Home – A Rocha’s Resource Pack

A Rocha’s 2013 Environment Resource Pack for churches is now available from arocha.org/resources. The pack contains a flexible service order (suitable for adult and all-age worship), sermon, group Bible study, prayers, children’s resources, songs, ideas for further activities, and a presentation on coral reefs as home to many marine species.

This is what A Rocha says about the theme:

Where is your home? Many Christians have been taught that our ‘real’ home is in heaven. Yet, the Bible actually says that God’s home will be with humanity (Revelation 21:3), and God calls us to put down roots and bear good fruit in the places where we’ve been planted. A Rocha’s 2013 Environment Resource Pack on Home provides resources for churches to celebrate their local area – the human and wildlife communities they share it with – and to seek ways to be involved in caring for their homes.

The pack is designed to be used on Environment Sunday (7 June 2013), at Harvest, Creation Time, or any other suitable occasion.

Download it for free at arocha.org/resources

Sabbath Reflections: Capitalism and Inequity versus a Gospel Mandate

‘Sabbath Reflections: Capitalism and Inequity versus a Gospel Mandate’ is a 7-part reflection on the Sabbath by Bishop George Browning and published by the Anglican Communion Environmental Network. Bishop Browning explores the roots and meaning of Sabbath and how a fresh understanding and practice of this biblical concept can reconnect economics to ethics, and shape human society in a manner that is consistent with the creation upon which it depends.

‘At the beginning of the 21st century, does Christianity have a view about an ideal human society?’. Bishop George Browning responds to this question by reflecting that such a society must ‘address rapidly growing inequity and … confront an economic system which operates as if resources are infinite and that humanity can somehow exist as if it is not part of an unfolding ecological crisis.’

Read more about the resource here.

Download the full resource here.

Operation Noah Lent Course

Operation Noah has published a course which is designed for use as a Lent course – though it is also appropriate for use at any time of the year. It is targeted for use with Church and house groups and the content is based on the Operation Noah Ash Wednesday Declaration.

There are five sessions, each with handouts for participants and notes for group leaders – including:

  1. Does climate change matter? If so, why does it matter?
  2. How can I better celebrate creation as God’s gift?
  3. What is God asking of me?
  4. What do I need to change?
  5.  What can I do now to cherish God’s earth?

Available for downloading at www.operationnoah.org/lent-course

Learn how to change things in your community

Oxfordshire Rural Community Council and Oxfordshire Community and Voluntary Action are offering a free course on Community Action.

The course will help people understand how they can affect decisions about where they live and make a change in their neighbourhood.

The course will be held in Oxford starting in May 2012 and needs a commitment to one session of three hours per week for seven weeks and a tutorial.

Full details at here.

Unearthing the secret to growing your own

The secret to growing food in your garden isn’t about expert knowledge, space or time – it is about doing it with a group of friends and helping one another get started. Bringing people together and starting such a group is straight forward and rewarding with Grow Zones, a community growing resource with a difference.

Unlike many other community growing initiatives Grow Zones equips people to use the power of community growing to grow fruit and vegetables in their own gardens, rather than a shared piece of land. This makes it a much simpler process, with a much quicker and rewarding impact.

The approach is simple. A team gather, share ideas and expertise, and help one another plan their growing season. They then get together for an easy schedule of Saturday morning visits to each others gardens. Everyone brings any useful tools they have for the jobs that morning and something to share for lunch. The host gets everyone to work on tasks they have planned for their garden, and the morning ends with a real sense of accomplishment and a shared meal.

The result is powerful: gardens are transformed and enjoyed; knowledge and expertise are shared; friendships are made and strengthened; and fruit and vegetables are grown like never before.

Last year the anglican church hOME facilitated a Grow Zones team in the spring and the autumn. When asked what was good about Grow Zones for them, those involved commented:

Simple, yet effective. Builds community far more effectively than a discussion group.

