Daily email messages will begin on Ash Wednesday, February 13, and continue through
Easter Sunday, March 31, 2013.
An invitation to you AND to your congregation:
Please Join Us in a Lenten Fast . . . From Carbon
Make this your Congregation’s Lenten discipline!
"One of the smartest things I've done in my 85 years."
"My electric bill dropped $78 monthly on average."
2013 will be the third year we have provided a day-by-day opportunity to fast from carbon as a Lenten discipline. Initiated by the UCC and endorsed by other denominations and faith groups, people of every Christian perspective – and people who are not Christians – have benefitted from this opportunity to become more conscious and conscientious in their daily lives.
Ash Wednesday (February 13, 2013) invites us into the season of Lent – a time within the church year to acknowledge that we are mortal, limited. Lent awakens us to hope in God whose "steadfast love endures forever" and to struggle against everything that leads us away from the love of God and neighbor. The Lenten disciplines of repentance, fasting, prayer, study and works of love are guides for returning to the steadfast love of God. During Lent we confess our mortality, our limits and our vulnerability so that we might be transformed and become the new life God calls us to be.
We invite you to join us as we commit to fasting from carbon during Lent. Beginning Ash Wednesday and throughout Lent, participants will receive a daily email with the day's suggested carbon-reducing activity. When possible, this will include a quantitative measure of the carbon reduction resulting from the activity. Each daily email will also have a section suggesting a weekly focus for the congregation.
The activities range from the very simple: eliminate “vampire” electrical use; to the moderately challenging: take “military showers;” reduce your driving speed; to more long term: buy local produce and consider getting involved in a community garden.
We don’t expect everyone to be able to do everything suggested; but serious consideration of each day’s activity can raise people’s awareness, inviting them to think more carefully about how their day to day living impacts the environment and make the changes they can. In addition to the activity for the day you will find information about the carbon impact of the activity, along with links to more information related to that activity. While we consider all of the activities a form of spiritual practice, a concrete way of participating in the stewardship of God’s creation, some of the activities are overtly spiritual in the more usual sense that people understand the word: meditation, prayer, self-reflection. The intention is to provide do-able actions which can make a difference; not to overwhelm people, or make them feel bad about themselves, or cause them to feel that the situation is hopeless. We want people to feel better for doing this as well as challenging themselves to do more.
Congregations that participate are encouraged to gather weekly to share their experiences, support one another, compare notes, share resources and pray.
This invitation is being emailed to pastors all over the country by UCC Conference Ministers and by our “bishop” counterparts in numerous denominations. Our experience is that Christians the world over – from every denomination – will participate in this carbon fast.
Yes… we are on Facebook! Beginning on Ash Wednesday, February 13, each day’s activity will be cumulatively posted on this page. Click here to go to the Facebook page.
God is calling us to be the change we long to see. Let us engage this spiritual discipline, grateful for all God has entrusted to us, and trusting that with God all things are possible.
The Rev. Dr. Jim Antal • Conference Minister and President • Massachusetts Conference, UCC
The Rev. Beverley Edwards • Acting Conference Minister • Rhode Island Conference, UCC
The Rev. Dr. Lynn Bujnak • Conference Minister • Vermont Conference, UCC
The Rev. Rick Cowles • Interim Conference Minister • Maine Conference, UCC
The Rev. Gary Schulte • Conference Minister • New Hampshire Conference, UCC
The Rev. Chuck Wildman • Interim Conference Minister • Connecticut Conference, UCC
AN INITIATIVE OF:
N.E.R.E.M. – New England Regional Environmental Ministries
The Bishops of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts:
The Rt. Rev. M. Thomas Shaw, SSJE, Bishop
The Rt. Rev. Gayle E. Harris, Bishop Suffragan
The Rt. Rev. Roy (Bud) Cederholm, Jr., Bishop Suffragan, Retired
The Rt. Rev. Doug Fisher, Bishop Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts
Massachusetts Interfaith Power & Light