Each year around this time I like to update my Lenten resources. Last year I posts two lists of resources
And More Resources for Lent from the Episcopal Church
This year in keeping with our Lenten Theme – Return to Our Senses in Lent I decided to post practical suggestions for Lent that help us to integrate our prayer practices and our everyday life. I am excited at the suggestions people are sending me.
A United Methodist Pastor serving in north central Pennsylvania shared her newest spiritual discipline with me.
Several months ago I felt that I needed to give up internet, especially email and facebook on my Sabbath day. Then when doing a mini-series on Sabbath keeping at church after reading Gift of Rest by Sen. Lieberman, I realized that I needed to add phone calls to that. Sometimes it is difficult to avoid phone calls, emergencies and such but overall I recommend this type of fast. It is not easy. I can think of lots of reasons each week to go online but do my best to avoid it. I shared the commitment with my congregations, adding of course that if they were on the phone and said a spouse was having a heart attack or something like that I would surely pick up and make the visit. I have been amazed at my colleagues and parishioners who respect this fast, even my boss:)
And on the MSA blog my husband Tom has suggested embracing a new discipline of daily laughter.
Ann Voskamp also has a great idea for a family repentance box which she posted a couple of years ago.
If you are like me and looking for disciplines that help us to focus outwardly on the challenges our world faces you might like to consider these resources. I have focused on two challenges I am passionate about – climate change and poverty.
The Oil Lamp has shared several helpful links to sites that suggest ways to incorporate a carbon fast into your Lenten practices. I particularly enjoyed this link recommended by Archbishop Thabo Magkoba, convenor of the Anglican Environmental Network in South Africa: A Carbon Fast for Lent. They also have some good basic suggestions for a carbon fast here.
Earth Ministry’s LeAnne Beres wrote this helpful article about taking a Carbon fast a couple of years ago which includes links to other great resources.
You might also like to check out these resources for praying for the vulnerable and hungry during Lent.
The ELCA has a great World Hunger Lenten Series available – lots of good information and suggestions. They go for a $3/day diet – probably more doable today then the $2/day we have always attempted.
Bread for the World always produces wonderful resources that challenge us to face the issues of hunger. This year they have worked in collaboration with Women of Faith for the 1,000 Days Movement to develop a series of Lenten activities around the theme of Maternal and Child Nutrition in the 1,000 day window between pregnancy and a child’s second birthday. Check out what is be available here
Episcopal Relief and Development has chosen the alleviation of hunger for the theme of their Lenten Meditations this year too. They are available in both English and Spanish and can be downloaded for free.
And please keep contributing your own suggestions for Lenten practices that help bring faith and life together.