Monday, June 18, 2018

Bottle Top Voting

St John and St Stephen's have long made it our policy to give away 22% of our general income to a variety of projects (eg A Rocha, Christian Aid, Readifood, for more details see here). This Sunday the Community Partnership Committee asked the congregation to vote on who should receive a share of some extra funds that were available. It was a great opportunity to remind people who the different organisations are that we support. Voting was done, as in a supermarket, with bottle tops put into jars - and this doubled as a reminder that we recycle bottle tops for charity in church!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Walk the Country

As usual there was a large contingent from St John's on Christian Aid's Walk the Country near Henley this year - these included the Pathfinders group which I was with. It was, as ever, a glorious day (although it did mean missing the royal wedding).

Caring for Creation: Greening our Churches

On 28 April 2018 St John and St Stephen’s, hosted an event co-ordinated by CCOW at which Rachel Mash, co-ordinator of the Anglican Communion Environmental Network, came to speak. The following is from Richard B's informal notes on the event:

About 30 people came, 9 from our church, plus others from Wargrave, Tilehurst, Purley, Pangbourne, Ascot, Hungerford, Emmer Green etc.

Rosemary started by reading from Ps 104.and  outlined our story of working for the Eco-Congregation and now the Eco Church award. 

People shared from their experience in groups.

Rachel Mash   from the Anglican Church in South Africa:
Caring for the earth is a core part of our faith.  The first instruction given after the fall is to care for the earth Genesis 2.15.
Issues we face – with special reference to S. Africa:          
                global warming and climate chaos preferred term, as climate change brings disruption and chaos
                loss of bio-diversity
                deforestation and desertification
                waste and littering, including problem of plastic
                population growth and urbanisation
                poverty and inequality.

There was lots of positive conversation from this at church the following Sunday.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Dazzled in Creation Season

This Creation Season began with a wonderful new initiative - Dazzle - a St  John's festival in conversation with the Festival of the Dark. Many elements were very relevant to our EcoChurch journey, including Kate Raworth's inspiring talk on Doughnut Ecomonics, two theatrical pieces (sadly I couldn't make it to these - there'll no doubt be write-ups in Newt), community gardening and many of the talks at the day symposium with which we finished. This was a real variety of information, leaving those of us who stayed all day reeling slightly from the information processing! Gary and Vincent offered us some fascinating theology and striking poetry, Dave Richards inspired us with a call to dig for a different kind of victory, Kester Brewin invited us to rethink attitudes to education, Alison Webster embraced boundary-crossing, Colin Heber-Percy examined what humanity means and Helen Bilton enthused about outdoor learning. There were also information stalls -  the most challenging for many of us to think on were the Vegan society.