Create a climate of change this Lent
Could you or your church be up for the challenge of making significant commitments to changing your lifestyles for the climate this Lent?
That’s the invitation from our Joint Public Issues Team, through its Living Lent initiative.
Living Lent encourages individuals and churches to consider making one of six commitments that will stretch them and respond to the call of climate action.
Single use plastics: could you give them up for Lent?
Meat: Could you go meat-free, or even free of animal products all together, for Lent?
Alternative transport: Could you commit to finding alternative modes of transport this Lent?
Energy use: Could you give up electricity for an hour every day during Lent?
Local living: Could you commit to local living this Lent, buying food produced as locally as possible?
Buy nothing new: could you buy nothing new for the whole of Lent?
Those signing up to Living Lent are also encouraged to share their experiences and be part of a Living Lent online community that can journey together and encourage and challenge each other.
‘Living Lent is about recognising that changing our climate is not just an activity, but a lifestyle,’ the Living Lent website explains.
‘That’s why this Lent, you are invited to become part of a community who will respond to the call to climate action by making significant personal commitments to changing our lifestyles for the climate.’
Living Lent is not just about one decision to change…
The website goes into more detail about why it is encouraging Christians to approach Lent in this way, and what it means to open ourselves up to whole-life change for the climate:
It’s about hungering and thirsting for righteousness, in our relationship with God and with the world.
It’s about exploring the Lentern wilderness. Lent is a time of self-discipline in order to grow in our discipleship. Our environmental damage is making more of our earth barren wilderness; we should travel there to have our eyes opened for our need for renewal.
It’s about being transformed by and in our relationships. Doing this together matters, because a community encourage, challenge and grow.
It’s about our Christian call to love our neighbours. Climate change impacts the poorest and most vulnerable people in the world already. Our Christian call to bear the burdens of our weakest members means that those of us in the affluent west need to recognise our own abuse of the earth’s resources.
The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. God created this planet and declared it very good. The creation – and everyone in it – is precious to God, and this should be reflected in the way we treat it too.
'This is why we want to inspire you to live Lent with us this year. It’s only 40 days, but it will have an impact forever,' the website continues.
'As a member of the community, you are invited to make a commitment to changing your lifestyle for Lent. As the Living Lent community, we will journey through Lent by making these commitments together. We will share in devotional materials, creative, practical and spiritual resources. You will also have the chance to RSVP, to share your encouragements and challenges with the community.
'You could even sign up as a church community. Find out more about what that might mean here.'
Will you be taking part in Living Lent this year? Sign up and find out more at: livinglent.org
The Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT) comprises the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the United Reformed Church (URC), the Church of Scotland and the Methodist Church. Each denomination is supporting Living Lent.
The Revd David Mayne, Moderator of Baptist Union Council, said: 'Living Lent is an excellent opportunity to reflect on how we live and the impact our lives have on the environment. It is a chance to practically express that we are hopeful about the future and that good things lie ahead of us. Working together we can bring about change and demonstrate the goodness of God.'
Derek Estill, Moderator of the United Reformed Church General Assembly, said: 'It is vital that we tackle climate change, but it can sometimes seem like an overwhelming challenge. Living Lent reminds us that change can start with each of us. I have therefore decided to give up meat for Lent, which will not be easy, but then few things that are worthwhile are easy to do.'
The Revd Michaela A Youngson, President of the Methodist Conference, also gave her support: 'I am giving up buying new things for Lent. I know it’s going to be a challenge, but that is what Living Lent is about. Climate change demands serious and urgent responses from all of us. Living Lent offers an opportunity to step out into the wilderness together, with the promise of Easter before us.'
Richard Frazer, Convener of the Church and Society Council of the Church of Scotland, added: '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.'
Do you have a view? Share your thoughts via our letters' page.