Thursday, January 18, 2007

Seven suggestions for a parish-wide fast for Lent

When we think of fasting for Lent, we often think of giving up food, and we often see it as a private practice. But how about other kinds of fasting, and how about making it a corporate fast?

Mia Crosthwaite presents seven possible fasting practice that the parish, as an instution, can participate in during Lent. She relates these to the seven key themes of Catholic social teaching: life and dignity of the human person; rights and responsibilities; care for God's creation; solidarity; call to family, community, and participaion; option for the poor and vulnerable; and the dignity of work and the rights of workers.

Crosthwaite's seven suggestions for a parish-wide fast for Lent are:
  1. Give up space: provide your church space for outside community organizations who help the poor.
  2. Give up trash: recycle as many of the things your parish throws away.
  3. Give up easy buying: buy only fair-trade food items to serve at your parish gatherings.
  4. Give up disconnection: partner with secular organizations that serve the poor.
  5. Give up money: create a parish committee that plans how the Sunday collection to will be used for charity as well as for justice.
  6. Give up authority: do a just wage audit of all parish staff and workers.
  7. Give up the comfort of the familiar: commit to bringing different language groups together for food, dialogue, and community.

Read her entire article here at Today's Parish Minister.

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