Slow travel Part Five: Learning from each other

Chilly mornings give way to warm and sunny days, and then the evenings become chilly again. Tonight is still and clear, and a star-gazing walk is planned later, after “Redeeming Eurovision” – home-made entertainment from the different nations represented here.

Almost at the end of the conference, I am very glad that I travelled, however slowly, to be part of it. Today’s plenaries included Andy Atkins from A Rocha speaking on mobilising Christians and churches on the environment; Ruth Valerio on ethical consumerism; and Dave Bookless on “Mission Impossible” – a vision for God’s kingdom on earth as in heaven.

Varied workshops were again on offer this afternoon: on long-term community-based conservation at Cruzinha, the A Rocha centre in Portugal; the Biblical roots of sustainability and sustainable preaching; and Environmental worldview expressed through art.

The teaching has been, without exception, excellent, and we have all benefited from new friendships and connections which we will be able to build on once back home.

Tomorrow I start on the 24-hour journey home, an opportunity to reflect on these few days and work out my next steps, before plunging back into everyday life. National groups met together this afternoon, to work out a way forward from the conference; the urgency of climate change means we don’t have time to waste. One of the scientists pointed out the other day that at a major conference recently of 25,000 climate scientists in the USA, among the thousands of presentations not one discussed whether climate change was real or its origin – a large number discussed how to deal with climate denial. So my slow travel has the benefit of time for reflection as well as lower carbon emissions (38kg carbon by train, versus 378kg by plane – return travel – calculated on climatestewards.org).

Goats broke through the fence into the garden this afternoon

 

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