Chicago Church Announces ‘Fasting from Whiteness’ During Lent

First United Church of Oak Park has been "fasting from whiteness" during the season of Len
Karl Fredrickson via Unsplash

First United Church of Oak Park has been “fasting from whiteness” during the season of Lent by abstaining from all music associated with white people.

In a post on its website, the congregation said it will replace “music or liturgy written or composed by white people” with music from other minority groups.

“For Lent this year, First United is doing a mix of ‘giving something up’ and ‘taking something on.’ In our worship services throughout Lent, we will not be using any music or liturgy written or composed by white people,” the statement said.

“Our music will be drawn from the African American spirituals tradition, from South African freedom songs, from Native American traditions, and many, many more,” it added.

Turning Point USA reported the church also erected a sign that said it would be specifically “fasting from whiteness” throughout the season meant to honor Jesus Christ’s walk through the desert for 40 days and 40 nights.

“This Lent, we build our worship life around the voices of black people, indigenous people, and people of color,” the sign read.

Watch below: Turning Point USA reports from the church

The church will also be “fasting from whiteness” with reflections called  “evotionals.” One dated from March 29, titled “Kindness and Privilege,” said, “We honor our fast from whiteness this Lent by prioritizing the voice of Bruce Reyes-Chow through a chapter of his book, In Defense of Kindness.”

According to Fox Nashville, Reyes-Chow is “a minority pastor and author who has written books such as, Don’t Be an Asshat: An Official Handbook for Raising Parents and Children and But I Don’t See You as Asian: Curating Conversations about Race.


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