For your Lenten Fast this year you may wish to consider giving up a meal during each of the six weeks and donating the money you would have spent to an overseas aid or charitable organisation.

The idea was trialled by retired Melbourne Anglican priest the Revd Dr George Mullins late last year. He persuaded 40 people to join him in a 10 week trial, and between them they raised $1,651 for Nungalinya College, the theological training college for Indigenous Australians in the Northern Territory.

Dr Mullins told TMA: “The idea offers an excellent way to express our compassion in a practical way, and give a positive focus to the Lenten fast. We were very pleased to raise this money for Nungalinya College, but more broadly this gives Christian folk anywhere an opportunity to do something significant, personal and sacrificial, particularly for those who are experiencing famine, as in parts of Africa, or are suffering the effects of natural disaster such as earthquake or flood.
 
“The practice of ‘donating-a- meal’ might be adopted by individuals and perhaps small groups as a Lenten practice for 2012; and the proceeds forwarded to a selected cause or to a Parish for redistribution to the needy at home or abroad.”

He said he is hoping that ‘Donate a meal’ will be adopted by the Diocese of Melbourne as a regular Lenten practice.

Archbishop Freier told TMA he was delighted with the success of the trial period and the money raised for Nungalinya College, and said he encouraged all Melbourne Anglicans to consider adopting the idea as part of their Lenten practice. “Fasting from a meal each week and donating the money to the needy is a wonderful way to remember those in need of our compassion, and express our solidarity with them in a genuinely sacrificial way.”
 

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