LWF Council in Indonesia to join the #fastfortheclimate

by Terri Miller, LWF Council members of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) expressed solidarity wit

what, who, why, when… to #fastfortheclimate

Are you hungry for climate justice? Then you are invited to again #fastfortheclimate this Sunday, Ju

Japanese youth should be aware of what is happening around the world!

A reflection to Fast for the Climate Justice on June 1   Yuki Yamato, Japan  Hi, this is Yuki


LWF Council in Indonesia to join the #fastfortheclimate

June 16, 2014 in Asia/Pacific, Climate Justice, Ecumenism, Fast for the Climate, Tools, UN, Youth participation

by Terri Miller, LWF

Council members of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) expressed solidarity with the people most affected by climate change and severe weather events by joining in the Fast for the Climate campaign and calling upon the Lutheran Communion to join the campaign. More than 100 people, LWF Council members, observers and staff, fasted lunch on Friday, 13. June 2014. With this symbolic action, LWF underlines the urgency of a concrete international agreement for climate justice.

The interfaith campaign “Fasting for the Climate” was initiated by the LWF delegation at the UN Climate Conference (COP19) meeting in Warsaw, Poland in 2013. At that conference, delegate Yep Sano, whose family in the Phillipines had been severely by typhoon Haiyan, started fasting to urge for climate action. The interfaith campaign has been taken up worldwide, with people fasting on the first day of the month. “There are thousands supporting that action worldwide, and our numbers are growing,” LWF vice-president Bishop Dr. h.c. Frank-Otfried July said. “We will fast every month – until the start of the UN climate conference in Lima in December 2014.

“We call to voluntarily fast for the climate for those who are able to. It is a call to join in solidarity with all those with deep hunger for both: food and change, both rooted in climate justice today” LWF vice-president for Africa, presiding Bishop Alex G. Malasusa said, adding that for many people, fasting is not a choice because they are “imposed to starvation every day”.

“We understand it as a moral responsibility to build awareness for climate justice,” Council member Warime Guti from Papua New Guinea said. He indirectly referred to the call by UN Executive Secretary  Christina Figueres who recently urged religious institutions worldwide to “find their voice and set their moral compass on one of the great humanitarian issues of our time”.

LWF has been advocating for climate justice on a global level since the LWF Assembly 2010 in Stuttgart, Germany. Bishop Tamas Fabiny, LWF vice-president for Central Eastern Europe, called upon governments and leaders to act for climate justice. “Being citizens of this world we need to speak about about their climate change politics”. LWF would not stop advocating for climate justice. LWF president Bishop Munib A. Younan closed the fasting action with a prayer, recalling the spiritual dimension of fasting.

See more at: http://www.lutheranworld.org/blog/lwf-council-shares-fasting-climate#sthash.TFAlYpIM.dpuf

what, who, why, when… to #fastfortheclimate

May 30, 2014 in Climate Justice, Eco Justice, Ecumenism, Fast for the Climate, Life, LWF, Poverty, Tools, UN

Are you hungry for climate justice?

Then you are invited to again #fastfortheclimate this Sunday, June 1, together with thousands around the world!

Why fasting for the climate?

 This ongoing fast seeks to send a message to governments that people from all walks of life, from all corners of the globe, expect climate action. Already, millions of people have lost their homes and livelihoods as a result of climate change. Yet government action remains profoundly inadequate towards a safe and just future for people and the planet.

How to fast?

Our understanding of fasting is going without something voluntarily. In this case we are mainly talking about going without food. Most of us are fasting on the first of each month, for 24 hours. But there is no right or wrong way to do it. Some people are skipping a meal together once a month. Some people are fasting from carbon consumption and production. Some people are fasting from food waste.

If you’ve never fasted before, here are a few tips:

Fasting for a day from time to time doesn’t harm your health and many people believe it is beneficial to your health. But, if you are suffering from any serious health problems, do check with your doctor before fasting.

  • Don’t eat too much the day before, but ease yourself into it with a light meal beforehand so it isn’t too much of a shock for your body.
  • While you are fasting, drink plenty of water, or tea if you prefer.
  • Fast with someone else, fasting is normally a deep personal experience, but sometimes it’s good to talk through it with someone else.
  • When you break your fast, ease yourself gently into eating again with a small amount of light food first.
  • Use your body’s feelings of hunger to remind you of your purpose and focus on the reasons for your fast instead of the temporal feelings of hunger.


Who else is fasting?

Since the launch of the Website www.fastfortheclimate.org many more global organizations, artists and leaders have joined the fast.

New fasters are for example….

Organisations: Religions for Peace Peru,  Global Climate Fast (US), Canadian Council of Churches, French Council of Churches, Latin American and Caribbean Communication Agency, the P3 Foundation (NZ), Clean Air Carolina (US),

Musicians: Los Aterciopelados (BR), Desert Rose (SA) and DJ Spookey (US)

Personalities: Ekedy Sinha (priestess of the afro-brazilian Candomblé religion), Rafael Soares de Oliveira(Executive Director of KOINONIA), Nicolas Hulot (Special Envoy for the Planet of the French President and President of the Nicolas Hulot Foundation for Nature and Man), Bishop Marc Stenger – (representing the Catholic Conference of Bishops in France), Nicolas Kazarian (representing the Assembly of Orthodox Bishops in France)

Tareq Oubrou (Great Imam of Bordeaux from the Great Mosque of Bordeaux), Morgane Créach ( Director of the Climate Action Network France)


Where can I find more information?

