Harrisburg mayor plans 3-day fast - abc27 WHTM

Dauphin County

Harrisburg mayor plans 3-day fast

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Mayor Linda Thompson says she won't eat for three days, and she's not alone. Some religious leaders are calling on their followers to fast and pray for the good of the city.

Thompson said the fasting was her idea as a way to unite Harrisburg and encourage local leaders to work together in solving the financial crisis.

"Things that are above and beyond my control, I need God," Thompson said. "I depend on Him for guidance. Spiritual guidance. That's why it's really no struggle for me to join this fast and prayer."

Thompson said she'll start her liquid-only diet on Wednesday and has the support of at least a dozen area church leaders, some outside the city, who are calling on their members to fast as well.

But not everyone's on board.

"I'm not starving myself for Harrisburg. No way," said Jori McElwe, of Middletown. "I may say a prayer, but I'm not starving myself."

"Would I fast? No, I wouldn't," said Edwina Best, of Fredericksburg. "I don't know. How would that change things?"

The state's Act 47 recovery plan was just released, and there's been a lot of disagreement about the city's true financial fix, and who ought to be sharing the pain. A state senator wants to force the plan on Harrisburg. A city councilman wants to inch closer to bankruptcy.

"This is really calling for unity among our governmental leaders for solidarity, for a reasonable and sound financial recovery plan so we can all have a prosperous city and get out city back to solvency," Thompson said.

Some think fasting and prayer may be exactly what's needed.

"I think it's a good idea," said Jason Lynch, of Lower Paxton Township. "If you're religious, you should follow it."

"If that's something they think would help, I would do it," said Theresa Reid-Christian, of Steelton. "I would do it."

Others suggest it really doesn't address the problem.

"I think that would be a waste of time," said Bill Lavia, of Linglestown. "I don't think their fasting would cause other people to get together and discuss what they have to discuss."

"They're entitled to their own opinion, but as for me, it's my demonstration for dependence and obedience," Thompson said.

The three-day long fast ends Friday evening with a prayer service at Goodwin Memorial Baptist Church.

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