Another option for Lent is the Daniel Fast, named for Daniel in the Old Testament, who for three weeks ate only fruit and vegetables and drank only water. Daniel Fasters today eliminate meat, dairy, and sweeteners from their diet. Apparently it is growing in popularity in Methodist churches.
In some cases, entire churches do the Daniel Fast together during Lent. The idea strikes a chord in Methodist traditions, which trace their heritage to John Wesley, a proponent of fasting. Leaders in the African Methodist Episcopal Church have urged churchgoers to do the Daniel Fast together, and congregations from Washington to Pennsylvania and Maryland have joined in.
For the fourth consecutive year, St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Charlotte, N.C., will observe Lent this year with a churchwide Daniel Fast.