Ecumenical Lenten Carbon Fast
The 2017 daily email messages will run from
Ash Wednesday, March 1 through Easter Sunday, April 16.
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Text CARBONFAST to 22828!
"What does God require of you but to do justice and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God?"
New for 2017 - The Ecumenical Lenten Carbon Fast will be a re-run of the 2016 posts. If you and others in your congregation want to use these daily messages as a personal Lenten discipline or use them for weekly Sunday conversation, please feel free to do so. Everyone who was a subscriber last year will once again receive these daily emails when Lent begins. As always, if someone wants to un-subscribe they may do so at any time... And if you do, a year from now we'll give you a heads up regarding what is planned for Lent 2018.
We recommend from Yale Divinity School - free Eco-Theology course from Yale - participate from your home - make this a Adult Study group in your church.
Free Yale MOOC on Thomas Berry and Journey of the Universe
February 13, 2017 - April 3, 2017
For more information and to access this, click here: https://www.coursera.org/specializations/journey-of-the-universe
Take advantage of this extraordinary opportunity - three free courses centering on eco-theologian Thomas Berry and the application of his work and writing to understanding the earth, God's gift of creation - the cosmos, and our relationship and responsibility. This is an excellent opportunity for small groups in churches to participate in the courses, and then gather weekly to discuss with one another... And then launch a green team in their church.
Two courses - each of them two hours long - can be viewed at any time. They center on the Emmy-award winning film, Journey of the Universe, the book from Yale University Press, and a series of 20 interviews with scientists and environmentalists, titled Journey Conversations.
The third course focuses on the life and writing of eco-theologian Thomas Berry (1914-2009) whose early voice awakened moral sensibilities to the environmental crisis. He is known for articulating a "new story" of the universe that explores the implications of the evolutionary sciences and cultural traditions for creating a flourishing future. It is in seven parts, and you can spend 1-3 hours on each of those seven parts.
Please circulate this notice and encourage others to circulate it in their churches widely. This is an excellent opportunity for small groups in churches to participate in the courses, and then gather weekly to discuss with one another.... And then launch a green team in your church.
History of the Carbon Fast - Initiated by the UCC and endorsed by other denominations and faith groups, thousands of people representing all fifty states and at least twelve other countries have benefited from this opportunity to become more conscious and conscientious in their daily lives.
Ash Wednesday invites us into the season of Lent, a time within the church year to acknowledge that we are mortal, limited, so that we might be transformed and become the new life God calls us to be. The activities range from the very simple (e.g. eliminate “vampire” electrical use) to the moderately challenging (e.g. take “military" showers) to more long term (e.g. buy local produce). We consider all of the activities a form of spiritual practice, a concrete way of participating in the stewardship of God’s creation. 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 empower people so they can challenge themselves to do more.
INVOLVING YOUR CHURCH IN THE CARBON FAST - We recommend forming a small group within your church to meet after worship or fellowship hour each week for discussion and taking action. The Carbon Fast will provide myriad ways your congregation can get involved in climate justice. These vary from questions for group discussion to steps your church can take to conserve energy, from introducing climate change into worship to divesting your church’s portfolio from fossil fuels. Across the broad range of activities, there should be no shortage of possibilities that match the initiative and interest within your congregation.
Even if forming a group in your church is not feasible during the Carbon Fast, the suggested church actions are peppered with steps you can personally take in your congregation and that you can complete in any community during Lent and beyond.
Only by coming together can we solve the climate crisis. Our churches, as tight-knit, morally-driven communities, are an excellent place to begin! 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. Ms. Barbara Libby • Interim Conference Minister • Rhode Island Conference, UCC
The Rev. Dr. Lynn Bujnak • Conference Minister • Vermont Conference, UCC
The Rev. Ms. Deborah J. Blood • Conference Minister • Maine Conference, UCC
The Rev. Mr. Gary Schulte • Conference Minister • New Hampshire Conference, UCC
The Rev. Mr. Kent Siladi • Conference Minister • Connecticut Conference, UCC