Lenten Calendar #2

Responsible Living in God's World

A 40-Day Calendar for Lent


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To do justice in light of today's global realities calls for those of us Christians living in affluent societies to review our lifestyles. We need to be aware of the links between the way most North Americans live and the situations of poverty and oppression that so many of our sisters and brothers throughout the world experience. Responsible living is a Christian response to hunger. It is an act of faith and personal commitment to a more equitable distribution of the world's resources.

Responding to God's Compassion

We respond and share in God's compassion when we begin to see the connections between our lives and the lives of others. This calendar helps us to learn how dependent on the rest of the world our lifestyles have become. It offers suggestions as to what we as individuals, families, and church can do to live more simply in responding to and showing solidarity with those who are hungry.

Share Today

There are things we can do to help the hungry every day. This calendar is designed to help you deepen your education and resolve to action. Start this calendar anytime you wish, during a special season like Lent or Advent, or on a special day like Easter, Thanksgiving, World Food Day-Oct. 16, or your birthday! Mark the starting date in the square numbered (1) and go on from there. Put the calendar in the kitchen, on the fridge, near the table-anywhere the family gathers daily. The activities can be a time of fun and learning!

Share Your Abundance

Use a money bank, clean pop can bank, or some other container to collect your nickels, dimes, and dollars as you share the days on the calendar with your family. Share all that you can. You may want to set different amounts than those suggested. Funds collected should be shared with your denominational hunger appeal.

1-Plan today a recreational activity that gives physical exercise and/or builds relationships but uses little fuel or other nonrenewable resources.

2-Notice advertising today. Discuss its effect with family members. List some things that ads make you want that you wouldn't even know existed otherwise and would never have missed.

3-Read Matthew 6:9-21. What does this text say to you about lifestyle?

4-Go through your closet today and give unused clothing away. Learn to live with less. Reactivate old clothing instead of buying new. Discuss what guides your clothes purchasing habits.

5-Estimate how many pounds of meat your family ate during the past week and give 25 for each pound.

6-Pray to use your personal freedom to serve the needs of people in bondage to hunger. Keep a visible reminder of such people in your kitchen during these 40 days.

7 -Tungsten filament from Bolivia. A U.S. child will consume 30-50 times more goods in his/her lifetime than one born in Bolivian highlands. Give 5¢ for every light bulb in your house.

8 -Many radios are assembled in Taiwan where work­ers earn less than 25 an hour. Give at least 25 for each radio in your house.

9- The average TV viewing time in U.S. households is 7.2 hours a day. Decide to do something other than watch TV tonight such as read, take a walk, talk with each other, play a game, etc. Obtain a copy of What To Do After You Turn Off the TV by Frances Moore Lappe (Ballantine Books).

10 -Read Matthew 4:1-11. Discuss how Jesus was tempted and how he resisted. What are some of your own temptations that pertain to lifestyle?

11-Make a list of the things you have and what you would like to have. Discuss with your family which are necessities and which are luxuries. Give 5¢ for each luxury item.

12-49 million people could be fed each year if wasted food were salvaged. Talk about how you can avoid waste by better planning and smaller portions.

13-Pray for a spirit of openness and sensitivity. Ask God to help you see how your lifestyle affects those around you and sisters and brothers who are poor throughout the world

14-Electricity from coal mined in Clear Fork Valley, KY where 1/2 the residents live below poverty line and 2/3 have no flush toilets. Give 50 for every outlet in your house.

15-Avoid throwaway items and products that are over-packaged. Begin using the nearest recycling center for newspapers glass, tin, etc.

16-Choose 1 poor country to focus on today. Compare your lifestyle with the lifestyle of the majority of people in that country. Eat a meal of the common foods of that country.

17-Read Mark 10:17-31. Discuss what it means to be a rich Christian.

18-List some ways in which you can simplify your lifestyle and keep reminders posted. To Celebrate is a catalogue full of useful and practical ways to simplify. Order from Alternatives.

19- Rubber from Thailand. Per capita income in Thailand is $528 per year. Give $1 for every tennis shoe in your house and tire on your car(s).

20-Discuss where the food you eat comes from. Why do so many people go hungry in countries that export food products to other countries? Write a table prayer expressing your feelings about this situation.

21-70% Of all pollutants in urban areas comes from vehicle exhausts. This week decide to walk, car pool, or use mass transit whenever possible.

22-Evaluate your church celebrations by their lifestyle and economic witness. What kind of foods are served? Are disposables used?

23-1 out of 5 children in of the U.S. is poor. 50% of all Black children and 40% of all Hispanic children are poor. Discuss what it means to be poor in a country of such wealth. What actions for change can you take?

24-Read the story of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31). Who are the rich and the Lazaruses of today? What is the warning given us here?

25 -Baseball and glove come from Haiti, poorest nation in hemisphere. In a village of 6,000, average source of water is two taps. Give 25 for every faucet in your house.

26 -The Caribbean Islands, Latin America and Africa grow much coffee for export while their food crops for local use are declining. Read Add Justice to your Shopping List by Marilyn Helmuth Voran to learn more about global food connections.

27-Pray for God's help to look wisely at your life, with a perspective which embraces the whole earth and all its people.

28-Write a letter today to an appropriate government official, business executive or to the editor of your newspaper expressing your concern about a lifestyle issue (i.e. environment, poverty).

29-Avoid using disposable products whenever possible. Give 50 for every paper plate and cup in your cupboards.

30-Could your church building be used more efficiently if opened to other groups and organizations? Find out which worthwhile local organizations could use free meeting space in your church.

31-Read Psalm 24:1. Discuss how you can be more responsible stewards of the earth.

32-Fast for one meal today and give the equivalent of what your family would have spent for a meal at a fast food restaurant to world hunger.

33 -Discuss with others the question: If Jesus accompanied you shopping, would your buying habits be different?

34-Pray this Latin American mealtime prayer: "To those who hunger give bread, and to those who have bread, give the hunger for justice."

35-"Dematerialize" celebrations by making your own gifts or giving gifts to non-profit organizations in honor of family and friends. Share with others about a meaningful gift you have received.

36-Eat your evening meal by candlelight tonight and discuss ways in which you can better conserve energy. Give 25 for every electrical appliance in your kitchen.

37-Invest your monies with a social conscience. For more information contact Working Assets Money Fund, 1-800-533-3863.

38-Read 1 Timothy 6:17-18. Discuss how you can share what you have with others.

39-The world produces enough food to feed every human being alive today. Plan to use leftover food creatively today. The Use-It-Up Cookbook by Lois Carlson Willand (Practical Cookbooks) is full of useful ideas.

40-Give thanks to God for both the challenges and choices you have in your life. Ask God's spirit to fill all with compassion, insight and concern when making personal decisions which may affect the lives of others.

Used by permission of the former ALC Hunger Program

©Creative Commons (originally Alternatives for Simple Living)
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Page updated 5 Jan. 2014 (originally 27 Jan. 2004)

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