Germany: Fast for the climate during lent
Fasting campaign “As much as you need” focuses on nutrition and food security
(LWI) – An ecumenical initiative in Germany involving 17 Protestant churches and Catholic dioceses, as well as Brot für die Welt and Misereor, is inviting individuals, groups, and congregations to participate in a “Fast for the Climate” during the seven weeks leading up to Easter.
Each of the seven weeks of Lent will focus on a theme related to food and food security. The corresponding UN Sustainable Development Goals are designated to this theme. Based on Exodus 16, the theme for 2022 is “As much as you need”.
The first week, for example, addresses food waste together with Development Goal 12, “Responsible Consumption and Production.” Other themes include regional foods related to Development Goal 15, “Life on Land,” or creating collective change related to Development Goal 17, “Partnerships for the Goals.”
Five member churches of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) participate in the initiative. They are the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hanover, the Church of Lippe (Lutheran Section), the Evangelical Church in Central Germany, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Northern Germany, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Oldenburg.
Questioning our habits
“Lent invites us to question habits, to be mindful of ourselves and our surroundings, and to do everyday things differently,” the ecumenical initiative’s website says. “’Fast for the Climate’ follows this tradition and calls for discovering small steps on the path to more climate justice.”
Food waste did not exist in biblical times, explains Jan Christensen, pastor for environmental issues at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Northern Germany. “The idea that a potato, because it is misshapen or too small, or a cucumber, because it has grown crooked, is simply plowed under again, would be unimaginable for people in biblical times.”
The “Fast for the Climate” campaign aims to encourage participants to take a closer look at their habits. From the field to the plate: Where does the food come from, and how is it produced there? How is the food packaged, and what happens to packaging materials? How can food be prepared (in an energy-saving way)? How about a low-meat, vegetarian or vegan diet?
In addition to the practical suggestions for climate justice, the initiative also provides material for devotions and invites participants to regular online exchanges during the weeks of Lent.
By LWF/A. Weyermüller