Exploring Green Church : 7 Oct, ONLINE

A webinar exploring green church theology and practice, drawing on practical examples of green church initiatives.

About this Event

An exploration of the theological landscape for the ongoing debate about the Climate Emergency and the church’s response

It is hoped that the webinar will draw on practical examples of green church initiatives to help us develop our understanding of caring for creation as part of the mission of the church.

Chair
Rt Revd Graham Usher, Bishop of Norwich

Having completed an undergraduate degree in ecology, Bishop Graham maintains an interest in ecology as a member of the Church of England’s Environmental Working Group. He is a keen beekeeper, regularly tweets @bishopnorwich and has written about spirituality and landscape in Places of Enchantment, Meeting God in Landscapes, and his second book, The Way Under Our Feet: A Spirituality of Walking, in April 2020.

Guest Speakers
Prof Richard Bauckham

New Testament scholar, previously at St Andrew’s University, and a visiting professor of St Mellitus College.

His books include: Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony (2006), God Crucified: Monotheism and Christology in the New Testament (1998), The Theology of the Book of Revelation (1993) and Bible and Ecology (2010).

Prof Revd Michael Northcott:

Anglican Priest, Professor Emeritus, Edinburgh University and currently Guest Professor at the Faculty of Theology of the University of Heidelberg. His specialism is the environment. Books include: Place, Ecology and the Sacred (2015); A Moral Climate: The Ethics of Global Warming (2007); The Environment and Christian Ethics (1996).

Read more

Creation Time Resources

What is Creation Time?

In 1989 the Ecumenical Patriarch suggested that 1 September, the first day of the Eastern Orthodox Church year, should be observed as a day “of protection of the natural environment”. Ten years later the European Christian Environmental Network (ECEN) widened this proposal, urging churches to adopt a Time for Creation stretching from 1 September to the feast of St Francis on 4 October and this was endorsed by the 3rd European Ecumenical Assembly in Sibiu, Romania in 2007, which recommended that the period “be dedicated to prayer for the protection of Creation and the promotion of sustainable lifestyles that reverse our contribution to climate change”.

Since 2008 Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI) has compiled a programme of resources to encourage and assist churches to observe Creation Time. These include suggestions on a variety of ways in which churches, groups and individuals could choose to focus on a creation theme at this particular time of the year. Pope Francis made the Catholic Church’s warm welcoming of the season official in 2015, using powerful words last year to encourage participation in the ecumenical Season of Creation: 

“This is the season for letting our prayer be inspired anew by closeness to nature…to reflect on our lifestyles…for undertaking prophetic actions…directing the planet towards life, not death.”

Creation Time 2020

We have known for decades that this time will come. We have been made aware of the rapid extinction of beautiful and unique creatures. Thanks to the honest and disciplined work of climate scientists, we know (unless we fall victim to fake news) right now, that our lifestyle is unsustainable, and our dominant philosophy of ‘permanent growth at all cost’ carries the seeds of the destruction of the life that God called good.

Over and above the foolish stewardship of land and resources, yet closely allied to it, is the crisis of values, and of spirituality; a twisted and self-deceptive view of ‘profit’. The whole Christian family now has an unprecedented opportunity and calling: to bring together mission, justice, stewardship, and study: to bring out of our ‘treasure’ the determinative priorities and values that are so different from those piloting Creation towards catastrophe. And above all, to take note of, and act on, and trust in, the worth we are given (each and all of us) in Christ. The worth and encouragement we may give to our neighbour, and our fellow creature, in partnership, rather than exploitation. May we cherish and be empowered by the knowledge of our enduring and transforming worth in the sight of God. Even if, until now, we have indeed pursued ‘worthless things’.

You can download all the resources as individual weeks or be emailed a complete set.  

Our writers are drawn from a variety of  church backgrounds and pastoral contexts, so do not expect that they all speak with one voice or perspective. We all share, as Pope Francis as said, a ‘Common Home’, and offer this work in trust that there is no one whose contribution is not vital to the healing  partnership of Christ with God’s Creation.  The God of the Bible’s tendency, observable in these readings, to ‘bring the baddies on board’ should steer us to a conciliatory approach, rather than a blame-game, fruitless denial of the crisis, or a complacent acceptance of the principles, whilst reserving exceptions for ourselves.  The bottom line, is the love for your neighbour, as yourself.

Read more

Season of Creation 2020 Prayer

The Season of Creation (1 September-4 Ocober) is a time to renew our relationship with our Creator and all creation through celebration, conversion, and commitment together. During the Season of Creation, we join our sisters and brothers in the ecumenical family in prayer and action for our common home.

Download

Young Christian Climate Network Launches

27 July, 2020

Ruth Jarman writes on the Green Christian website:

Young Christian Climate Network (YCCN) is an action-focused community of Christians in the UK aged 18-30, choosing to follow Jesus in the pursuit of climate justice, launching Saturday 1 August.

