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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Fast with St. Francis

“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace”begins the well-known prayer written by Francis of Assisi in the 13th century.

Pray it daily during Lent, urge organizers of the Lenten Fast From Violence 2003 in a call to Christians to observe the traditional spiritual disciplines of prayer, fasting and charitable giving. Start with this prayer, then add your own petitions for reconciliation.

"In a time when our country is preparing for war, or perhaps at war, it is important to act for peace, to double our efforts over these days before Easter," says Michael Nisbet, coordinator for the ELCA task force on the Decade to Overcome Violence, 2001-2010. The World Council of Churches sponsors the decade and fast.

The brochure available from the ELCA (800-638-3522 or www.elca.org/dcs/socialjustice.html) also suggests the types of violence you might eliminate during a Lenten fast: TV shows, movies, video games and toys that glorify violence or war; music with violent lyrics; taxes that pay for war; products made in sweatshops or by child labor; and financial investment in companies that produce violence.

Give the money saved from this fasting to programs that address the causes of violence and assuage its consequences or work for peace and reconciliation. Use the time gained from the Lenten fast to help with peace projects in your church and community. (For more ideas see, www.ecumenismnow.org/.)


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