Sunday, February 15, 2015

Counting Blessings

Someone very organised has ordered the posters for Christian Aid's Count Your Blessings Lent campaign which were distributed with the service booklets this morning. There are still places on the bus Abi is organising for the Time for Action Climate March on March the 7th.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Joy in Enough

I've been forgetting to add events and really should have mentioned the thought-provoking meeting for our home group a few weeks ago at which Christine introduced us to the Green Christian (formerly CEL) project Joy in Enough. Christine belongs to their working group on building social capital ('a mass behaviour of enoughness') so this was the main theme of the evening. She also gave us a brief introduction to steady state economics which does look hugely challenging. Unsurprisingly it includes limiting the range of inequality in income distribution which was the topic of a recent talk at the University from Richard Wilkinson, author of The Spirit Level. As a result of Christine's talk the home group have since been working through Christopher Jamison's Finding Sanctuary.
Christine also recommended we look up Breathe: a Christian network for simpler living, which is connected to the pictured book Consumer Detox.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Acting on Climate Change (and feasting)

For once our family arrived in time to get cycle racks for our bikes this morning (Mark was leading the service so it was necessary to arrive before the first hymn!).

Quite unprompted by the EcoCongregation planners, the notice section this morning turned out to be a climate change marathon - Hamish P has digested a couple of Michael Northcott's books into accessible papers to help us all get at the salient facts easily and he gave an impassioned summary to encourage us all to read them and to start taking meaningful action. Abi announced her planned bus to the climate change march on March 7th. Finally, a Reading University student who is researching electricity use among the over 65s asked for volunteers so that he can set up monitors in their homes - thanks everyone who agreed to get involved with that: 11 volunteers means St John's are providing just over a quarter of the homes he needs.

Liz and Rosemary provided a very delicious lunch, with a small amount of fish and no meat. The puddings were especially fabulous today as Pathfinders had a social yesterday during which they made ginger ice cream, baklava, trifles and cheesecakes. All money raised after the lunch ingredients are paid for this month will go to the LAMB hospital in Bangladesh.

EcoCongregation Meeting

Last Tuesday we had a rather better attended meeting to check up on our pre-Christmas targets. Progress had been slow and clearly more advertising is needed about the recycling but it was good to hear that the school recycling is apparently working well at present. The gathering of info on personal energy use was beginning to bring interesting results but we'd not yet started on the one bit of church energy monitoring that seems practical (the refectory). The school eco-team are working on making sure lights and smart boards are switched off habitually. My task is to shape up the action plan before the next PCC meeting so we can officially get back on the programme with EcoCongregation. We also shared Abi's excellent plan to arrange a bus for Reading people to go to the Time to Act Climate Change demo on 7th March.

Twinned Toilets

I meant to put this post up last week: The Mission Committee have arranged to twin our toilets with toilets in India, Nepal and Chad. So now we have lovely pictures on the back of each toilet door to remind us of the toilets we've helped to pay for in places where they're desperately needed.