They have three aims:

  • to connect young Christians into an inclusive community engaged with climate justice
  • to take and facilitate collective action towards climate justice, motivated by faith
  • to see themselves and their communities grow in passion and understanding, learning with humility and reflection

The network is ecumenical – the set-up team has members from the Anglican, Methodist, Baptist and Quaker traditions. You can follow YCCN on instagram, twitter and facebook (all @YCCNetwork). Why not get in touch with them, or point young people you know to their website or email at hello@yccn.uk to join the network or get more information?

Read more

New WCC toolkit empowers churches to work with children and youth for climate justice

30 July 2020

The World Council of Churches (WCC) today releases a collection of curated resources to support churches, church-run schools, Sunday schools and summer camps in their ongoing efforts to promote care for children and youth through intergenerational climate- and environmental justice. The toolkit supports the Churches’ Commitments to Children, in which climate initiatives for and with children is an important pillar.

“Many of the young climate activists around the world come from churches,” said WCC interim general secretary Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca. “WCC has created this toolkit to help churches to provide space for the development of solutions and promote the adaptation of our systems with and for children and youth.”

According to Frederique Seidel, WCC’s senior advisor on children’s rights, the Churches’ Commitments to Children Online Platform has received many requests to support intergenerational climate justice initiatives. These requests motivated the development of the toolkit that gathers dozens of resources to empower churches to take action for climate justice.

“We have witnessed that engagement of children and youth in climate solutions is the best way to respond to the eco-anxiety, which has increased among children around the world. Many of the tools can also be adapted for uplifting activities during confinement in the COVID-19 context,” said Seidel.

The toolkit invites readers to get informed, get inspired and take action for climate justice. The online publication is being released during the European summer break so that teachers and facilitators have time to integrate the material into the new school year and Sunday school plans, which in some parts of the world start in September.

The development of the toolkit was supported through the Keeling Curve Prize, which was awarded to the WCC in 2019 for its global warming mitigation efforts.

You can download the toolkit here.

Read more Download

Carbon Neutral Cornwall Hive

Make a bee line to the new Carbon Neutral Cornwall Hive to share ideas, chat, and bee inspired to help tackle Climate Change. 🌳🐝

Welcome to the Carbon Neutral Cornwall Hive

Find out how you can help Cornwall become carbon neutral | Learn what other people are doing

Be inspired by articles from guest bloggers | Share ideas so we can tackle climate change together

Be one of the first 20 people to add your idea to the Hive Ideas Bank and be in with a chance to get your own copy of the Carbon Buddy Manual.

Read more

Faith leaders call for a green recovery

03 July 2020

Faith leaders have called for an environment-focused economic recovery. The statement has been signed by the Methodist Church President, the Revd Richard Teal and Vice-President, Carolyn Lawrence.

COVID-19 has unexpectedly taught us a great deal. Amidst the fear and the grief for loved ones lost, many of us have found consolation in the dramatic reduction of pollution and the restoration of nature. Renewed delight in and contact with the natural world has the capacity to reduce our mental stress and nourish us spiritually.
We have rediscovered our sense of how interconnected the world is. The very health and future of humanity depends on our ability to act together not only with respect to pandemics but also in protecting our global eco-system.


At the same time, less travel and consumption and more kindness and neighbourliness have helped us appreciate what society can really mean. We have also seen yet again that in times of crisis, injustice becomes more obvious, and that it is the poor and vulnerable who suffer most.


All this shows us how precarious our previous ‘business as usual’ was, socially, economically, ecologically and spiritually.  Yet we have also demonstrated our capacity to adapt to new realities.  Many people have discovered a deeper sense of spirituality. We have seen the possibility of creating a more sustainable and generous society in which we care more deeply for each other and the world.


Our faiths teach us that our planet, with its rich resources and inspiring diversity, is lent to us on trust only and we are accountable for how we treat it. We are urgently and inescapably responsible, not just before God but to our own children and the very future of humanity.


This unique moment calls us to develop a shared new vision for our future which we cannot afford to miss. As faith leaders we are committed to working alongside the people and governments of this nation and the world to formulate and live by such a vision.


It must be based on the recognition of our limits: this planet is a complex ecosystem in which we are only one part. It must be rooted in sustainability and respect for nature and the earth’s resources. It must be founded on the fundamental principles of justice and responsibility.

In this, the fifth anniversary year of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si, we undertake to:
– Speak out urgently about the need for change;
-Promote the vision of the earth as our common home which must be shared equitably;
– Protect biodiversity and restore natural environments;
– Work with our communities to reduce substantially the carbon intensity of our activities;
– Build worldwide partnerships to reduce the impact of climate change on the poorest and most vulnerable;
– Model what we teach in our faiths and communities.


We therefore call on our Government to:
– Ensure that every element of the economic recovery strategy has at its centre the urgent need to reduce the risk of catastrophic climate change;
– Implement policies for sustainability in every sector of the economy;
– Take its due share of responsibility for a global & just transition, including through its approach to trade, investment and overseas aid;
– Use its COP26 presidency to work for a global commitment to net zero, building on the Paris Agreement;
– To protect biodiversity and restore the environment;


We urge every sector of civil society to use this opportunity to work together to create a better world.

Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury and Church of England lead on the environment.
Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, Rabbi, New North London Synagogue and Senior Rabbi of Masorti Judaism
Bishop John Arnold, RC Bishop of Salford and lead on Environment for the Catholic Bishop’s’ Conference of England and Wales
Dr Husna Ahmad OBE, CEO, Global One, Trustee, Faith for the Climate
Qari Muhammad Asim MBE, Chair, Mosques & Imams National Advisory Board
Rabbi Charley Baginsky, Interim Director of Liberal Judaism
The Very Rev Dr Susan Brown, Convener of the Faith Impact Forum, The Church of Scotland
Talia Chain, CEO, Sadeh Farm, Trustee, Faith for the Climate
Lord Chartres, formerly Bishop of London
Rt Revd Richard Cheetham, Bishop of Kingston
Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, Bishop of Southwark
Rt Revd Jonathan Clark, Bishop of Croydon
Commissioner Anthony Cotterill, Territorial Commander of The Salvation Army in the United Kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland
Jamie Cresswell, Chair, Religions for Peace UK, Trustee, Faith for the Climate
Rt Revd Woyin Karowei Dorgu, Bishop of Woolwich
Mr Derek Estill, Moderator of General Assembly, United Reformed Church
Olivia Fuchs, Eco Dharma Network coordinator
Revd Giles Goddard, Chair, Faith for the Climate
Rabbi Mark Goldsmith, Senior Rabbi, Edgware and Hendon Reform Synagogue
Revd Lynn Green, General Secretary, Baptist Union of Great Britain
Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, Senior Rabbi to Reform Judaism
BK Jayanti, Director, Brahma Kumaris UK
Jagbir Jhutti-Johal, Senior Lecturer, Sikh Studies, University of Birmingham, Trustee, Faith for the Climate
Bishop James Jones KBE, former Bishop of Liverpool and former Co-founder of Faiths4Change
Fazlun Khalid, Founder, Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences
Carolyn Lawrence, Vice-President of the Methodist Conference
Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra, Co-Director, Virtue Ethics Foundation
Paul Parker, Recording Clerk, Quakers in Britain
Mrs Trupti Patel, President Hindu Forum of Britain, Trustee, Faith for the Climate
Gopal D. Patel Director, The Bhumi Project
Imam Sayed Razawi FRSA, Chief Imam, Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society
Rabbi Tanya Sakhnovich, Rabbi, Nottingham Liberal Synagogue
Most Rev Mark Strange, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church
Revd Richard Teal, President of the Methodist Conference
Revd Nigel Uden, Moderator of General Assembly, United Reformed Church
Rt Revd Graham Usher, Bishop of Norwich
Canon Guy Wilkinson CBE, Secretary, Faith for the Climate
Lord Williams of Oystermouth, Master of Magdalene College Cambridge and formerly Archbishop of Canterbury

The Time is Now for a Green and Fair Recovery : 30 Jun, ONLINE

On 30 June we are coming together for a virtual lobby, inviting you, and thousands of others to ask MPs to put people, climate and nature at the heart of our nation’s recovery. 

The UK is at a turning point. As we build back from the current health crisis, we have the opportunity to rebuild a resilient economy that benefits everyone in society and tackle climate change and nature’s decline, creating jobs and protecting the most vulnerable in the UK and around the world. Or we can let the moment for change pass us by, go back to old ways and wait for new crises to hit. 

Using our voices to call for action is more important than ever. Have a virtual cup of tea with your MP on Tuesday 30 June and tell them that #TheTimeIsNow to put a healthy, greener, fairer future at the heart of plans to rebuild from the Coronavirus crisis.

 Read the Virtual Lobby Guide

Read more

Season of Creation 2020 Celebration Guide

Download
The need for just and sustainable systems has been revealed by the far-reaching effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic. In this context the 2020 Season of Creation Guide invites the Christian family to unite in a worldwide celebration of prayer and action to protect our common home. Among other ecumenical organisations, the European Christian Environmental Network (ECEN) has contributed to the guide that addresses the theme “Jubilee for the Earth” considering the integral relationship between the Earth and ecological, economic, social and political ways of living.
Read more

Climate Change: Church and Green Recovery

Climate Change: Church and Green Recovery

How can Church communities play their part in a ‘Green Recovery’ to address Climate Change?This one-hour webinar, hosted by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI), is moderated by James Anthony, Project Coordinator for Climate Sunday, CTBI. It features Caroline Pomeroy, Director, Climate Stewards and James Buchanan, Bright Now Campaign Manager, Operation Noah.

Posted by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland on Tuesday, 9 June 2020

Recording of webinar on Tue 9 Jun on how Church communities can play their part in shaping and campaigning for a ‘Green Recovery’ to address Climate Change.

Read more
1 2