Climate Change Sunday & Harvest
Sheldon Road Methodist Church Eco Group wanted to hold a service which acknowledged climate change, and the challenge it gives us as Christians, and it fitted well with the Harvest Celebration too. Once again, we had loads of donations of food as part of our thanks to God for his blessings, and Adrian took them all to the Food Bank to be shared out there. This service was one of our new style services, with choices of activities: one of these was to plant bulbs in containers which will be eventually displayed outside the church building when it’s open. We don’t have a “green space” so this will go some way to changing that a bit.
We had a great contribution from Katharine Norton, who sent us a presentation from Nigeria where she and Russell live and work, about Faith and Farming [see the presentation here]. It’s a programme to help local farmers work with their land and animals in a better, more productive and climate friendly way, using the Bible in their own languages as a guide.
One of the prayer activities was to create a folded paper boat, on which to write a prayer. Christian Aid suggested that these could then be sent to join many others as part of the Christian presence at COP26 in November.
Other activities included encouragement to everyone to contribute opinions and experiences regarding our responses to the Climate Change Emergency we all face. The Green Grabs board gave space for Post-it comments/idea/questions, and the Discussion Documents presented 2 documents which will be discussed at the next Church Council: a Creation Care policy for our church, and a Declaration of Climate Emergency. The Post-it comments [Green Grabs & Discussion Documents boards] are listed below.
Richard Addicott was the main speaker - listen here to what he had to say.
Green Grabs Board
What choices have you made?
“Buy second-hand as much as possible, and repair things. Charity shops are great!” “Not buying clothes – money I’ve saved donated to my favourite charities!” “I’m choosing to recycle, reduce, reuse, repurpose, repair as much as possible!”
What should we be doing as a church?
“Encourage promotion of Energy from Waste in every county”
What have you found out?
“Ideas for plant-based or meat-free meals”
What has been helpful to you?
“Faith and Farming presentation super-interesting”
What have you noticed?
“I’ve noticed more people taking notice of climate change….” “Great that we’re raising the profile of environmental issues”
What comments do you want to make?
“How about looking into solar panels for the church?”
What have you changed?
“Car sharing to get to work” “Improving insulation – LED bulbs, etc. (Heat pumps not yet viable for our house)” “Switched to green energy supplier” “Additional loft insulation, sustainable electricity supply, electric car, recycle everything”
Discussion Documents Board
Declaration of Emergency
“Many environmental changes are irreversible on human time scales” “Jesus died for all of creation” “I agree!” “We need to make our voice as a church, heard in the support of Climate Change ACTION”
Creation Care Policy
“How about having meat-free meal events, where people can try meat-free or plant-based meals and see how yummy, cheap and easy they are!” “Let’s get serious about this. It’s a good policy”
Set Sail For Climate Justice
At our Climate Service/Harvest, one activity was to fold a prayer boat to add to a fleet being sent to COP26. View our contribution of prayer boats to the ‘Set Sail For Climate Justice’ fleet being assembled by Christian Aid [scroll down the page of photos in date order to Sept 30].
After the service, about 35 of us enjoyed a vegetarian soup lunch, with bread, then apple crumble and custard. The vegetables were either end-of-date purchases from the supermarket, supplemented with garden produce, and the apples were from Liz’s garden also. It was good to be using surplus food in a tasty, healthy way!