1) Each week during Lent I will volunteer my services to an organization. Our church provides sign-up lists for opportunities to serve. Usually these are for working at the local shelter providing meals, building a Habitat for Humanity home, working at the St. Vincent De Paul, and the like. This week, I'm volunteering to help with the blood drive that is being held at my church.
2) Participating in Catholic Relief Services' Operation Rice Bowl that helps raise money to help fight global-poverty. CRS provides a calendar of events for each day of lent that helps raise awareness of poverty around the world. The calendar provides prayers, Bible study, opportunities to give, and introduces you to people from all over the globe who have benefited from Operation Rice Bowl along with fasting recipes from those countries.
3) The church bulletin is giving ideas for a "Low-Carbon Lent" in which they provide one "green" idea a day to help reduce our carbon footprint. This weeks ideas are:
• Ash Wednesday – Remove one light bulb (without inviting danger) and live without it for the next 40 days.
• Thursday – Check your door for drafts with a ribbon or feathers. If it flutters, buy (or make!) a draft stopper.
• Friday – Tread lightly – whether that’s by foot, by bike, on to a bus or the gas as you drive. Find a way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions when you travel today.
• Saturday – Are you recycling everything possible? Really –everything? Look into it today. Visit earth911.org to get started.
I'll keep you posted on my progress. Hopefully, this Lenten season will be a time for change for me.
Oh, and because Catholics are asked to abstain from eating meat and fasting on Fridays during lent, I thought I'd add some links to some of our favorite vegetarian meals:
- Curried Potato and Vegetable Soup: Seriously, this is an awesome soup. I serve it with rice. The first time I made this soup Dennis said, "I love this soup. It reminds me of Nepal." Hey, if my cooking can help bring back memories, then it must be good!
- Red Kidney Bean Curry: Seriously easy, seriously tasty!
- Lentil-Tomato Soup: An old stand-by at our house. Great for cold, wet days!