Lots of people feel instinctively that they want to make more of their small plot of earth (and get better connected to nature) but don’t know how or where to start. Grow Zones is a simple and fun way to do all that.

As a relatively new person to church, it has been great to get to know people better in a relaxed and informal way.

Working on a shared project with other people brings a group together.  It’s also easy to chat while you work without it feeling ‘forced’.

Grow Zones has helped us grow closer together as a community and closer to the land as we learn how to use it fruitfully.

The Grow Zones Kit helps everyone from seasoned gardeners to beginners to bring people together and start a group. The kit addresses the challenges facing a new grower with little time, little knowledge and little space, and provides all you need to plan and facilitate a team.

The gardening writer and presenter Alys Fowler said about the Grow Zones Kit: “At last, an easy to use guide on how to get a community group up and running. This is a brilliant resource for anyone who wants to gather some like-minded people together to get gardening. Now all you have to do is get out there and garden!”

Why not start a Grow Zones team in your area? Find out more and order a kit at www.growzones.com

Lent 2012 Consumer Detox

This coming Lent, the Breath network invite you to “take a journey with others towards less stuff and more life.” Breathe network has produced a resource to help groups use Lent 2012 to detox from consumerism. During Lent you can also follow a daily blog, hear online talks and join others reading Consumer Detox by Mark Powley.

The Detox is available here. It includes:

  • Creative and challenging small group activities, with Bible discussion suggestions
  • Inspiration from a daily Lent blog and online talks
  • Or read through Consumer Detox by Mark Powley (Zondervan 2010)

Daily blog: www.consumerdetox.wordpress.com
Online talks: www.stgeorgesleeds.org.uk (28th Feb & 6th, 13th, 20th & 27th March)
Sample chapters of Consumer Detox: available on the Zondervan website

“Consumer Detox tackles one of the most important challenges facing Christian discipleship in the west today. If the church took this agenda seriously, it could make a big difference.”

Dr Graham Tomlin, Dean of St Mellitus College, author of The Provocative Church

the 2012 Lent Consumer Detox.

The Detox is attached and available here. It includes:

·         Creative and challenging small group activities, with Bible discussion suggestions

·         Inspiration from a daily Lent blog and online talks

·         Or read through Consumer Detox by Mark Powley (Zondervan 2010)

Would you be willing to help others know about this?

If yes, please forward this email to any churches near you, or to any small group leaders you know. Help us spread the word about the Detox, and join us on the journey this Lent if you can.

“Consumer Detox tackles one of the most important challenges facing Christian discipleship in the west today. If the church took this agenda seriously, it could make a big difference.”

Dr Graham Tomlin, Dean of St Mellitus College, author of The Provocative Church

We hope you can join in. It’s the journey through the wilderness that makes freedom possible. Or, if you like, ‘less stuff more life’.

Whose World is it Anyway?

A Rocha UK, the Christian Environmental Charity, has recently produced a new resource for the RE GCSE faith and the environment module. The pack contains video clips, 10 lesson plans, power point presentations and a colourful pupil booklet with exercises.

You can see sample resources on their website at: www.arocha.org.uk/education, where you can also buy the pack online.

The GCSE Resource Pack includes a DVD & Booklet, plus classroom and homework activities, Powerpoint presentations, short films and printable resources – material for 10 lessons. It is suitable for RE at GCSE and Key Stage 3 & 4 and covers 6 theme:

  1. Wow! What is so amazing about the world? (to think about views and attitudes towards the natural world)
  2. Origins (to discover and evaluate Christian beliefs about how the world was created)
  3. God, People and Nature (to discover what the Bible teaches about caring for the environment, and to reflect on our responsibility for the natural world)
  4. Rubbish Dump World (to analyse the problems caused by environmental damage, and various Christian responses)
  5. What does A Rocha do and why? (to use A Rocha as a case-study of a Christian response to the environment, focusing on projects in Kenya, India and the UK)
  6. Reflections (to review Christian teachings and own behaviour with regard to the environment)

Find out more at www.arocha.org.uk/education