Climate change is not going away - Around The Churches
This weekend sees the end of summer as far as many are concerned.
Certainly for many people in education, students and teachers included, this is now the beginning of a new year.
For most churches it is a case of normal services being resumed as soon as possible.
That is perhaps being a little flippant, but many groups and clubs take a break over the summer holiday period and many will be starting again this coming week.
The next special Sunday will be for harvest celebrations, with decorating the church and bringing examples of produce to be donated and then sold or given away to people who need it.
It’s usually swings and roundabouts as to what has grown really well, depending on weather conditions throughout the growing season.
We are having a really good season for runner beans for example, though there weren’t enough raspberries to make my usual jam.
This year, though, we have had some very hot weather and instead of revelling in it, there have been many people uneasy about it, me included.
It isn’t natural, we think for temperatures to be in the 30 degrees C. in Britain and there is the sneaking feeling that we should be doing something about this thing called Climate Change. There has been a movement in the churches for some time now.
In 1989 the Ecumenical Patriarch suggested that September 1, the first day of the Orthodox Church's year, should be observed as a day "of protection of the natural environment".
Ten years later the European Christian Environmental Network (ECEN) widened this proposal, urging churches to adopt a Time for Creation stretching from September 1 to the feast of St Francis on October 4 and this was endorsed by the 3rd European Ecumenical Assembly in Sibiu, Romania in 2007, which recommended that the period "be dedicated to prayer for the protection of creation and the promotion of sustainable lifestyles that reverse our contribution to climate change".
There are various resources to give you some idea about how and what to pray and most denominations have contributed to these.
You can download them from the Churches Together in Britain and Ireland on their website: https://ctbi.org.uk/category/spirituality-and-reflection/creation-time.
There is a 48-page PDF with ideas on readings and actions. It is well worth reading so if you haven’t got a computer, ask someone who has. The site also has suggestions for other resources from various denominations.
Climate Change isn’t one of those things which will go away if we ignore it: it will only get worse. I can’t really think of anything we need to pray more about at this present time – whatever the weather.