Climate Fasting with the Uniting Church in Sweden

During Lent before Easter 2019, the Uniting Church in Sweden enters a Climate-fasting.

The Uniting Church in Sweden is participating in the transition to a fossil-free society, and in all of our activities we will reduce our climate footprint where it is possible.

Mankind is created in the image of God and is a part of creation. As human beings we bear the unique responsibility to be God’s colleagues, administrators and co-creators.

Fasting for the climate is a symbolic action, at the same time, a way to clarify a direction we want to go in order to reduce our burden on God’s creation. Therefore, the Climate-fasting is not a temporary action but a part of a long-term process.

The Climate-fasting applies to the church’s activities and personal nationally (including the regions).

The Uniting Church in Sweden’s parishes are encouraged to participate. Members of the congregations are also encouraged to participate in the Climate-fasting based on their situations and opportunities.

Travelling

The travel policy of the Uniting Church in Sweden emphasizes the importance of always choosing public transport above other transportation. During the climate-fasting, this is heightened by the fact that all staff will refrain from all travel and transport using fossil fuels such as airplanes, cars and boats. However, some exceptions may be necessary.

Food

Our eating habits need to change. We need to reduce food waste, eat more vegetables and choose foods according to season. During lent we will choose what is a climate friendly and sustainable diet, produced with care for our nature, animals and the agricultural landscape. That means focusing on vegetarian, sustainable and locally grown foods.

Re-use

We pay attention to the environmental impact of our consumption and encourage purchasing second hand goods, recycling and sharing.

Inspiration for the future

Lent will be a time of learning and encouragement to reduce our environmental impact on a long-term basis. As well as increasing the pace of the transition to a fossil-free society.

The Climate-fasting is not a temporary event but a part of a process that will continue after Easter 2019. For example, our next national church conference held in Jönköping will be “climate-smart”. In ecumenical cooperation we are also preparing to launch a Green Church network where local congregations will be supported to take steps in a more “green” direction.

The Climate-fasting is a part of the Uniting Church in Sweden’s work on the environment, climate, justice, and peace.

Difficulties, challenges, blessings

During the Climate-fasting we are refraining from something in order to contribute to the healing of God’s creation. Having to refrain can be inconvenient and create problems in relation to our duties, habits and traditions. However, through Climate-fasting one abstains from that which destroys God’s creation. Thereby our living environment, challenges us to see opportunities in new ways of living in relation to communication, transport, eating habits, and consumption. All this, we do in the belief that God will bless us when we become colleagues for God’s good creation.

It is an old Christian experience that life cannot plod on all the time without setting aside time for different things. Now is the time that we devote ourselves to this in a deeper way than we have done so far.

We are encouraged by reading about other initiatives like “Living Lent – Creating a climate of change”.