Christians called to make significant lifestyle changes this Lent

Living Lent news bannerThe call to climate action has got louder and during Lent 2019, Christians are being invited to respond by making significant lifestyle changes.

During Lent, which starts on Wednesday 6 March, the Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT) – on behalf of the United Reformed Church (URC), Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Church of Scotland and the Methodist Church – is hosting Living Lent: Creating a climate of change.

Research shows that the window of time to affect change is getting smaller, yet people are still unsure of the practical steps they can take to help.

The Living Lent campaign invites you to take up one or more of six challenges. Could you:

·         Go meat free?
·         Take up alternative forms of transport?
·         Commit to an hour ‘electricity free’ every day?
·         Give up single use plastics?
·         Commit to buying goods produced within 30 miles of where you live?
·         Commit to buying nothing new?

You are being invited to choose something that will stretch you – and then become part of an online community, who are also making these commitments.

Through daily emails, the Living Lent community will share blogs, spiritual reflections, devotional and creative materials that will help you explore where this lenten journey might take you.

You will also have the chance to share the stories, photos, challenges and joys you face with the rest of the community.

Derek Estill, Moderator of the United Reformed Church General Assembly, gave his support to Living Lent, saying: '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.'

The Revd David Mayne, Moderator of the Baptist Union Council, commented: '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.'  

Perhaps members of your church, or family could sign up together?

Visit Living Lent to find information and resources, including Bible study prompts, lectionary materials and family resources.