Sunday, September 21, 2014

21st September - pt 2

Before the communion service at St John's was quite over this morning, Rosemary, Richard B and myself slipped out to catch a train to London for the People's Climate March. We were expecting to arrive late so headed out of Charing Cross and found ourselves joining the very beginning of the march. This did mean we had little sense of just how many people were present but Avaaz are reporting 40,000. The atmosphere was not as carnivalesque or optimistic as some I've been on but good natured and generally positive nonetheless. Being at the front meant we did get to hear all the speakers - Richard Chartres, bishop of London, gave a rousing introduction; a young campaigner who had ensured climate change stayed on the school curriculum was inspirational; Vivienne Westwood's rant left many of us puzzled and provoked some heckling but she was followed by a very positive speaker from Zero Carbon Britain who claimed that without nuclear or fossil fuels we still have the resources for the energy we need. Emma Thompson told of her recent visit to the Arctic and read a large chunk of Desmond Tutu's article in today's Observer on how climate change is 'the human rights issue of our day'. A speaker from Avaaz finished the rally, encouraging us to keep campaigning up to the crucial talks in Paris next year. Although we didn't bump into any friends on the march itself it was good to see three campaigners from Trinity as we got onto the train for Reading.

21st September - pt 1

A combination of ripples from meetings earlier in the week and old habits of good practice created a Sunday that felt very much a part of Creation season. Pictured are the inadequate bike racks with a fairly standard number of bicycles for a Sunday morning. The service opened with "All Creatures of our God and King", included several references to the forthcoming climate talks and this afternoon's march, and much of the liturgy was creation focussed - the collect, Eucharistic prayer and the confession for which we were all given a conker as we came in. Climbers started off outside to gather leaves for their session on Psalm 8 and Exclaimers were following the same theme.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Church Check-up

Seven of us met up last Wednesday to begin work on a new action plan. We decided to make it manageable by setting ourselves an hour and half of working through the church audit from the EcoCongregation website and we made it through to module 9 (with a few gaps to be returned to). Now I need to reshape all my notes from there into the first stage of an action plan. We'll be meeting again on 22nd October (when the weekly sessions on Theresa of Avila have finished).
In the meantime three of us who were at the meeting are hoping to make it to the Climate March tomorrow, taking sandwiches to eat on the train en route after church. But at least one other congregation member will be heading there at a more sensible hour with the Greenpeace contingent so there'll definitely be one St John's rep there.

Monday, September 15, 2014

New Start in Creation Time

The new school term has begun and with it a time for other new starts. Nine members of the congregation met up during the after service coffee yesterday and agreed that the time has come to return to Module 1 of the Ecocongregation toolkit, to give our church an environmental check-up and establish a new action plan. Striking while the iron is hot, we will be reconvening at my house this Wednesday to start the project.

The children's church this month will be following themes appropriate to Creation Time and we started today with the story of St Francis. I put together a Godly Play style retelling of his life using some of Giotto's images from the basilica at Assisi. The children's creative responses ranged from a pipe-cleaner Francis with stigmata to ragged dressing up clothing and a picture of a ship bearing Francis's father's silks. There were also a silver sister moon and a picture of Francis preaching to the birds.