Thank you to the Climate Stewards for the information below and their Lenten challenges for 2023. Sign up to receive emails from them through Lent: https://www.climatestewards.org/resources/carbon-fast/
This week’s challenge and prayer is quoted from their email below:
Week 2: Fast from consumerism
We’ve completed one short week and fasted from consumerism.
This week, we continue the challenge of “Buying Nothing”!
The Challenge: Until 4th March, buy nothing unless you truly need it. Exceptions include food and necessities like toothpaste.
Climate Stewards’ board chair, David, is doing the Carbon Fast along with us and says this:
“As we get older I find I have done most of my consuming! I did my flying around when we didn’t realise how bad it was for the planet. I have now accumulated most of the things I want and find I am trying to dispose of a lot of stuff. In fact it gets quite difficult to think of something I would like for a birthday present. I think one of the biggest challenges is letting go of the accumulated wealth and “stuff” of a lifetime lived in a secure and prosperous country. Jesus tells us not store things up that are perishable but the challenge is to dispose of it in ways that are constructive and responsible. Rather than just throwing stuff “away” (there is no “away”) we need to take time to repurpose, recycle or just find a new owner for the accumulated possessions of a lifetime. So for those of us who have already acquired a lot, the challenge this week is to get rid of it responsibly. Time to go and rummage in the storeroom, garage, loft!”
If, like David, you find yourself thinking you already have enough (or too much) stuff, look at what you already own; can you find a new use or a new owner for it?
Why? Buying nothing for two weeks can open our eyes to how accustomed we are to fast fashion, next-day delivery, and the endless ways to consume material goods. Our collective societal appetite for new things drives wasteful practices and significantly contributes to climate change. Jesus was someone who lived with few possessions, focussing instead on receiving his joy and pleasure from God and community. Together, let’s turn our focus to gratitude for what we already have, while reducing our carbon emissions. Read more in this National Geographic article.
Dear Lord, thank you for your creativity, and for the vastness and complexity displayed in creation. We pray that you would renew our minds and reshape our hearts to care for the earth that you have so graciously and lovingly made. We confess we have failed as stewards of creation. We pray you would help us protect the ocean from further harm and restore what we have damaged. Bring innovative ideas to our minds to help creation heal and shift our focus from self-centeredness to the fruitfulness of all creation. Amen.
The Carbon Fast for Lent was created and is run by Climate Stewards.