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Mt. Pisgah to hold New Year fast

Many people look to open the New Year with a fresh start on life, and the congregation at Mt. Pisgah United Methodist Church in Clanton has joined in.

A church-wide fast will take place beginning Jan. 1 and continuing until Jan. 21.

The Rev. Andrew Howell has been a part of several churches over the years that have used a similar approach to capture the essence of the New Year.

“It’s a good way to start it off together,” Howell said. “It’s all about building unity within our congregation.”

According to Howell, the idea behind fasting is to give something up and commit the newfound time to God and his teachings. You’re just letting God know that you are listening to what he has to say.

Time for prayer is encouraged throughout the fast to fulfill a spiritual growth with God as well as the physical nature.

“Resolutions come and go, but God remains forever,” Howell said.

Howell realizes that fasting, just as dieting has a certain intimidating connotation that goes along with it. The group setting is expected to add an element to the entire experience.

“Not having to do it alone resonates with people,” Howell said. “My challenge to everyone is to just give something up no matter how big.”

The chosen fast was taken from the book of Daniel in the Bible and focuses on not drinking wine, or eating meat and spicy foods.

“There are several types of fasts spoken of in the Bible,” Howell said. “I chose this one because it gives options to those that have never been part of a fast before.”