Church Leaders Join in Fast for the Climate

LWF church leaders #fastfortheclimate at the Partnership Consultation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. Photo: LWF
LWF church leaders #fastfortheclimate at the Partnership Consultation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. Photo: LWF

“Promote an Economy That Places Life First”

(LWI) – Church leaders from Asia, Africa and Latin America today joined Fast for the Climate.

The fast, which takes place the first day of every month is meant as a regular day of prayer and spiritual reflection to express solidarity with those who are most vulnerable to climate change.

It was launched by The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) together with many other global organizations on 1 January 2014, following an initiative of the LWF delegation to COP 19 in Warsaw, Poland last year. The delegation comprised young people from all LWF regions.

Church leaders from LWF member churches presently convening at the Partnership Consultation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland joined the initiative by fasting over lunch time. “In Taiwan, the reality of climate change is really serious,” explained Rev. Chen Shu-Cheng Selma of The Lutheran Church of Taiwan, when asked about her motivation. “People don’t recognize it, because in modern society we have technical equipment to mask its effects. But as a church we should do something about that. That’s our responsibility,” she said.

The situation in her home country propelled Ms. Mabel Madinga, the General Secretary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malawi to join the fast. “In Malawi, we are experiencing climate change. We are having extreme weather,” she said. “Before we could say: ‘This month, the rain will start.’ Now we can’t tell anymore. I feel churches should take a leading role, knowing that it’s the same people who are coming to church who are being affected by climate change.”

“Be part of it – at least once a month!”

Bishop Eduardo Martinez of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Colombia also sees the spiritual benefit of the campaign. “Fasting enables us to temporarily put aside our own needs and to think about the needs of others,” he said. “Fasting will help us to change habits and to promote an economy that places the life of the planet and of human beings first, instead of thinking first of generating wealth.”

Rev. Dean Annah Nguvauva, Deputy Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Botswana, explicitly thanked the youth delegates for starting the initiative. “It is very important that you took this action. Please continue,” she said. Nguvauva also promised to share the idea with other churches.

Bishop Shekatumba Nambala of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia joined in the call. “Climatic change is affecting the whole planet on which we live. It destroys the balance of nature and also affects our communities,” he explained. “We urge everyone, wherever you are and whatever your belief, as long as you are on this planet, to be a part of fasting – at least one day a month!”

April Fast for the Climate

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