There was a well discussed article in The Guardian that you can read here http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2014/may/09/climate-change-yeb-sano-fasting-campaign

And the Fast is also an answer to the call for religious voices in the climate talks, as described by UNFCCC Exec. Secretary Christiana Figueres: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/may/07/faith-leaders-voice-climate-change?CMP=twt_gu

An international Press Conference will be held on June 4 in Paris, organised by Martin Kopp, LWF delegate to the COP and Laura Morosini from Christians United for the Earth with speakers Yeb Sano, Nicholas Hulot and François Clavairoly. This is extremely important as France will host the 21st UN Conference of Parties on Climate Change in Paris next year.


To follow the news see the official Websites and Social Media




Thanks for joining, spreading the word, praying and fasting this Sunday!

Yours, in Christ

Caroline Richter, LWF Youth Secretary

Japanese youth should be aware of what is happening around the world!

May 30, 2014 in Asia/Pacific, Church, Climate Justice, Fast for the Climate, Pre-Assembly, Youth Ministry

A reflection to Fast for the Climate Justice on June 1


Yuki Yamato, Japan 

Hi, this is Yuki Yamato, a member of the Japan Evangelical Lutheran Church. I am happy to write a reflection about LWF’s campaign, the Fast for  Climate Justice. I joined LWF’s youth Pre-Assembly and Assembly in Germany in 2010 as a youth delegate, and since then, I have been interested in what LWF and young Lutherans all over the world are concerned about, and I’ve wanted to find how I and Japanese young Lutherans can be involved in these projects. However, in our context, it’s very difficult to find the way of that. It is because all of us are busy doing our own tasks and we don’t have enough time to discuss and cope with various things.

In this situation, firstly I was very surprised that some young Lutherans joined COP19 and took important actions. Surely, news about COP19 was appeared on TV and newspaper, but I couldn’t imagine some of young Lutherans, including my friends, took part in this and concerned about what they can as young Christians. When I read some articles about their actions on Facebook and LWF’s youth blog, I tried to catch up with them and share it with other Japanese young Lutherans, but I couldn’t. Of course, except for me, only a few know about LWF, COP19 and young Lutheran’s actions there.

There are some problems in our context, Japanese young Lutherans, when concerning about the Fast for Climate Justice.

First, we haven’t discussed environmental problems as a Christian.

When we come together, we enjoy singing songs, praying, reading the Bible, discussing, and so on, but we rarely deal with social problems, like environmental problems, racial discrimination, and poverty. For sure, after the Great East Japan Earthquake, Japanese society has faced with serious problem, how we should cope with nuclear plant and should get energy in our future. We, of course, are concerned about this, but it is not as Christian, but as Japanese. Until now, we can’t find the way we connect such problems with our own faith to God.

Second, we don’t have enough opportunities to know what young Lutherans all over the world do as Christian because of a language barrier.

Most of Japanese young Lutherans hesitate to read reports and articles written in English, because it takes much time and even if they do that, they can’t understand them well. Therefore, if I want them to get interested in what other young Lutherans do, I have to summarize some articles in Japanese. I want some Japanese young Lutherans to help me to do that, but it’s difficult to find such a colleague.

The third and the biggest problem is that young Japanese are not familiar with “fasting” and “hunger”.

In Japan, a developed country, most of us have no problem with our daily food. Otherwise, it is often said that we throw away a lot of leftovers, which shows our ignorance about others’ conditions. Of course, in Japan, there are some people who don’t have their houses and get enough food every day. And we ourselves have some opportunities to provide some food and clothes for them. However, if we decide to fast for concerning about the climate justice, most of others around us don’t understand what we can do through that and why we don’t intend to have dinner with them.

Even in these conditions, I am still interested in and impressed by what young Lutherans all over the world are trying to do, “the Fast for Climate Justice”. In addition, as Japanese, people from a developed country, we all should be aware of what is happening around the world and concerned about what we can do as a member of the world.

Therefore, first of all, I should tell other Japanese young Lutherans about this project, and then, I want them to join this. And if it is difficult for us to fast for all day, I want to suggest we skip just one meal.  It is just a small small step, but I hope this small step will be widened in our future.

by  Yuki Yamato,

Ohkayama Church, Japan Evangelical Lutheran Church,

English teacher and church coordinator of programs for teenagers



Polen: Wie sollen wir fasten ?

May 30, 2014 in Church, Europe, UN, Youth





Reflection to Fast for the Climate on June 1, 2014

by Bishop Jerzy Samiec, Poland

Polen als Gastgeberland

In der Zeit, als in Warschau die 19. Sitzung der Vereinten Nationen in Sachen Klima – COP19 stattfand, griff auf den Philippinen ein Taifun an, dessen Geschwindigkeit 320 Km/h betrug. Er verursachte enorme Schäden und brachte tausenden Menschen den Tod.

