Below is a message from our friends at the United Church of Christ…

Please Join Us in a Lenten Fast . . .   From Carbon

As we write this invitation, the World Meteorological Organization along with NOAA and NASA all have data showing 2010 tied with 2005 for being the hottest year on record.  We also read that in December 2010, Arctic sea-ice cover was the lowest on record.  Just as humanity now recognizes climate change as a predominant scientific, economic and political issue, we also realize it is a profound moral issue.  Life on earth as we know it is mortal – it is susceptible to change, hurt and, yes, death.

Ash Wednesday (March 9, 2011) 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.

If you are a pastor, we encourage you to email this invitation to the members of your congregation.  If you are a denominational leader, we encourage you to extend this invitation (perhaps with your own introduction) to your churches and pastors and invite them to send the email to the members of their churches.  Our hope is that Christians the world over from every denomination might participate in this carbon fast.

Congregations that participate are encouraged to gather weekly to share their experiences, support one another, compare notes, share resources and pray.

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.

Click here to participate

The Rev. Dr. Jim Antal  •  Conference Minister and President  •  Massachusetts Conference, UCC
The Rev. Dr. Chuck Barnes  •  Conference Minister  •  Rhode Island Conference, UCC
The Rev. Dr. Lynn Bujnak  •  Conference Minister  •  Vermont Conference, UCC
The Rev. David Gaewski  •  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 the New England Regional Environmental Ministries, United Church of Christ

This  fast is adapted from materials created by the following organizations, whom we gratefully acknowledge:  Tearfund; the Brattleboro Area Interfaith Initiative; The Environmental Outreach Committee of the Archdiocese of Washington, DC; Washington Interfaith Power & Light; United Church of Chapel Hill; Rock Spring Congregational UCC; Alternatives for Simple Living; CLR(NSW) Social Justice Committee;

For more climate movement news, follow 350 on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram