Written by Gregg Brekke
As several sacred observances converge next week, an interfaith effort spearheaded by the UCC's Office of Communication, Inc. "So We Might See Project" is encouraging families to fast from excessive use of screens, from television to smart phones.
In collaboration with the national Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood, OC, Inc. says this invitation comes at a time when statistics point to alarming childhood obesity, health conditions from increasingly sedentary lifestyles, as well as a growing obsession with "screens" not only by children and teens, but also adults.
According to Andrea Cano, chair of OC, Inc., "Our religious, philosophical, and social principles converge when thinking about family and community. This year in the wake of a transformative season of fasting and contemplation, Screen-Free Week coincides with Holy Week and Passover," she says. "We encourage wide promotion and participation in this timely and beneficial activity so that we may return to the basics of relating to one another with human sensitivity and response and in new venues to do so. We also welcome stories how creatively this activity was embraced."
The Rev. Jim Antal, the UCC's Massachusetts Conference Minister and member of the OC, Inc. Board, encourages UCC congregations to get involved. "There can be no more appropriate time than next week for all of us – whatever faith tradition we may claim – to enter into the 'brave old world' of un-mediated connection ... with one another, with God's creation, and with the God of many names," he says.
Reflections by the Rev. Phil Jenks of the National Council of Churches and the Rev. Deborah Streeter of the United Church of Christ, among others, along with a bulletin insert are part of the Screen Free Media fast resources and reflections at <media-fast.org>. For further information, OC, Inc's website is <uccmediajustice.org> or on the FaceBook page "UCC Office of Communication Inc."
OC, Inc. is the media justice arm of the United Church of Christ that works to create just and equitable media structures that give meaningful voice to diverse peoples, cultures and ideas. For more information please contact Andrea Cano at <email@example.com> or 503-804-2785.