How will your church make Time for Creation?

AN autumn of opportunities awaits Christians in Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire as Time for Creation gathers momentum. Blewburyforweb

The project, which runs from 1 September to 4 October sees churches celebrating our role in creation and as stewards of it. The theme is God, whose farm is all creation giving churches the chance to focus on farming as well as climate change and creation care issues. Rural Officer the Revd Canon Glyn Evans says: “When we grow our own food we are sharing in the farming of creation, partnering God in his creative purposes. Even the pot of herbs growing on the kitchen windowsill can help make that link. And maybe churches could make contact with a farmer to see what they have been harvesting, and talk about how that becomes the food they enjoy and how it shapes the local environment?”

All Saints Wokingham will be taking part in Time For Creation by marking the UN Climate Summit on 23 September. All Saints will be considering themes including carbon fasting, the state of the oceans, and poverty. The Revd Colin James says: “We say that creation – all of it, including the animal kingdom, plants and oceans – is a gift for us not to exploit but to cherish and to try to protect and ensure that it’s handed on in good shape to successive generations. It’s a matter of stewardship of God’s gifts, actually.”

At St Nicolas, Earley, a Justice, Peace and Environment group has been set up, as part of the Mission Action Plan. The group is in the early stages of planning a Time for Creation event. Wendy Neale, from the church, said: “We aim to focus, as a church, on being aware of God’s presence in every area of life. Time for Creation gives us a time of year when we will focus on care for creation and our place in God’s world.”
Oakwood Forest Church was set up by St Nicolas LLM, Emma Major, along with a Baptist Minister and a representative of the local Ecumenical Partnership. Emma said celebrating Time for Creation coincides with the first anniversary on 20 September at 3pm. The Forest Church meets at the Maiden Erlegh Nature Reserve, which has a large lake, and eight medieval oaks that have been protected. It is surrounded by urban development. Emma says: “It is a five minute walk or cycle for anyone in Earley. It’s such a brilliant opportunity to meet people who may be scared of church, but are connecting with God when they are walking their dog or out in nature. It’s a chance for them to join us and ask questions.”

In Buckinghamshire, churches will be invited to take part in a resource day on developing an eco-friendly parish, which will take place on 9 October. Climate change will be the specific focus of several key events going forward into the Autumn. During the Christian Aid Hunger for Justice weekend on 18 – 19 October, churches are urged to invite their local MP to an event or service to speak about their commitments to international development and to respond to questions on their party’s promises on climate change.

As climate change takes hold, the world’s poorest people – those communities who have done the least to cause climate change – bear the brunt of its chaos. Jessica Hall, Regional Coordinator from Christian Aid says, “The Hunger for Justice weekend gives churches the chance to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with sisters and brothers around the world, and encourages us all to take steps towards a safer, cleaner future.”

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