Credo article – 03 June 2021

Good morning everyone.

Here’s my latest Credo article for the Newark Advertiser that was published today.

Mark

Our church has recently been running a series of services about Stewardship.

One of our main focuses has been on the environment, particularly climate change.

In the last 15 months or so the attention of the world has been fixed on the issue of the pandemic – quite understandably. But to me the Climate Change issue is the one that has by far the more serious consequences for the planet and for humankind in the long term. If you’re one of the diminishing number of people who don’t accept, despite the overwhelming evidence, that man-made climate change is happening and that it’s a real problem – well I’m not going to try to change your mind here.

My focus, and that of our church is all about what we can do to help address the issue. You see we are convinced that God requires us Christians, and people of other faiths, to be responsible stewards for creation. The Genesis creation story says as much. God has created (through an evolutionary process) a wonderful world filled with amazing life in many forms, at the pinnacle of which are the everyday miracles that are human beings – the only creatures that can appreciate and understand it all. It’s our job to look after it.

Our response needs to be practical. As a church we have committed to the Eco-Church project, an award scheme for churches in England and Wales which want to demonstrate that the gospel is good news for God’s earth. We have committed to using renewable energy, to recycling, to supporting wildlife and to talking about the environment in our worship. We expect to receive our Bronze Award soon.

Another part of our response is to look at what actions we can take as individual church members. We’ve been looking at an excellent book ‘L is for Lifestyle: Christian living that doesn’t cost the earth’ by Rose Valerio which goes through the alphabet identifying things that we might do to have an impact. Some of them are obvious: recycling, using less energy, reducing usage of polluting plastics. But some others are less obvious.

In the book:

F is for Food – changing your diet to eat less meat (particularly beef) and buying locally sourced foodstuffs can have a major impact in reducing your carbon footprint;

I is for investments – how many of us are aware what companies our investments are being used to support? Can we switch to funds that are invested ethically in businesses that aren’t in fossil fuel extraction or cutting down rain forests?

A is for Activists – we need to try and influence others, our supermarkets, our manufacturers, our politicians to do more to protect the environment.

People of faith need to be in the vanguard of action to protect our planet – not just talking but doing.

We’d love you to join us.

Mark Taylor – Joint Leader, Newark Congregational Church

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