Thanksgiving Fast and Prayer to address climate change begins Nov. 12

Press release from Community Roots:

A group of concerned citizens will be publicly fasting and praying for 10 days prior to Thanksgiving to focus attention on the issue of climate change. The fast and prayer will run from 7.30 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 12 to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 21, the day before Thanksgiving.

Fasters will be in front of the courthouse on College Street from 7.30 a.m. to 8.30 a.m., then at the Vance Monument from 8.30 a.m. until 5 p.m. each day. A daily prayer at noon will be led by various local faith leaders, followed each day by a short talk on climate change issues. The public is invited to sit with the fasters at any time or to join in the fast for any duration.

The Thanksgiving Fast and Prayer will be lead by Steve Norris, PhD, a former Professor of Peace Studies and Environmental Justice at Warren Willson and a long-term activist. Norris, 75, has been involved in social and environmental change work since the Civil Rights movement. This time last year, he underwent major heart survey.

“I have to do something, and we as a nation must keep fossil fuels in the ground and move to renewable energy. However, there is not enough urgency for many people to engage. By fasting for ten days before Thanksgiving I intend to add light, prayer and witness to the efforts to end climate change.” says Norris.

Historically many people have seen fasting as a spiritually purifying ritual which leads to greater love and compassion for all beings, something Norris believes is sorely needed in this country at this time. Fasting has also been used in nonviolent social movements to call attention to issues, including by Gandi when all else had failed to quell violence between Hindus and Muslims in India during the struggle for independence.

Norris believes, “we can prevent catastrophic climate change and the sixth extinction, but only if we join together with focused intention, prayer and action.”

For more information, contact Kat Houghton at

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