Global Justice Now worship resource on Trade Justice – order your copy

Global Justice Now  (formerly World Development Movement) are putting together a worship resource on trade justice. The pack will include Bible Study, Liturgy ideas, prayers and actions. The pack is being supported by:

Africa Europe Faith and Justice Network
Global Justice Now
Green Christian
Jubilee Debt Campaign
National Justice and Peace Network
One World Week
URC Commitment for Life

They hope to have completed the design and have it with the printers by mid-February, and would like an idea of numbers. If you think you could use/distribute some packs, could you please contact
Effie Jordan Effie.Jordan@globaljustice.org.uk by 10 February

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Eco Church – its launch at St Paul’s on 26 Jan 2016

Rowan Williams

Rowan Williams in the crypt of St Paul’s launches Eco Church. This photo by Graham Lacdao, St Paul’s Cathedral’

Eco Church is a new programme to encourage and credit churches in England and Wales in making greener choices and activities. Two members of Green Christian Steering committee attended the launch – Judith Allinson and George Dow. Judith has since tried out the website questionnaire which has just come online, and writes this article.

 

1. Links to official  website reports about Eco Church

  1.  Eco Church  itself:   http://ecochurch.arocha.org.uk/ – Try out the Eco Survey for your church.
  2. Video of all the speakers at the launch (c.1 hr):
    http://ecochurch.arocha.org.uk/eco-church-launch/
  3. St Paul’s Goes Green for Eco Church – by St Pauls Institute

2. Comments by Judith on the initial online questionnaire:

http://ecochurch.arocha.org.uk/eco-survey-non-saving-example/

I found it easy to access the questionnaire.
It is in five sections:-
1 Worship and Teaching    2 Buildings     3 Land     4 Community and Global     5 Lifestyle

As you answer the questions, dials move up, and if your church has done sufficient green activities, the dial will reach first the bronze section, then the silver section and then the gold section. If you have registered with Eco Church you can save these scores, if not they will be lost.

I did the first section, for the church I attend at Settle and it just scraped into bronze.  I then decided to wait, and the next day invited two friends from church round and we registered our church, and looked at the results for all five sections.

Now we have to get other people in the church interested..

3. The excitement of the launchrowan-ecochurch-cropped-lighter

Over 300 people attended. We went down into the crypt. Various people gave speeches, including the guest speaker, Rowan Williams. St Paul’s was presented with a bronze Eco Church award.

 

Afterwards we looked at stalls that had been ecochurch-cryptput up, and had light refreshments.

 

 

 

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I was pleased to visit the stall of Creation Challenge.org.uk – i.e. of the Joint Public Issues Team of the Methodist URC and Baptist Church in Britain

(In the picture left to right: Steve Hucklesby, lady with rec waistcoat at stall, Valerie Lovett, myself, Michael Ivatt)

 

Look out as more may be added to this page in the next few days.

 

 

Here Michael Ivatt of The UK Methodist Church is showing Hope in God’s Future – A useful study guide with material for several discussion evenings on Climate Change. Copies cost £5 each and can be ordered from Methodist Publishing or you can download a free copy here.

 

michael-ivatt-judith-a-andy-ive-st-pauls-crypt2-600

I am showing people the Green Christian Leaflet on Saving Wildlife and the February Prayer Guide that I printed out. Andy Ive on the right is a keen organiser of the two Eco-Congregation awards that Ingleton Church received.

 

 

 

 

 

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Report from Way of Life Workshop, 30th January 2016, London

All attendees are invited to add their comments on the day – there is a comments box at the end of this post

About 33 of us met at St Aloysius Church, near Euston station in central London to revisit and to add to the progress made at the Ringsfield retreat in Summer 2015.


Chris Walton our chaplain opened the day, encouraging us to explore the vision for a dispersed community looking at how we can support and be companions to each other. To affirm this intent, we sang ‘to be a pilgrim’, noticing just how relevant it is today and seeing ourselves as green proclaimers of the 21st century.

