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.

2013: A year of food – Food Matters

Food Matters is a new project from the Diocese of Oxford to help churches reconnect with the seasons, celebrate festivals, and explore global and local food related themes.

Food Matters starts with a launch event from 7.30pm on 24 January in Oxford when four exceptional people – Roy Lambourne (farmer and agricultural consultant); Mike Rayner (priest and public health expert); Ruth Valerio (theologian, author and activist); and Paul Valentin (international director of Christian Aid) will speak about “What Food Means to Me.”

Please do join us for this event – details and registration at: www.foodmatters.org.uk/launch-event/

We’re also asking people to share what food means to them as Christians. See what others have said and add your thoughts on the Food Matters website at: www.foodmatters.org.uk/what-does-food-mean-to-you/

Join the Food Matters mailing list to receive an email about the first Food Matters resource at the end of January called “Preparing the Ground” and focussed on winter. Three further resources will follow in the year –  ideas for celebrating festivals and with opportunities to reflect; to pray; to “grow your own”; to share local and global stories; and to take action for a fairer food system for all.

Find out more and join the Food Matters mailing list at www.foodmatters.org.uk.

 

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

Energy monitoring scheme

The Diocese of Oxford has been giving churches access to the national Shrinking the Footprint Energy monitoring scheme since 2012. The energy monitoring aims to build a better understanding of our energy usage and total carbon footprint so we can support energy saving actions and meet our commitment to protecting God’s creation.

The scheme, which was piloted in the Diocese of Oxford in 2012, gives all CofE churches and schools in the diocese the opportunity to use, for free, energy monitoring software that will help track and reduce energy use.

Funding for the national ran out at the end of 2013. However, thanks to support from Low Carbon Oxford, churches in the Diocese of Oxford will still be able to use the software throughout 2014, when we hope national funding will be available to develop the scheme further nationally .

For further details and to sign up for the scheme visit the diocesan website.

The Life of Trees and the Tree of Life

A Rocha’s 2012 Environment Resource Pack, The Life of Trees and the Tree of Life, is freely available to churches worldwide.

Ideal for use during Time for Creation (1 September – 5 October) or any suitable date.

Why trees? Martin Luther said: “God writes the Gospel, not in the Bible alone but on trees, flowers, clouds and stars.” Today, human behaviour is leading to massive deforestation around the world. All of A Rocha’s national projects are involved with protecting and planting trees or forests, and A Rocha International’s Tropical Forests Programme links several of these. In fact our human lives are dependent on trees in multiple ways. The Bible also starts and finishes with trees – in the Garden of Eden and in the heavenly-earthly City. In between, Jesus’ death on a tree expresses our misuse of God’s creation as well as God’s wonderful saving plans for people and all creation.

The pack contains PowerPoint presentations, and a short downloadable video suitable for showing in a church service, as well as a Service Outline and Children’s Activities and more. Find out more at The Life of Trees and the Tree of Life | A Rocha.

Although the pack is free, churches are encouraged to support A Rocha’s work through a special collection or regular giving. More details can be found here.

 

Gardening against the Odds award

The Conservation Foundation and the Sunday Telegraph have launched the 2012 Gardening Against The Odds Awards, which celebrate those
inspirational people  who create beauty in the face of physical or psychological difficulties,  or an inhospitable environment.

To enter the awards, visit the Conservation Foundation website by Monday 17th September.

www.conservationfoundation.co.uk

Creation Time 2012

Creation Time this year will be from 1st September until 4th October 2012.

Churches Together in Britain and Ireland have produced a range of resources for churches to use in Creation Time on the theme of sustainable energy to mark the UN Year of Sustainable Energy for All in 2012. CTBI resources include sermon notes, prayers, a discussion group resource, and The Gift – an outdoor, midweek, celebration of harvest.

Download all the CTBI resources here

Operation Noah have also prepared sermon notes and prayers for use during Creation Time. The notes are based around the Lectionary readings and combine insights from the bible passages with themes from Operation Noah’s Ash Wednesday Declaration regarding climate change.

Download the Operation Noah resources here

You can find other resources aimed at Creation TIde from previous years at: www.earthingfaith.org/creation-tide