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Christians Called to Reject Consumer Lifestyle

Christians Called to Reject Consumer Lifestyle

LONDON – A U.K.-based network of Christians geared towards living more simply is calling on believers to use the recession as an opportunity to follow a less-consumerist lifestyle.

Breathe, whose tagline is "Less Stuff, More Life," is inviting Christians to take the "Promise of Life" pledge to live more simply over a 12-month period. Christians who take the pledge commit to "savor what we have, pray for what we need," "tread lightly on the earth," and "share freely our homes and our things."

Breathe's annual conference on April 25 will further explore how Christians can live less consumerist, more thankful and more generous lives.

"When we started Breathe four years ago, we had no idea how global events would unfold," said Mark Powley, associate pastor at St. Paul's Hammersmith and co-founder of Breathe.

"We've talked to Christians across the country and have found a growing desire and need to live more simply and to find support and practical ways out of materialism," he added.

The Rev. Simon Downham, vicar and senior pastor of St. Paul's Hammersmith, said there was a need for the church to develop an effective response to recent research indicating a shift in British society away from the importance of material possessions.

"There is a new vocabulary of crisis and response," Downham said. "Climate change, credit crunch, G20, carbon offset, fiscal stimulus, quantitative easing ... At the very least, our lust for consumption lays exposed for want of proper limits. At a time such as this, Breathe is more crucial than ever."

The Breathe conference is being held in partnership with Tearfund, Stewardship, A Rocha and Formation. The keynote speaker will be 24-7 Prayer's Pete Greig.

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