George Dow welcomed those who were not at Ringsfield last summer and said he hoped by the end of the day we would have a clearer concept of being a ‘companion’ and the four disciplines of the Way of Life. We then shared in groups of two or three what had brought us here today and our experience of other Christian Ways or Rules of life.


Deborah Tomkins introduced us to the four disciplines.  The first being daily prayer and devotion and whole earth discipleship and our connection to Jesus through the metaphor of the vine.  Roots of vines can go down up to six metres and we think of Jesus of being ‘earthed’ and ourselves connected to the branches of the vine and thus connected to Jesus. Through prayer we strengthen our connecton.
Living gently on the earth, Deborah, who is passionate about growing food in her raised beds, reminded us that in the UK we import 50% of our food, ten years ago it was 40% and many are disconnected from the earth and it’s seasons. Children may not know where milk and eggs come from. Without nature we are lost, it is a spiritual necessity to be rooted and earthed. Inthe last 40 years 50% of species have become extinct. To balance this unlike the animal kingdom we have the gift of imagination to look forward and look back and to imagine another way – we need to harness this
wooden carving of two peoplePublic action can sound a bit scary , it could be because we have been denigrated or bruised. Perhaps we  should be calling it public witness (a sense of consensus here).
There are lots of things we can do, be it through a one to one conversation or writing a letter to a CEO. You can’t underestimate what people don’t know.
We are tasked to encourage each other, Deborah used a beautiful wooden carving of two people to demonstrate  – caring, listening, empathy, encouragement…  We must not on the other hand allow ourselves to think a bit of recycling can offset a holiday flight, it can we quite easy to spiral down, there is a need for being constantly alert and aware.

The discplines were then looked at in greater detail.

Deidre Munro led us in the discipline of daily prayer and devotion – using the Green Christian monthly Prayer Guide which is available to indiviuals: on the website, through a monthly or daily email, be post.  We had three sessions during the day each using a different day’s prayer from the guide, to which we individually listened, reflected and responded.  There is power in our all following the same prayer at the same time.

Bike Ride Promo 003Euan McPhee shared his practical experiences of living gently on the earth, beginning with two slides, one of elegant modern tall city buildings alongside a picture of a landfill which is essential to support the former.  The message being that we should not imagine the city buildings without the need for the landfill.  Those who are simplifying their life have made the connect between the two.  Euan introduced us to the ‘Lilypad List’ of starting points for a simpler life: Frugallers, Declutterers, Greens, Spiritual Seekers, Retreaters, Patients (after an illness), Downshifters.  For more on this you may be interested in the book by Marian Van Eyk McCain (2004)
Living Simply can be difficult 

  • It’s ofen complicated, choices need consideration, not everyone wants to go the same way or distance in living gently. Information needed to make the correct choice is not always there.
  • Rarely easy – swimming against consumerism is tiring, many actions seem antisocial.
  • Takes time and effort – researching options – reducing consumption can be time consuming.
  • Never ending quest, technology changes so criteria change, ones own families change, we live in a dynamic and evolving world.

Living Simply can also be  **@@!!!!

  • Immensely rewarding – living more lightly – deeper sense of solidarity with the world’s poor – releases money which can be given away – relief from stress of consumerism.
  • Reduces the amount of stuff – declutters which means less clearing up, storing, insuring.
  • Increases opportunity to just be, creating time to wonder at the earth, more time for enjoying the outdoors,  more time for prayer and meditation.
  • All about continuing the pilgrim journey – the process is fascinating, the journey is ever changing.

Three essential steps for living simply can be explored at www.globalstewards.org/sustainable-lifestyle.htm

Barbara Echlin led a first session on Public Action (or is it Public Witness? – suggesting it comes from deep within). Small groups of 5 or 6 considered different ways in which they had been publicly involved in creation, how else could this be done, what is and what is not acceptable?

