"For Such A Time As This" Pray. Fast. Act.

Pray. Fast. Act.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.

Read the Joint Call to Prayer, Fasting and Advocacy. (Spanish)

Watch the video invitations from Presiding Bishop Eaton and Presiding Bishop Curry.

ELCA Advocacy will support this call, equipping the ELCA Advocacy Network by:

  1. Sending resources early each month to support faith practices of prayer and fasting, along with background materials to equip advocates to prevent elected leaders from cutting programs that work to eliminate hunger and poverty across the country and around the world or adopting policies that would harm our most vulnerable brothers and sisters. Each month will lift up a different area of concern, including food, water, racial justice, immigration and the environment.
  2. Encouraging Lutherans to prayer and fasting on the 21st day of each month through the close of the 115th Congress. We fast on the 21st of the month because that is the day when 90% of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits run out for families, making the remainder of the month a hungry time. On this day, an advocacy alert will also invite participants to speak their faith by sending a message to their members of Congress.

Here is how to join us as we pray, fast and act together in this important time:

Join the ELCA Advocacy network and invite your friends and family.

Read Bread for the World’s Fasting Guide in English and Guia de Ayuno in Spanish.

Speak your faith on social media using the hashtag #ForSuchATime and follow ELCA Advocacy updates on Twitter and Facebook.

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.

Here is some of the material cut out of the original letter:

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.

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