Ecology and Theology
‘Reducing the causes of climate change is essential to the life of faith.’ Archbishop Justin Welby
We are headed towards global warming of 3.3 degrees according to Climate Action Tracker. These temperature rises can sound small, but because these figures refer to average surface temperature rises for the whole planet, the effects are huge.
The Church commissioned by Jesus is called to love its neighbours and care for creation by challenging injustice, and alongside this, to exercise a prophetic call to speak the truth, which today means exposing the dehumanising tendencies of Western culture (consumerism, unrestrained capitalism, individualism) whilst also stirring imaginations for a society in which all can flourish.
Taken from Autumn 2019 CITYtheology in which Revd Jon Swales and Dr Simon Kittle considered the environmental crisis the world is facing and the role the Church needs to play.
Is it too late to act?
This question is really important. Environmental movements have been about projecting the future. Whilst this can have a really galvanising sense of urgency, there’s also the danger that it can generate a narrative of ‘it is too late’.
We don’t know with certainty what our actions contribute to and what’s possible. Can we find grounds for acting in the here and now with justice, with love for our neighbour, even without that certainty that vision of what will survive. That really requires an act of radical humility on the part of the human.
The Book of Job might be a radical lesson for our time. The response of God to Job is to take Job on a tour of creation; it’s wonder and its fearsome beauty completely outside of the human. ‘Have you visited the place where the snow is stored? Have you seen the stores of hail? Have you ever in your life given orders to the morning?’ It really asks us what does it mean to have faith? What does it mean to live ethically in the present when there are really no guarantees about the future? What does it mean to live passionately with this sense of uncertainty?
Taken from Dr Stefan Skrimshire’s podcast https://lcileeds.org/climate-change-have-we-left-it-too-late-to-act/.
More reflections on the question ‘is it too late to act?’ from different faith perspectives:
Climate Justice at St George’s Church, Leeds
In 2021, St George’s Church are running a free programme virtual sessions for individuals and groups through learning, prayer and action, preparing people to confront the climate crisis head on. More details are here
Book Launch: Praying for the Earth
LCI hosted the launch of Rob Kelsey’s new book on 1st February 2021. Praying for the Earth: Remembering the Environment in our Prayers of Intercession is a resource for congregations and for individual Christians who believe that environmental concerns should be an integral part of the public and private prayers of all Christian people. Here is a reflection on the book from thinker, teacher and activist for peace, justice and deep ecology Noel Moules. including a preview, of a prayer A Collect for the Earth taken from Rob’s book. If you weren’t able to join us at the launch event, or want to hear Rob’s introduction to his book again, you can listen here.
The Carbon Conversation Course: Tools for Change
LCI have run a number of Carbon Conversation Courses to help people explore how to reduce our personal individual impact.
Here’s what course attendee, Lizzie Pell, said:
“… I believe that this course gives a systematic overview of why we need to change and how we can start implementing these changes as individuals. It equips the group with tools to visualise and come to terms with what low carbon life may look like in the future.”