On May 18, 2017, the presiding bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Episcopal Church issued a joint invitation to a season of prayer, fasting and advocacy. The Rev. Elizabeth Eaton, presiding bishop of the ELCA and The Most Reverend Michael Curry, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, extended this call out of concern for proposed deep cuts to programs that are vital to hungry people struggling with poverty. They summon our churches to practices of spiritual devotion that undergird a discipline of public witness with and on behalf of the neighbor.
ELCA Advocacy will support this call, equipping the ELCA Advocacy Network by:
Join the ELCA Advocacy network and invite your friends and family.
The symbol for the fast is burlap, representing the sackcloth worn by the Jewish people in their time of mourning. It can be worn as a stole in public events.
How do we fast? We are calling for prayer, fasting, and advocacy. Fasting is an effort to clear our bodies, our hearts, and our minds from the distractions around us so that we may be more present to God. Fasting from food is one option that many will choose. But we invite people to take on other disciplines of self-denial, such as fasting from technology, or particular habits, which will help them rely more fully on God.
These days of fasting should also be days of advocacy to oppose cuts to public programs that help hungry people living in poverty. Individuals or congregations who participate in the fast will receive updates, prayer and advocacy action opportunities by signing up for either the Episcopal Public Policy Network or ELCA Advocacy.
Prayer accompanies and undergirds the disciplines of fasting and advocacy. It roots our actions in our total reliance on God’s loving grace and mercy. Turning to God in prayer shapes our advocacy and informs our fasting, grounding our actions in God’s call to love and serve our neighbor.
Are there symbols for the fast? Fast leaders invite others engaging in public actions around the to wear stoles of burlap to represent the sackcloth worn by the Jewish people in their time of lamentation.