After a LOAF lunch of delicious food Chris Walton led an interesting exploration as to how we would best like to communicate with fellow companions given our geograohic separateness.  By sitting in two long lines and one line moving along one space we had well over one hundred unique 1-1 conversations.
Here are a few ideas mentioned in no particular order: individual emails, email list, telephone, meet with a few interested people, letters, twice yearly meetings with a theme, Facebook, Whats App, Skype, conference calls, face to face meetings, have a Google map with all our our locations on it.

Barbara Echlin continued exploring public action, with particular reference to George Marshall’s latest book “Don’t Even Think About It: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change” (review in Independent) which begs the question what do we respond to? She explained the acronym PAIN from George’s book.
We respond to something if it is:

  • Personal – if it involves friends enemies, defectors, and things caused by us humans.
  • Abrupt – if it happens suddenly, we tend to ignore slow moving threats.
  • Immoral – if it is indecent, impious, repulsive or disgusting.
  • Now – if it is now, we are reluctant to look into the future.

Climate change doesn’t fit into these triggers so how can we turn things around? Barbara showed some interesting images:
so not the polar bear stranded on ice, but two firefighters struggling to qwell a forest fire – we focus on the danger the firefighters are in;
positive images of children with solar panels;
someone in Africa using a solar cooker.

Then in small groups we explored stories of talking about climate change,selecting one story from each group, trying to see a method we could use.

  • A group of farmers who were also bellringers started talking about changing weather patterns, the conversation then progressed onto climate change  – going with the flow and tweeking the direction
  • A group complained about the lack of rubbish collection from a curbside for 17 years before anything happenned – patience
  • A pentecostal housegroup put the blame of the flooding two years ago on the government’s legalisation of gay marriage – we must start from where people are
  • On a first visit to Norway finding hydro electric power for green energy, returning several years later to find the hydro electric plant no longer in operation because there was no longer any snow, the hilltops were brown – specific evidence of change
  • Euan McPhee’s bike ride from Truro to Paris for COP21 – need to be personal, but must be transformational not transactional

George Dow then continued with the theme of George Marshall’s book published last autumn, which resulted in George M giving several talks in the US.  The talk given to Google in New York is particularly recommended and can be watched on you tube.  The first 40-45minutes is best.

George Dow picked up on the issue of empathy with the place people are coming from and homed in on a diagolgue with Joel Hunter, the pastor of an evangelical church with 10,000 members who really gets climate change. Joel leads a church which believes in something that is uncertain and it’s members make sacrifices in order to do this.  Out of this he pulled four ideas:

  • sharing a community of belief – we need to recognise people’s initial doubts
  • there is a need to witness – ie telling stories (cf the parables of Jesus)
  • the concept of epiphany – ie people can suddenly ‘get it’
  • forgiveness when people come on board – ie let them know they simply start from square one, what has gone before doesn’t count ny longer

George Marshall also asks us to mourn the losses and value what remains.

The day had given us all much to ponder and evaluate in our  own lives,  some of this people were able to articulate in a closing act of contemplation and offering  led by Paul Bodenham, Chair of Green Christian.
Paul read from Philipians 2, 6 – 9 and then used a device by Joanna Macy of a mat on the floor with a cross at its cente, on the four corners were: a wooden stick – to grip onto symbolising anger; an empty bowl – to show a sense of emptiness, going through a dry patch; dry leaves -symbolising sorrow for what is lost; stones – symbolising fear and feeling constricted. Individuals were invited to step forward and choose on of the four objects and to speak one sentence, to which the response was ‘we hear you’. After this in pairs we annointed each other with oil.

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Celandines, Eco-Congregation, Eco Church, Salt and Light, and Christian Unity

celandineSeveral things have come together:

I need a picture for the next GC E-News 29 – So why not one of a celandine

- a humble, but golden shining flower –  coming out soon in the south of England, and in February / March the north of England and Scotland.

that was painted for a book  “Wildflowers of the Ingleton churchyards”

.. a book that was one of that activities that contributed to the second Eco-Congregation Award for Ingleton

along with activities such as

putting temporary double glazing across a church window; organising a service to remember God’s Creation; holding lichen and wildflower workshops/walks.

