"All Religions have spiritual practices. Buddhists burn sage and meditate. Muslims avail themselves of their prayer rugs. The Christian tradition has developed a wealth of practices, too: fasting, almsgiving, vigil-keeping, confessing, meditation... In churches and homes everywhere, people are increasingly interested in doing Christianity, not just speaking or believing it." + Lauren F. Winner, Mudhouse Sabbath
Let’s start “doing” Christianity together, shall we? During the month of September, we're going to “keep kosher,” by which we mean, we’re going to think about food – where it's been, in whose hands, in what countries. In short, we’re going to pay attention “to the basic principles that underlies kashrut: God cares about our dietary choices.” (Lauren Winner, Mudhouse Sabbath, p. 20)
Cool things to try (start with just one!):
+ Try slowing down and eating every meal at home this month. When you can, try using all local, organic produce.
+ Make a point of talking over, reflecting upon, and researching the journey that brought each food item to your plate. Pick one, and play detective!
+ Pray before every meal, even breakfast. Say something super simple like, “Dear God, thank you for feeding us…”
+ Visit your local farmer's market and protect family farms! Farmer's markets provide the freshest in season produce and allow the farmers to keep 80 to 90 cents of every dollar spent by the consumer.
+ For one month, refrain from eating in the car or feeding your children while driving! God wants us to "be present" and enjoy the fruits of the earth.
+ Have a neighborhood potluck – there is bounty (and less work!) when everyone participates.
+ If you're not a vegetarian, try cooking a whole chicken. Eat it for dinner one night, have chicken salad sandwiches for lunch the next day, and make chicken soup with the bones.
+ Try keeping a seasonal kitchen as much as you can (kind of hard in New England!). Food, like the church year, has a rhythm, and that's one of its pleasures...
+ Try fasting one day a week, or one meal a day. Does it imbue other meals with a spirit of gratitude and joy? Does it make you more aware of what you have, and how much you depend on it?