An Invitation from the President to Fast During Lent
I am writing to invite Christians within our community to consider joining me in observing a Lenten fast for one or more days between Ash Wednesday and Easter Saturday. I will be observing two kinds of fasts during the period. On every other day beginning on Ash Wednesday I will observe a liquid fast, drinking water (and, if necessary, juice) but abstaining from food from midnight to midnight. At the same time, I will every day observe what the United Church of Christ labels as a “carbon fast.” A carbon fast is simply a conscious effort to reduce one’s use of energy (use water more sparingly, drive fewer miles, turn out lights, etc.).
As you know, fasting has for centuries and in many traditions been regarded as a spiritual discipline. I find that it helps me focus. This year I have chosen to think on the cost of discipleship particularly as reflected in the final days of Jesus’ work. If you will join me in observing either or both kinds of fasting this Lenten Season, I hope that you will choose your own topic for reflection. If your experience is similar to mine, when you fast you will throughout the day find your mind returning to your topic repeatedly.
While both of these forms of fasting apply voluntary limits on their respective forms of consumption, in neither case is fasting intended to place you in jeopardy. If you choose to join me in a liquid fast and have any health concerns or questions, please consult a doctor before fasting.
I will be happy for you to join me silently, that is, without letting me know. If, however, you do let me know, I will pray for you each day, as I hope that you will for me. If there are other ways that you are planning to observe the Lenten Season, I would also welcome you to let me know those ways so that I may consider adding them to my spiritual practices.
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