Today is the first day of Lent, a part of the Christian calendar. It is a time when Christians recall the 40 days and nights that Jesus was alone in the desert without food and was tempted by the devil. He used this period to prepare for his work by fasting and praying.
More recently Christians have used lent as a time to give something up and people still do that today. One of my friends is giving up chocolate, another is becoming vegan, for example.
This year, I’ve decided to try and use Lent as a period to try and do some positive things. I’m using Stewardship’s 40 acts site as a prompt: http://www.40acts.org.uk/.
I’ve also been inspired by a TED talk by Matt Cutts, about trying something new for 30 days to see if you can stick at it. Here’s the link: http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/matt_cutts_try_something_new_for_30_days.html.
I’d also like to be more active in making the change that I want to see in the world, so each day I will aim to do one action, or donate £5 to a charity.
And if you want to read more about Lent, this junior school site is full of interesting information including the relevance of the number 40 in the Bible: http://www.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/customs/lent.html.
So, Day #1 (40 acts): create a pennies jar and save money during lent for a charity. Well, I haven’t got a clean jar yet, but I have got a glass form the cupboard and I’m going to save my pennies for… Quaker Life! When I helped draft some of the Trustees Annual report recently, I interviewed a Friend about his involvement in Quaker Life Rep Council and it was great, he was so inspiring. There’s so much great work going on around us but I have to choose one. So Quaker Life it is.
Day #1 (action): I sent an email to Norman Baker and Nick Clegg telling them that there is no place for dirty oil in a green European Union, via People and Planet, which was linked to on the sustainable Quakers facebook page: http://peopleandplanet.org/tarsands/takeaction/eu-ban#action. This one relates to something happening tomorrow!
“After being delayed for over 2 months, the EU is set to vote on the Fuel Quality Directive, legislation that would effectively ban tar sands from European import. The vote is scheduled to take place on 23 February.
Under intense lobbying from the Canadian Government, keen to create new markets for its dirty oil and stop the EU from setting a precedent for the rest of the world to follow, the UK Government is refusing to support the European Commission’s proposal, and actively encouraging other states to oppose it.”