Churches can be proud of their Eco-Congregation Awards and plaques.

On Tuesday Eco Church will be launched. This  is a new award  for English and Welsh churches, It is based on Eco-Congregation. So from then onwards in Britain there will be

 

Eco Church (England and Wales)
Eco-Congregation Scotland
Eco Church
Eco-Congregation Ireland

Could your church enter for Eco Church (if you are in England or Wales) or for Eco-Congregation if you are in Scotland or Ireland? There are fun activities to do.

During the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity we have been thinking about Salt and Light.

“Do not hide your light under a bushel”
“Be the salt of the world.”

(derived from Matthew 5 v 13 and 14)

Download the “Salt of the Earth” pamphlet from CTBI

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2016 - Salt of the Earth image

So if your church community has done some things to care for God’s Creation and to look after the environment for future generations – then tell other people and churches about it.. and you can do this by entering for the award.

Here are some more pictures of Ingleton:
Just enjoy the pictures of the launch of the book two years ago here.

Revd Charles Ellis (right) introduces Doris Cairns (far left) and her book at the launch

 

Looking at the book

 

In a walk round the churchyard we look at the young Sand Leek.
The blue rope has been positioned to protect it from mowing.

 

Young Sand Leek

 

Doris looks at “Cuckoo Pint” from above

 

Now we are looking at the Cuckoo Pint  from above –
see the Ingleton Viaduct in the background.

 

Which buttercup is this?
Sepals pointing down – yes it’s Bulbous Buttercup.

 

 

 

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Green Christian News 28: 20 Jan 2016: Invitation to order copies of Storm of Hope

Xanthoria parietina squareItems from Green Christian News 28: 20 Jan 2016:

1. Invitation to order copies of 2016 Storm of Hope for events, displays etc
2. Please take part in the GC magazine feedback survey
3. Upcoming events in UK: (Jan-Feb): 
4. Don’t forget to book for Green Christian’s own two events 

 

1. Order copies of 2016 Storm of Hope
We are about to print the 2016 issue of our Storm of Hope pamphlet. In past years members and friends have ordered extra copies to hand out to their churches or to other groups. We can send as many as you like – 50, 100, 200, more. Please email secretary@greenchristian.org.uk with your name, postal address and the number of copies you want. You can see last year’s Storm of Hope here . This offer is free, but donations towards printing and postage would always be welcome! Please reply by Monday 25 January (extended from Fri 22 Jan).
Thank you.

 

2. GC magazine feedback survey
The editorial team of Green Christian magazine would value your feedback about the magazine.  If you are a member and receive the magazine, let us know your views (anonymously and confidentially) using our short online survey at http://svy.mk/1Pd0n5t    or you can use the paper form included with the latest issue.

Thanks too for your response – we’re getting lots of good ideas!
Thanks from Clare Redfern editor@greenchristian.org.uk

 

3. Upcoming events: 
Here is a list of upcoming events given in the GC Whats-on page:
In particular note the Launch of Eco Church (London, 26 Jan), GC Way of Life Workshop ( London, 30 Jan), Guildford Cathedral Climate evening (9 Feb), and the Yew Seminar (London, 16 Feb).  For links etc see  http://www.greenchristian.org.uk/whats-on 
20 Jan London: Westminster Cathedral Interfaith Group 4pm – Study of Laudato Si

20 Jan London:  Milton Keynes: “This Changes Everything” film run by MK Global Justice 7pm

21 Jan: Gloucester University:  Restorative Land Use: Paris 2015 and beyond-talk by: Dr Jenner Parker, Research Director, Schumacher Institute

26 Jan:  Launch of Eco Church at St Paul’s Cathedral (the crypt of). Doors open at 6.15pm for a 6.30pm start  – Space limited so please book at  http://bit.ly/1N6zDgw http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/eco-church-launch-tickets-18991853144  Eco Church is a new project and is the follow on the Eco-Congregation in England and Wales. (Eco-Congregation continues in Scotland). Speakers for the evening will be the Rt Rev & Rt Hon Dr Rowan Williams and Dr Ruth Valerio.

