Becoming an Eco-church
by Mel Evans
Vicky Barnes – part of the 1045am congregation at Holy Trinity – is one of a group helping us express our care for God’s world and demonstrate that the gospel is good news for God’s earth. The group are going to help us work towards an “Eco-church Bronze award”, looking at our worship and our teaching on creation, how we look after our buildings and our land, how we engage with our local community and global campaigns, and how we encourage people to care for creation as an integral part of their personal lifestyles. Here Vicky writes about why this is an urgent task.
“Your kingdom come on earth” We pray those words every time we say the Lord’s Prayer – as Jesus taught us. Yet daily we are told that the Earth, entrusted to us by God to look after, is in deep trouble. As followers of our Lord Jesus how might we respond to this reality?
The problems we are hearing about with ever increasing urgency seem so vast that we are tempted to feel helpless. Faced with the need to feed five thousand hungry people the disciples felt helpless. Jesus asks Philip how to solve the problem and John’s gospel teaches that the question was a test and that ‘Jesus already had in mind what he was going to do’. Thanks to a tiny yet costly gesture everyone had plenty to eat. Jesus knows what he is going to do about the twin disasters of catastrophic species extinction and an exponentially precarious climate – like the disciples we must trust Jesus – he will not abandon the creation he loves. But what about the five small loaves and two small fish? What tiny costly gesture might Jesus need us to make?
Well how about becoming an Eco Church? What about cherishing the Glebe Field as an opportunity to sustain, enhance and create habitat?
A Rocha UK is a Christian charity working for the protection and restoration of the natural world. Part of this work is known as Eco Church – a scheme for churches of all denominations who want to systematically increase their care for God’s earth. At its core is a survey, which covers five key areas of church life. This survey provides a framework and guidance that can help churches and their members become more informed, more focussed and more able to work together to make progress. There will be more about what Eco Church status involves at the PCC meeting in June. Eco Diocese is an extension of Eco Church and our Diocese of Lichfield has just committed to work towards accreditation to Eco Diocese.
It seems we are at a time when there is a sudden rapidly growing consensus across the country that urgent and drastic action is needed. As church we can be at the forefront of this movement to care for our threatened world. As church members we can embrace every opportunity we get to nurture nature.
These small gestures – our loaves and fishes …
Click here to find out more about A Rocha Eco Church
Click here if you want to support Vicky who is raising money towards Caring for God’s Acre
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