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Fasting

Have you been fasting this Lent? After all, fasting is one of three traditional Lenten practices along with prayer and almsgiving.

Recently I heard of an action in Massachusetts that is a wonderful example of modern-day fasting in the spirit of Isaiah who encourages the kind that “removes chains of oppression and the yoke of injustice”.

For two weeks starting today a small group of committed citizens in Peabody, Massachusetts is beginning a hunger strike to protest the proposed building of the Peabody Power Plant, a fossil fuel facility that will cost $85 million and last 30 years. The plant will be built in an area surrounded by communities that already have poor air quality from other fossil fuel facilities. Talk about oppressive and unjust toward people and planet!


This group of prophets/activists from 350 Mass is demanding that federal decision makers stop the project and transition Massachusetts to clean energy, and they are inviting the broader community to join them.

Will you deepen your Lenten practice and create a connection with them by fasting from electricity or food during the coming two weeks of their hunger strike?


If a hunger strike does not feel accessible to you, spring is an excellent time to fast from electricity. With more daylight hours, the need for artificial light decreases. Take note of the natural light available in your spaces and use only that whenever possible.


While the temperatures are mild, try turning the thermostat off for a few hours or the whole day! This is also an opportunity to test how energy efficient your home is; pay attention to how long it maintains a steady temperature. There may be areas that could use improvements in their insulation and/or airtightness that would save energy and money in the long run.


If you do fast in any capacity, you can let 350 Mass know you are showing this support. From cleanpowercoalition.org:

"We encourage anyone who wishes, and can do so safely, to join us in a symbolic fast of any length–6, 12, 24 hours. In doing so, you can express support for our goals. If you do fast, please let us know at climatecourageusa@gmail.com, and we will make public how many people do so! We understand that there are many people who should not fast, or who struggle with eating, and a simple email expressing support is also welcome."

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