Our household has been actively working with the Architecture2030 plan to revise the codes and laws creating the change needed in energy consumption ( particularly oil consumption) and reduce carbon emissions.
We added solar panels to our house, study our water usage, do not use our clothes dryer, recycle, reuse and study to make our Architectural Firm the Greenest Design Folks in our area. I am proud to say that we have taken an extremely old house, made it beautiful and created a lifestyle that has meaning and is very green.
We have offset our carbon production by the equivalence of planting a tree every month for the past 18 months. We have produced enough power to run our household and 10 more for a number of months now, even with our dull and cloudy 2010 weather.
Can we improve? Yes I am sure we can and that feels powerful to me, to be able to actively do some things to make an actual difference in my life and my planet. So when the following invitation came to my email box – I said count me in…What a great way to bring carbon neutral into my spiritual practice for 40 days.
I just wanted to pass this on to you so you could have the option of making a difference on a daily basis.
Here is the invitation:
Please Join Us in a Lenten Fast . . . From Carbon
As we write this invitation, the World Meteorological Organization along with NOAA and NASA all have data showing 2010 tied with 2005 for being the hottest year on record. We also read that in December 2010, Arctic sea-ice cover was the lowest on record. Just as humanity now recognizes climate change as a predominant scientific, economic and political issue, we also realize it is a profound moral issue. Life on earth as we know it is mortal – it is susceptible to change, hurt and, yes, death.
Ash Wednesday (March 9, 2011) invites us into the season of Lent – a time within the church year to acknowledge that we are mortal, limited. Lent awakens us to hope in God whose “steadfast love endures forever” and to struggle against everything that leads us away from the love of God and neighbor. The Lenten disciplines of repentance, fasting, prayer, study and works of love are guides for returning to the steadfast love of God. During Lent we confess our mortality, our limits and our vulnerability so that we might be transformed and become the new life God calls us to be.
We invite you to join us as we commit to fasting from carbon during Lent. Beginning Ash Wednesday and throughout Lent, participants will receive a daily email with the day’s suggested carbon-reducing activity. When possible, this will include a quantitative measure of the carbon reduction resulting from the activity. Each daily email will also have a section suggesting a weekly focus for the congregation.
If you are a pastor, we encourage you to email this invitation to the members of your congregation. If you are a denominational leader, we encourage you to extend this invitation (perhaps with your own introduction) to your churches and pastors and invite them to send the email to the members of their churches. Our hope is that Christians the world over from every denomination might participate in this carbon fast.
Congregations that participate are encouraged to gather weekly to share their experiences, support one another, compare notes, share resources and pray.
God is calling us to be the change we long to see. Let us engage this spiritual discipline, grateful for all God has entrusted to us, and trusting that with God all things are possible.
The Rev. Dr. Jim Antal • Conference Minister and President • Massachusetts Conference, UCC
The Rev. Dr. Chuck Barnes • Conference Minister • Rhode Island Conference, UCC
The Rev. Dr. Lynn Bujnak • Conference Minister • Vermont Conference, UCC
The Rev. David Gaewski • Conference Minister • Maine Conference, UCC
The Rev. Gary Schulte • Conference Minister • New Hampshire Conference, UCC
The Rev. Chuck Wildman • Interim Conference Minister • Connecticut Conference, UCC
An initiative of the New England Regional Environmental Ministries, United Church of Christ
This fast is adapted from materials created by the following organizations, whom we gratefully acknowledge: Tearfund; the Brattleboro Area Interfaith Initiative; The Environmental Outreach Committee of the Archdiocese of Washington, DC; Washington Interfaith Power & Light; United Church of Chapel Hill; Rock Spring Congregational UCC; Alternatives for Simple Living; CLR(NSW) Social Justice Committee; Buzzle.com.
Local Washington State group organizing carbon Lenten Fast Earth Ministry and WAIPL Lent Prayer and Reflection Guide, Earth Ministry and WAIPL Carbon Fast Calendar
So are you working on helping the planet? Do you think this is a good idea? Do you like to be active and to do things that can make a difference? Did you sign up?
As always I look forward to your enlightening comments: