Many of you will be aware of the growing Eco-congregation movement within the Church of Scotland and other churches. www.ecocongregation.org/scotland More recently, interested congregations
in different areas of the land have been joining together into networks to support and encourage each other in this important area of the churches work.
If you have not already done so why not consider registering your congregation as an eco-congregation and investigate further the available resources to get you started!
The present concerns over Climate Change should cause us to want to be informed and to discover what we as churches and christians can do.
This is not something we should be ignoring, especially, as organisations such as Christian Aid tell us that the effects of Climate Change are already being felt
and will most greatly be felt and affect the lives of the poor of our world.
This page has been set up to encourage more christians and churches to consider these matters urgently and seriously. If you know of any information or
contacts that it would be useful to make known here, do let me know
Let me begin by just mentioning some useful resources that I have come across.
Secondly, consider the following article, it may get you thinking and wanting to find out more!
Living Lightly in God's World
Why caring for people means caring for the planet
In today's world 1.3 billion people live on less than a dollar a day, and struggle for food and water, not to mention health-care and education. 30,000 children under five still die every day due to poverty . Now, to make things worse, it is clear that human-induced Climate Change, caused by our polluting lifestyles, is rapidly becoming a major cause of global poverty. According to the Department for International Development (DFID) , Climate Change is causing:
- An increase in extreme climatic events (droughts, heat-waves, floods, hurricanes)
- Increasing climate variability (not knowing when the rains will come, whether crops will grow)
- Systematic changes in weather systems (causing fertile areas in poor areas to become infertile)
- Degradation of eco-systems (deserts growing, fisheries declining)
The report concludes, "The poor are already struggling … The climate is becoming more variable and creating additional risks so that the poor are becoming more vulnerable." As Elaine Storkey (President of Tearfund and on A Rocha UK's Council of Reference) puts it, "Inevitably the poor are picking up the tab. The poor are there when the hurricane hits, when the tornado comes, when freak weather conditions are there. It's going to hit these countries more and more … Where's our theology of neighbour love?"
Here in the UK we sit on the other side of the global scales. If everybody in the world lived as we do in Britain, we would need more than three planet earths . To put it another way, by Easter Sunday 2006 - April 16th - we had each used up our annual 'allowance' of the earth's resources . For the rest of the year, our consumption has been at somebody else's expense.
How did we ever get into this state? Quite simply, because we tend to act as if the world and everything in it is there simply for us. We forget a simple but radical biblical truth: "The earth is the Lord's and everything in it" Psalm 24:1. The world is not here purely for us. It belongs to God, and in fact ultimately was made for Jesus (Colossians 1.16). We are simply tenants and stewards in God's world, invited to use, to enjoy and to develop it, but, like all stewards, answerable to God for how we use the earth's resources.
Our lifestyles are therefore an issue of justice for the poor, of worship towards Jesus, and of discipleship, seeking to "act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God" (Micah 6:8). A Rocha UK has launched a lifestyle commitment for those who seek to live more simply and more justly in God's world. It is called 24:1 - Living Lightly in God's World and is based on Psalm 24:1.
What is 24:1 all about? In a nutshell, there are three elements:
- The 24:1 COMMITMENT - believing 'The earth is the Lord's and everything in it' Psalm 24:1
- The 24:1 CHALLENGE - behaving - Living lightly in God's world
- The 24:1 COMMUNITY - belonging - Caring for God's world together
We hope that you will give serious thought to signing up to the 24:1 commitment. It has deliberately been designed in a flexible way, recognising that we all start at very different places in our lifestyles, our commitments, and our contexts. For one person, starting to recycle paper may be a big step forward. For another, it may be time to give up your car, or to eat only organic meat. The important thing is that your lifestyle is moving in a more sustainable direction. It is about orientation, not about achievement; it is about the journey, not about having arrived. We are suggesting people try to take one tangible step in changing their lifestyle every three months.
At the heart of it is the desire to live in a way that is different from the values of the world around us - to live counter-culturally - to live as if we actually believe that 'the earth is the Lord's and everything in it' (Psalm 24:1). When we start to do that, we will not only be reducing our harmful impacts and breaking our addiction to materialism, we will also be helping the world's poor and being more authentic followers of Jesus.
If you would like to sign up to 24:1 - to make the commitment, take the challenge, and join the growing community, you can fill in and e-mail the form at A Rocha UK You will be sent a pack with ideas and resources to get you going, and regular updates thereafter. Just imagine the potential if a million Christians started to live differently! Why not join us?
Rev. Dave Bookless, National Director, A Rocha UK
Congregations already involved:
- Daviot and Dunlichity l/w Moy, Dalarossie and Tomatin
- Hilton Church
- Inverness Cathedral
For further information contact Janette Hall Email: Gentiananivalis@hotmail.com
Date of next meeting: To be arranged - watch this space