Led by the Revd Canon David Longe, Chair of the Environment Working Group, and Barbara Bryant, Diocesan Environment Officer, the session focused on the Call being about connectivity with creation and a response to the fifth Mark of Mission.
You can see the text of the Lambeth Call on the environment and sustainable development on page seven of this document.
The session opened with a video clip of Revd Jacynthia Murphy (see below) which helped to set the context of our interconnectivity with creation.
The group studied a Bible passage from Job 13.1-13 and responded by looking at attitude, action, and advocacy. They considered the following questions:
What attitudes to the natural world do you encounter in your own community and society?
Attitudes encountered were about a lack of connection with nature. We can assume something is “green” when it’s really lacking in biodiversity. Or generally positive feelings about nature but a lack of noticing how interdependent and connected we are with creation. There can be a paralysing fear which renders people into inaction – for example our disappearing coastline in some areas of Norfolk. Another attitude mentioned was an apparent disparity between generations: younger people more concerned or engagement with the climate emergency.
How does this text guide you as you seek to respond to the Call to treasure God’s creation?
What would it mean to have a listening approach to nature or creation? What if we listened to the “voices” of wildlife – both plants and animals? There was a discussion about an intentional opening up of our senses. Forest bathing was mentioned, as was TS Eliot’s line: “They affirm Thee in living; all things affirm Thee in living; the bird in the air, both the hawk and the finch: the beast on the earth, both the wolf and the lamb; the worm in the soil and the worm in the belly.” Sometimes it’s in the looking closer and noticing, exploring. This scripture seems to challenge that wisdom isn’t to do with age but with God.
Taking on the fifth Mark of Mission – Caring for God’s Creation as a rule of life can help with this. How could your church community do this? How could you do this? What support do you need?
We were reminded that we’re part of the Anglican Communion with more than 96 million people – we’re stronger praying, working and living this out together. It’s about discipleship – noticing smaller details, embedding creation care in our daily lives and the worshipping lives of our church communities. What if it were less of a chore and more of a joy?
The session finished by looking at some immediate ways of getting involved in praying for the COP28 climate conference, along with sharing of various resources, some of which are copied below.
Lord Jesus Christ, you have called and commissioned us to tell the good news of your Kingdom, to teach and nurture other Christians, to tend those in need, to transform society and to treasure your creation. Help us to be strong in the grace you have given us, so that this call may become a rule of life and we may acquire the habit of doing all these things day by day and year by year. Amen.
For further resources see:
Lambeth Conference Information Sheet on environment and sustainable development
Find mission and ministry resources on creation care here
Sign-up for our Eco Newsletter here
Join the conversation on our Facebook group here
Watch the message from Bishop Graham here
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