The United Methodist Church is asking its congregants to refrain from drinking alcohol during Lent. The 7.8 million member denomination affirms abstinence form alcohol at all times, but the “Alcohol Free Lent” is meant to start discussions on “the elephant in the room – alcohol use among our members.”
“Alcohol Free Lent” was inspired by one United Methodist pastor, Dr. James Howell, from Charlotte, North Carolina. Dr. Howell was moved to challenge his members to an “Alcohol Free Lent” after hearing news of teenagers in his community who ended up in the hospital because of alcohol poisoning.
“How do we unwittingly harm our children? It could just be by the way we consume alcohol, and not just that we drink, or how much we drink, but all the fond meanings we attach to drinking,” Howell said.
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