Thanksgiving Fast and Prayer

November 12 to 21, 2018

The future of human civilization as we know it is threatened by climate change. In the southeast we have witnessed these dangers recently in some of the most destructive hurricanes ever experienced. Katrina, Mathew, Irma, Maria, Harvey, Florence and Michael are among the greatest teachers of all time.
People the world over are working to change the systems and institutions responsible for these dangers, to keep all fossil fuels in the ground and move us into a sustainable, socially just, future.
These people are lights in the darkness of our times, and their work, their example, and their courageous moral witness contradicts widespread hopelessness, and shows us many ways forward. 
We stand in solidarity with those working to change the course of human history on planet Earth with a ten-day Thanksgiving Fast and Prayer. Fasting is an excellent way to focus our attention on an issue, to become more aware of our privileges – especially the privileges of those of us who can protect ourselves from some of the impacts of climate change and hunger – and to realize in new ways the blessings which life bestows on us when we take care of our Mother Earth.
Historically many people have seen fasting as a spiritually purifying ritual which leads to greater love and compassion for all beings – something which is sorely needed in this country at this time.
We are also following the example of Gandhi in India, who when all else failed to quell widespread violence between Hindus and Muslims during the struggle there for Independence, fasted until the violence ended. 
By fasting for ten days before Thanksgiving, we intend to add light, prayer and witness to the efforts to end climate change.

Even though we are in the midst of a dire emergency, miracles happen, especially when as in this Thanksgiving season we have an opportunity to give thanks for all that we are blessed with, and for all that we still need. We will prevent catastrophic climate change and the sixth extinction from wrecking Mother Earth, but only if we do so with intention, prayer and action. have

This fast is our intention, our prayer and our action. Please consider joining us.


The fast will start on Monday, November 12, at 8 am and will be broken 10 days later at noon on the day before Thanksgiving. Wednesday November 21. At least one of us – Steve Norris PhD will be fasting solely with liquids for the entire time. He will spend most days from 7:30 am at the College Street entrance to the Courthouse, then from about 8:30 am until sunset at Vance monument in downtown Asheville.
At noon each day we will conduct a short prayer ceremony at Vance Monument led by one of Asheville’s faith leaders.  Following that each day we will invite a local thought leader to speak about an issue relating to climate change.
Others are encouraged to join us at the Vance Monument for an hour, a day, or longer. Or to simply come and share in the community which this fast will inevitably create. As with other similar fasts, people who cannot come to downtown Asheville and who so desire are encouraged to fast at home or in work places for whatever period of time makes sense. 


Steve Norris PhD is a former Professor of Peace at Warren Willson Collage and has been involved in social and environmental change work since the Civil Rights Movement. 

Steve is heading up the Thanksgiving Fast and Prayer. 

Please consider supporting him by joining him at any point during the ten days November 12 to 21st, 2018. 

4 Replies to “Thanksgiving Fast and Prayer”

  1. Thanks for all you do Steve.
    I will not be able to join you in person or for the fast, but I am eating a vegan diet and this has a huge impact on pollution and climate change; so much so, that we would not need fossil fuels if we all went vegan, used clean and renewable energy and consumed less. There you go! Thanks

  2. I will try. I will fast on liquids, water and Gatorade type stuff so I will remain strong enough to work and not imbalance my blood sugars.

  3. This is inspiring. I will pray and fast in my own way until the day before Thanksgiving. I will be especially mindful at 12:00 noon every day.
    Thank you for doing this, my kindred spirits.

    Katie Reily in Chapel Hill

  4. Hi Steve, Our climate fast in NJ has been happy to hear of your fast in Asheville, and I hope your health has not suffered from your dedication to a fossil free future to fight climate change. I also hope you got a lot of support from the local community. You can find out a lot about our NJ fast from

    In solidarity,

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