Der Vorsitzende der Philippinischen Delegation, Yeb Sano, erklärte bei einem emotionalen Auftritt, dass er solange fasten würde, bis eine „sichtbare Lösung” des Problems im Rahmen des Gipfeltreffens erreicht ist.

Die  Jugenddelegation des LWB, von Yeb Sano’s Rede berührt, schlug das Fasten als eine weise Lösung vor, die während der Warschauer Konferenz weiter ausgearbeitet werden sollte. In unserem gemeinsamen Gespräch im Warschauer Lutherischen Zentrum dachten wir gemeinsam über das Wesen des Fastens nach.

Wie sollen wir fasten ?

Ich machte die Jugenddelegierten aufmerksam auf die Unterschiede zwischen dem Hungern mit dem Ziel ein Ergebnis zu erreichen, und  dem Fasten im Neuen Testament. Natürlich ist es nicht möglich all jene  Unterschiede in einem so kurzen Text zu erklären.

Das Fasten ist doch eine bekannte Form der Frömmigkeit nicht nur im Judentum oder Christentum, sondern in fast allen Weltreligionen. Die Lehre Christi  war sehr stark im jüdischen Kulturkontext orientiert. Der Meister praktizierte gemeinsam mit seinen Jüngern auch alle jüdischen Bräuche. Er besuchte den Tempel während der Festtage, sowohl Synagogen am Sabatttag. Er betete und fastete.

Im Matthäusevangelium (17, 21) finden wir einen Absatz, in dem Jesus erklärt, dass ein Dämon, den die Jünger nicht vertreiben konnten, nur mit Gebet und Fasten zu vertreiben ist.

Im Gleichnis vom Pharisäer und Zöllner finden wir eine Beschreibung des religiösen Establishments. Der Pharisäer beschreibt sich selbst mit den Worten „Ich faste zwei Mal in der Woche und gebe den Zehnten meines Einkommens”. Wir haben keine Gründe an  dieser Aussage zu zweifeln. Gewiss ist die Sorge um die Achtung der Gebote ein Merkmal dieser religiösen Gruppe. Es waren Menschen, die regulär beteten, fasteten und Almosen und den Zehnten abgaben. Christus aber brandmarkte sie. Es ist die einzige Gruppe gewesen, die er auf diese Art und Weise betrachtete.

Warum? Man kann es mit den Worten eines Propheten beantworten „Eurer Herz will ich und nicht die Opfer”. Zum Wesen des Fastens und des Gebetes gehört die innere Einstellung der fastenden Person. Wenn wir fasten um andere auf unser Fasten aufmerksam zu machen, ist es sehr schwer die Reaktion Gottes zu erwarten. Jesus gab einfache Regeln zum Fasten und Beten in der Bergpredigt:

“Wenn ihr fastet, sollt ihr nicht sauer dreinsehen wie die Heuchler; denn sie verstellen ihr Gesicht, um sich vor den Leuten zu zeigen mit ihrem Fasten. Wahrlich, ich sage euch: Sie haben ihren Lohn schon gehabt.  Wenn du aber fastest, so salbe dein Haupt und wasche dein Gesicht, damit du dich nicht vor den Leuten zeigst mit deinem Fasten, sondern vor deinem Vater, der im Verborgenen ist; und dein Vater, der in das Verborgene sieht, wird dir’s vergelten.”(Mt. 6, 16-18).

Ähnliches gilt für das Beten. Betet nicht um euch zu zeigen, sondern im Verborgenen, damit nicht die Menschen euch bewundern, sondern der Gott euch hört, der allwissend und allmächtig ist.

Im Verborgenen oder gemeinsam?

Natürlich kennen wir auch das Gemeindschaftsgebet, in dem wir während der Gottesdienste gemeinsam Beten oder den Inhalt der Gebete gemeinsam bestimmen. So ist auch ein Fasten möglich zu dem wir auch andere Menschen einladen. Es soll aber kein Hungern sein, dessen Ziel Druckausübung auf jemanden ist. Es soll mehr die Form eines gemeinsamen Gebetes zum Gott annehmen.

So ist auch die Initiative der Jugenddelegierten zum Klimagipfel von mir verstanden worden.

Dank der Fasteninitiative weckten die Jugenddelegierten die Aufmerksamkeit auf einen besonderen Aspekt des Fastens – auf den Bedarf eines göttlichen Eingriffes in die Anliegen der Menschen.

Manchmal haben wir den Eindruck, dass wir dank unserer Bemühungen und Entscheidungen  in der Lage sind die Welt oder sogar den Kosmos zu beherrschen.

Nein, das sind wir nicht. Wir brauchen einen göttlichen Eingriff. Wir brauchen aber auch seiner Hilfe und Unterstützung im Aufbau gegenseitiger Verhältnisse.

Vor allem, wenn diese nationenübergreifend sind.

Jerzy Samiec

Leitender Bischof der Kirche

Warszawa, 14. März 2014