30 Jan: London: Green Christian “Way of Life” Day Workshop

4 Feb: Milton Keynes: MK Christian Environment Group: Chris Fegan, General Secretary of Catholic Concern for Animals to give talk on Laudato Si

9 Feb: Guildford Cathedral: Stories of Hope: Christian Discipleship in a Changing Climate: 19:45 – 21:45 http://bit.ly/1OOt9sj  Speakers incl Bishop of Guildford, Andrew Watson will open the event. Speakers, include Ruth Valerio (A Rocha) and Ben Niblett (Tearfund

10 Feb-26 March:  Lent Carbon Fast:  Reconnecting with God’s Earth EcoChurch Southwest , There will be daily emails including bible readings, reflections and stories of good examples of ideas from around the region of SW England.

16 Feb: London:   We Love Yew seminar  at Johns Church Waterloo,  10.30am – 3.30pm. The We Love Yew seminar  will bring together a range of experts in the management and research of our yew trees. Aimed at those with responsibility for yew trees, arboricultural practitioners, and others with an interest in the importance of Britain’s yew tree heritage, the seminar is free and open to all, but booking is essential.10.30am – 3.30pm Anchor 

 

4. Don’t  forget to book for Green Christian’s own two events:

30 Jan:  London: Green Christian “Way of Life” Day Workshop“Finding our Path and Walking Gently Together”, St Aloysius Church, Euston. 11am to 4.30pm. Open to all. http://www.greenchristian.org.uk/archives/9831

10-12 June:  2016 Green Christian Retreat, Noddfa, N Wales. Places are going quickly http://www.greenchristian.org.uk/retreat

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5. Natural History Notes:  Have you seen this lichen?

Xanthoria parietina A lichen is an association of a fungus and an alga or a blue green bacteria.

There are almost 2000 different lichens in UK and each has a different fungus – though many share the same alga/blue-green bacteria.

Lichens can tell us a lot about air pollution and rock type. Churchyard lichens are very interesting to lichenologists.

Xanthoria parietina on twigHave you seen this lichen? It is called Xanthoria parietina.  It is a very easy to learn, common species. Most of you should be able to see it growing on tree branches or walls near you It has several English names including “Common Orange Lichen”, “Bird Perch Lichen” and “Maritime Sunburst Lichen”.  It is an indicator of nitrogen compound pollution. The reproductive orange cups – shaped like jam tarts – are 1-2mm across.
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Two year free GC Membership for ordinands and ministers in training – limited period offer.

Green Christian is offering free two year digital membership to people who are in full time training to be ministers / priests (Ordinands). Such people will be a full member of Green Christian, but receive the magazine in digital rather than in paper form.This offer is for a limited period only. If you are interested please contact Richard at  ordinands@greenchristian.org.uk

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GC E-News 27: 8 Jan 2016 -Book now for Way of Life Workshop

To receive Green Christian News emails (about twice a month), please subscribe by filling in your email address in the bar on the right.

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Happy New Year to all Members and Friends of Green Christian.

Here is the first Newsletter for 2016

  1. The Green Christian Way of Life – Day Workshop in London: 30 Jan. Please book by 23 Jan

www.greenchristian.org.uk/archives/9831
Details  below. Please pass on to others interested.

