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US church 'fasting from whiteness' during Lent

by Premier Journalist
Fasting from Whiteness - First United Church of Oak Park - picture only.png - Banner image
Facebook: The First United Church of Oak Park

A church in the US city of Chicago has announced it's "fasting from whiteness" during this year's Lent. 

The First United Church of Oak Park is keeping up its "fast" by refraining from performing hymns composed or written by white musicians and instead focus on music from other cultures. 

"In our worship services throughout Lent, we will not be using any music or liturgy written or composed by white people. 

"Our music will be drawn from the African American spirituals tradition, from South African freedom songs, from Native American traditions, and many, many more," the church's website said.

It added: "For Lent, it is our prayer that in our spiritual disciplines we may grow as Christians, united in the body of Christ with people of all ages, nations, races, and origins." 

As first reported by Turning Point USA, the place of worship has also placed a sign on its front yard that reads "Fasting from Whiteness" and includes the message: "This Lent we build our worship life around the voices of Black people, indigenous people, and people of color."

The church has also been posting "evotionals" - short Biblical reflections thoughts and prayers- for the for the 40-day religious tradition. 

In one of them, the church is said to be honouring their "fast from whiteness" by "prioritizing the voice of Bruce Reyes-Chow through a chapter of his book, In Defense of Kindness."

The excerpt of Reyes-Chow encourages people to examine their privilege and allow people to protest. 

An excerpt of the chapter reads: "For many of us, being uncomfortable about public protests or what we perceive as aggressive expressions of frustration simply identifies our privilege and our ability to shield ourselves from the struggles that others are facing," 

The First United Church of Oak is led by Pastor John Edgerton and was formed in 1975. 

Premier has contacted the church for comment. 
 

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