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Forty simple ways to fast and feast

"Forty simple ways to fast and fest for God's Creation" was prepared by Jessica Morthorpe, adapted from Presbyterians for Restoring Creation.  .

We are called both to attend to the sacredness of Creation and to respond to it by active participation in the protection of Creation. This list uses the metaphors of feasting and fasting to invite both these elements of caring for Creation into our Lenten observance.

  1. Feast on the beauty of this day by thanking God every time you go outside. 
  2. Fast from spending money on unneeded items / junk food / alcohol.
  3. Feast on the goodness of God by giving thanks for your life and your sustenance before each meal.
  4. Fast from heavily processed “junk” foods.
  5. Feast on God’s creativity by watching with interest the uniqueness of insects or critters that cross you path today.
  6. Fast from unnecessary water waste by placing a bucket in your shower to catch extra water (and then use it in the place of a toilet flush!)
  7. Feast on the blessing of water by offering a prayer of thanks to God each time you wash your hands or drink from the tap.
  8. Fast from extra packaging by purchasing in bulk and/or bringing your own bags to the store.
  9. Feast on the blessing of community by practicing random acts of kindness to the people around you.
  10. Fast from disposable coffee cups or water bottles by carrying your own.
  11. Feast on accessible services by thanking the appropriate party for recycling programs (curb side, at work, in town, at businesses).
  12. Fast from individual car use for any destination in easy walking, bicycling, or public transit distance.
  13. Feast on the outdoors by taking a walk.
  14. Fast from energy use by eating meals that don’t require cooking.
  15. Feast on the richness of God’s word by reading Scripture with a lens of eco-justice. A Green Bible might help (see http://www.greenletterbible.com/ )
  16. Fast from eating meat, as its production consumes water and creates methane (a greenhouse gas). 
  17. Feast on foods lower on the food chain such as whole grains and vegetables.
  18. Fast from purchases at national chains by shopping at local stores.
  19. Feast on the light of God by having one meal by candlelight.
  20. Fast from television.
  21. Feast on the beauty of community by calling or visiting with a loved one.
  22. Fast from extra energy use by turning your air-conditioner up a degree or two.
  23. Feast on local agriculture by finding out the location of the closest farm stand, farmers’ market, or grocery stocking local produce (and then supporting it!)
  24. Fast from giving consumer products as gifts and instead give donations or subscriptions on someone’s behalf to worthwhile organizations
  25. Feast on fair trade by purchasing Fairtrade chocolates, coffees, and teas when planning for Easter baskets or brunches.
  26. Fast from household chemicals by using vinegar, baking soda, soap, and hot water to clean and disinfect.
  27. Feast on actions you can take for the planet by completing the suggestions in the monthly Earth Team Update.
  28. Fast from turning on—and leaving on—unnecessary lighting fixtures.
  29. Feast on the blessing of plants by watering, weeding, or attending to household or outdoor plants.
  30. Fast from running the dishwasher or washer/dryer when not full.
  31. Feast on the companionship of animals by giving extra attention to your, or others’, pets.
  32. Fast from driving by combining the week’s various errands and trips.
  33. Feast on ways to green your church and stories about what other churches have done by visiting http://www.unitingearthweb.org.au/ and http://wr.victas.uca.org.au/green-church/
  34. Fast from energy and water use by taking a shorter showers and turning off the water while soaping up.
  35. Feast on the support given to you and others by the church. Offer prayers of thanks.
  36. Fast from unnecessary future purchases by saving and re-using envelopes, jars, paper bags, and scrap paper.
  37. Feast on sun and air by line-drying clothing.
  38. Fast from excess drag on your car, which decreases fuel efficiency, by unloading extra weight, keeping air pressure correct in tires, and keeping the car clean.
  39. Feast on the solidness and feeling of earth by walking barefoot.
  40. Fast from apocalyptic environmental thinking and despair—focus instead on the Good News that God creates, redeems, and sustains the Creation and we are called to be responsible, awe-filled caretakers alongside God.

This article is adapted from the “Living for Lent, Caring for Creation” resource written by Presbyterians for Restoring Creation. Presbyterians for Restoring Creation (PRC) is a nationwide (USA) network that cares for God’s Creation by Connecting, Equipping, and Inspiring. Their website is at www.prcweb.org The original resource can be found at http://www.prcweb.org/DOCS/PRCLentenResource.pdf