for this through Sunday, April 3rd. We hope you'll join us for our inaugural Ukrainian Eggstravaganza workshop and fundraiser from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm on Saturday, April 2nd. All ages will be able to practice Pysanky. No experience is necessary, and we'll have many simple design ideas to replicate. Registration is required to help us plan for materials and eggs. Childcare will be provided for those who register. Learn more and register HERE! Blessings,

Catherine Pryor Miller Member of Ascension and the Evangelism Committee

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