“Where IS the hope?” was the theme for Green Christian’s Annual Members’ Meeting held at St Andrew’s Church, Waterloo, London on Saturday 11 November. Co-Chair George Dow and other board members reported on the year and led a discussion on finding hope.
Green Christian Co-Chair Deborah Tomkins said: “This was an exceptional afternoon. After concluding the business of the AMM, we became engaged in a profound discussion about the meaning of hope in a world where hope seems almost lost. Green Christians brought a thoughtful Gospel response to some of the most difficult issues in our world today. We invite others to join us in this work.”
Membership continues to grow, Zoom workshops on a variety of topics have proved very successful, and five “On The Road” events were held in Saltburn, Edinburgh, Reading, York and Dronfield last year. Green Christian is also recruiting two new part-time posts for new projects: a church project officer and a food project officer. A new online course for church leaders in local churches starts in January and a hybrid retreat is planned for September 2024.
Trustee Paul Bodenham introduced the afternoon’s topic with a brief discussion of aspects of hope: hope for a particular outcome; hope in a solution, person or technology; and hope beyond all these. Delegates discussed what hope means for them at this time of climate and ecological crisis, while also considering whether hope might be active rather than passive, what qualities are needed to render hope authentic, strong, and powerful, the types of questions hope might ask, together with the qualities needed to ensure hope is grounded. Thoughtful responses included: Hope being motivated less by fear and more by love; working together with other groups, both Christian and non-Christian; a vision of the future, as in Isaiah; hope is the opposite of denial; we need to act hope into being. Delegates added that Green Christian helps by offering resources to share, workshops and courses, daily prayer guide, and uniting people with shared values.
Board member Paul Bodenham described the new eight session online zoom course “Cloud and Fire” due to start on twice-monthly Tuesday evenings starting from 9 January. It is designed especially for clergy, lay ministers and spiritual directors, giving a safe space to confront questions such as “What does my vocation mean in the shadow of catastrophe? What new pastoral responses do people need?”
Ruth Jarman, Green Christian Information Officer, described the activities of the Engagement Group including the online talks and workshops enabling people to learn and discuss new ideas. The next two zoom workshops are:
Wednesday 15 November 7pm Faith and the Economy with Professor Steve McMullen, editor of the Magazine “Faith and the Economy” and
Wednesday 6 December 7pm Climate conversations with Christian psychologist John Steley on how people can hold two things together in their minds without making connections between them. With over 70% of people in the UK recognising climate disruption is for real how is it they still carry on with climate damaging behaviours?
Post expires on January 15th, 2024