Green Sabbath

Thanks to The Washington Posts’s Climate Coach, Michael J. Coren, for sharing this Great Idea by Natalie Monkhouse, a seminary student in Memphis.

Natalie writes,

‘Every Friday around sunset, I close my laptop. For 24 hours, my work is done. No email. No news. No social media. If it’s work-related, it waits.’

She admits: ‘For years, this one-day pause seemed untenable. For many, it’s virtually impossible to set aside an entire day for rest free from responsibilities to work and family.

…Disconnecting [takes] practice…’

She then shares a succinct overview of the history of mandated rest – from ancient religious practices to contemporary worker’s movements and legislation.

Along the way she outlines how a universal day of rest could have significant positive effects on the global climate, writing:

‘For millennia, religions have regarded this ritual rest as a spiritual necessity. Yet clergy are now arguing this practice, whether in a secular or religious context, can help redirect the world’s societies away from catastrophic climate change. In their view, it’s as essential to the future as any clean-energy technology or electric vehicle.

Monkhouse includes three tips for developing a Green Sabbath practice:

  • Pick something you love just for the pleasure of it.
  • Find a community to share it with.
  • Any amount of time can be a Sabbath.

Access the full column here.

Lent is the perfect time to develop a new spiritual practice like Sabbath. Bring a colleague, your family, or the whole congregation into the commitment and this Lent could be the beginning of a significant culture shift in your context!