2. Green Christian Prayer Guide for January
www.greenchristian.org.uk/faith/prayer-guide

3. Good News on energy:  (Article for a parish magazine)
www.greenchristian.org.uk/archives/10221

4. Events over next two weeks from the “Whatson” page:  See more details, and later events at
www.greenchristian.org.uk/whats-on

10 Jan: Ripon: Plough Sunday Service: Ripon Cathedral
13 Jan: Settle: Talk on Fracking: Settle Justice and Peace.
18-25 Jan: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
https://ctbi.org.uk/week-of-prayer-for-christian-unity-2016/
https://ctbi.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/WPCU-2016-English-pamphlet.pdf
18 Jan: Eastbourne: Newman Soc: Edward Echlin: Talk on Laudato Si
20 Jan: Westminster Cathedral Interfaith Gp: Laudato Si talk

5. 10-12 June:  2016 Green Christian Retreat, Noddfa, N Wales.
Bookings now being taken: http://www.greenchristian.org.uk/retreat

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“The  Green  Christian  Way of Life – Finding our Path and Walking Gently Together”

 

http://www.greenchristian.org.uk/archives/9831

St  Aloysius  Church,  20  Phoenix  Road,
London NW1 1TA (near Euston station)
Saturday   30  January,  2016.  11am  to  4.30pm.
A one day workshop open to all who are interested in following Green Christian’s Way of Life.

It  will  be  structured  to appeal not only to those who attended the initial  gathering in Ringsfield in May 2015 but also to those who are new  to  the  subject.  The Green Christian Way of Life comprises four disciplines:
– Daily  Prayer and Devotions
– Living Gently on the Earth
– Public  Action (incl a discussion of George Marshall’s book ‘Don’t Even Think About It – Why Our Brains Are Wired  To  Ignore  Climate  Change’)
– Encouragement.

More   information   on   the   Green   Christian   Way   of  Life  at www.greenchristian.org.uk/way
Cost  free – but donations on the day welcome. Booking is essential as space is limited. Deadline for receiving bookings is 23 January 2016.
To book a place e-mail  georgedow@greenchristian.org.uk

 

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Good News on Energy

turbines and fieldGood news stories on energy efficiency and generating renewable energy exist. Don’t believe the doom-sayers who repeatedly belittle the power of sun, wind and water and ignore the importance of energy efficiency measures. The Green Christian Prayer Guide for January had a host of stories showing what is happening around the world. Here are four of them.

Energy Saving: After Japan’s Fukushima disaster in 2011, all but three of its 25 nuclear reactors were closed, leading to a massive 25% drop in energy generation. As a result, the whole population has become engaged in energy saving, with regular TV bulletins showing how far current consumption of electricity is within the country’s generating capacity. A yellow sign indicates that 90-95% of generating capacity is being used, orange indicates a usage of 97% of capacity, while red says, in essence “Switch off!” Large users were required to reduce consumption by 15%. Through the collective efforts of individuals, businesses and utilities, reduction targets were met within 3 months. The Environment Minister had earlier said that the reductions would not be a temporary measure, but an event to change people’s lifestyles. In the 12 months to October 2013 Japan added enough clean energy to replace the output of five nuclear reactors.

Solar not Oil: Saudi Arabia contains the world’s biggest oil reserves, yet it intends to build 41,000 MW of solar capacity – more than all Germany’s solar installations – by 2032. 80% of the nation’s revenue comes from sales of oil, but the oil will at some stage run out. Unlike Britain, with its diminishing oil resource, the Saudis have decided to invest their oil windfall in a resource which will last as long as the sun itself.

Home Grown in the UK: The Isle of Eigg in Scotland used to be owned by a series of absentee landlords. In 1997 the community got together to buy back the island for themselves. They then set up the world’s first 100% community-owned renewable energy grid. Every home on the island is now powered by a mixture of wind, small hydro and solar power, with a battery bank that stores 24 hours of back-up electricity, all managed and maintained by a community-owned company.

Wind Power leads the way: Denmark’s wind industry sprang from concern over the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. In 2013, wind power alone met one-third of the country’s electricity needs, and Denmark has exported its wind turbines all over the world. By 2035, all of Denmark’s energy demand for electricity and heating will be met from renewable energy, and it is hoped that by 2050 the country will become the first fossil-free nation on earth.

You can see the full January ‘Prayer Guide for the Care of Creation’ in the Faith section of www.greenchristian.org.uk

 

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