On Ash Wednesday, 2018, a group of elders met for a retreat together because of a national political crisis that was also revealing a crisis of faith. At Pentecost, in overcrowded churches in downtown Washington, D.C., we launched a declaration that we called Reclaiming Jesus: A Confession of Faith in a Time of Crisis. More than 5 million people have directly responded to the Reclaiming Jesus declaration thus far and many more have been reached by it and are addressing the declaration in their churches.
Because the moral and political crisis the Reclaiming Jesus declaration responded to has become even deeper and more dangerous; we believe that a national call to prayer is in order, preparing us as people of faith for what we believe is coming. The national moral crisis is already here when it comes to what immigrants and families of color are experiencing. Executive overreaches to protect the president and further his agenda may further challenge other branches of government and the rule of law and could therefore add constitutional crisis to national emergency.
How will church leaders, pastors, and local congregations respond to the escalations of crises that we as elders believe are coming in 2019? To prepare for those times of crisis, and the need for response from the faith community, we are calling for national prayer and fasting beginning on Ash Wednesday and continuing through Lent. We invite all to prayerfully read this letter from the Reclaiming Jesus elders and consider how you can amplify its message and observe this call in your life, family, and faith community this Lent.
We ask you to take the following actions:
- Share the letter and video on your social media.
- Bring the letter to your church. If you are a pastor, share the letter with your congregation, preach on it, and use it as a discipleship tool. If you are a lay-person, share the letter with your pastor and ask that they preach on it, share it with the congregation, and help organize a study group.
- Pray throughout Lent for moral and courageous leadership.
- Fast as a spiritual discipline to prepare you for action.