Church members are being invited to change something in their lives for Lent that will make a positive difference to climate change.
Lent starts next week on Wednesday 6 March and churches are encouraged to contribute to a more sustainable future for the planet through Living Lent – a new initiative from the Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT), a cross-denominational group working together for peace and justice.
Rev Dr Richard Frazer, convener of the Church and Society Council of the Church of Scotland, said:
“Climate change is not simply a challenge we can solve with smart thinking and better technology. In reality, climate change and the human impact on species and habitat loss compels us to completely change our thinking.
“It is the greatest challenge of our age and will require us radically to alter our lifestyles.
“So, I wholeheartedly welcome this Living Lent series produced by our ecumenical partners in JPIT which will give us practical ideas as well as inspiration to make that shift.”
Rev David Coleman, the environmental chaplain for Eco-Congregation Scotland, will be contributing reflections during Living Lent and has made his commitment to give up meat. He said:
“It’s very easy to just sit back and lament in resignation at the alarming damage that is being done – now at a brutal pace – to everything which feeds and provides habitat both to us and our fellow creatures. The season of Lent has always offered opportunity for an exercise in spiritual growth, earthed in a strictly manageable level of commitment. How appropriate to dedicate and channel Lent towards greater environmental awareness and personal active participation in our response.
“I will be joining in myself, as the project has given me the kick-start to get back to vegetarianism.
“I like the odd bacon sandwich and, as a minister, there will be times when honouring hospitality (as in sausage rolls at funerals) may provide exceptions, but I can’t simply ignore the basic, easy, manageable stuff – like giving up meat.
“To take part is a small and worthwhile step. And each small step, like a prayer, is in God’s hands.”
The Living Lent community will share blog posts, spiritual reflections, devotional and creative materials that will help you explore where this Lent journey might take you.
You will also have the chance to share your stories, photos, challenges and the joys you face with the rest of the community.
Here are six ideas you could implement into your lifestyle:
- Take up alternative forms of transport. Do you normally drive to work? If you can, why not walk, cycle or use public transport?
- Give up single use plastics
- Buy only locally sourced produce within a 30 mile radius of your home
- Buy nothing new
- Give up meat – if you’re not already a vegetarian, that is.
- Give up electricity for an hour each day. Get re-acquainted with reading a book instead of watching TV in the evenings.
Help spread the message
The JPIT team has created some useful downloadable resources you can use to share across your churches, encouraging and challenging one another as we journey through Lent.
- Publicise Living Lent in your church’s newsletter
- Use the spiritual reflection resources to open up discussions about climate change in your church
- Download social media graphics you can use to help spread the message on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
Visit the Living Lent website to find out more.