Parish News : August 2022

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Christian Duty to Act on Climate Change

I am writing this as the country is sweltering in a record-breaking heatwave. Not unnaturally, global warming are on everyone’s minds. But in fact, we have suffered extreme weather (heavy rainfall, floods, extreme cold) in recent years which are all attributable to climate change. Is there any particular response to this which we need to take as Christians?

The world was made by Jesus, through Jesus and for Jesus (Colossians 1:16). The beauty of all creation, all life in the world, in its abundant diversity and colour, was made by God. We learn in the Bible how God, people and the natural world are very closely interconnected. If one part is broken, everything suffers the impact. Looking at our world today, there is so much that is broken, the environment, the way people treat each other (think of the many injustices) and people’s relationship with God.

The climate crisis is putting millions of lives at risk. As well as the extreme weather events we have experienced in UK, sea-levels rising and glaciers melting also put whole island nations at risk, such as in Melanesia. The overwhelming scientific consensus is that this is a problem caused by people, by us, due significantly to the burning of fossil fuels, releasing heat-trapping gases such as carbon dioxide. This is a global system built on greed and overconsumption – completely the opposite of what God wants for the world. We’re reaping what we’ve sown.

But it doesn’t just affect us – those in the poorest countries suffer drought and famine as a result, which threatens their lives as well as their finances. Loving our neighbours includes helping those in the poorest countries in the world, as well as those living on the same street as us.

This is an urgent issue for us to pray about, but also to work to change as a Church. For this reason, PCC decided that our Harvest celebration this year, on 2nd October, will be focussing on climate change and the work of Tearfund. This will come after a week of climate action which we all as a church will be challenged on. We are all God’s representatives in this world, so we need to set an example to others of how to care for his creation. Also, as it says in Proverbs 31.9: 'Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.’ We are called as Christians to stand up for justice, calling on those in positions of power to make decisions that protect the most vulnerable people and the Earth we all rely on. It is a matter of justice to act on climate change, to change our own behaviours, but also to work to change those around us.

Tina Upton