The best thing about meeting out of doors is when the season changes and the best season change is when spring reveals all it’s newness.
Before we met together this morning a roll of paper was laid up the steps and spread on the floor of the bandstand. It was quite amusing watching people trying to avoid stepping on it.
This morning we were thinking about our footprint on the earth and how we might step more lightly.
Each leaf, each petal,
each grain, each person,
sings your praises,
Each creature on the earth,
all the mountains and great seas
show your glory,
Spirit of love.
And yet the hand of greed
has patented and plundered
has taken and not shared your gift,
has lived as owner of the earth,
And so the ice is cracked
the rivers dry,
the valleys flooded
and the snow caps melt.
God our Father, show us
how to step gently,
how to live simply,
how to walk lightly
with respect and love
for all that you have made.
Psalm 104 1-5The Message
” O my soul, bless God!
God, my God, how great you are!
beautifully, gloriously robed,
Dressed up in sunshine,
and all heaven stretched out for your tent.
You built your palace on the ocean deeps,
made a chariot out of clouds and took off on wind-wings.
You commandeered winds as messengers,
appointed fire and flame as ambassadors.
You set earth on a firm foundation
so that nothing can shake it, ever…
24-30 What a wildly wonderful world, God!
You made it all, with Wisdom at your side,
made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.”
Our activity was to walk in the park for a few minutes and see what we could glimpse of our “wildly wonderful world”
We praised God for the sun shine, the birdsong, for butterflies, for magnolia blossom, for tulips, for fresh new leaves and for the beauty and colour of the spring flowers.
Writing the things that inspired us on the roll of paper we were invited to step onto it (to make our footprints if you like).
Looking at our Ecological Footprint! Our impact on the planet’s resources is our “footprint”, and in the UK we use the resources of 1.3 planet earths. We can’t go on like this! If we really value this world as God’s creation, we should take a long hard look at our consumption of resources, our means of travel, our expectations of “more”. Rather than being overwhelmed with guilt, the result needs to be small achievable steps …
We were given another task to complete sitting on the benches in the sunshine
We had to think of ways were were trying already to leave a lighter footprint those we thought we were doing well were:
Avoiding waste, careful shopping, using solar power in our homes, throwing away less food, grow your own veg, watching air miles. not leaving taps running, using paper bags that can be recycled, feeding birds and wild life, eating less meat, being more frugal with clothes, wear things out or if not give to Freegle or charity shops, holidaying in G.B. carefully destroying HRT patches, not using pesticides in the garden, bee friendly flowers, always taking bags when going shopping, composting food waste, encourage wild life through careful planting, conserve energy (switch off), only travel if necessary, switching on heating for less time, putting on a layer rather than the heating, low energy light bulbs, sorting and recycling carefully and never have heating set higher than 18C.
Many of us were doing these things already and should not to feel overwhelmed by the task of preserving our world for those who come in the future.
We were also tasked to think about things we are trying to achieve. These included:
Travelling by train where ever possible, using public transport, using less chemicals in home and garden, meat consumption minimised, buying a smaller engine/electric car, flying less often, trying to walk more often, avoiding buying things in plastic and shopping at the local market where food can be taken away in paper bags.
Our final task was to think of a real challenge for ourselves to achieve. We came up with the following:
Live in a carbon neutral house, use solar and wind power to be energy neutral, no air travel, , use minimal plastic, be less car reliant, be part of protecting forests and endangered species, save the pangolin and buy an electric car.
So we have something to aim at…
God our Creator and Healer
We confess that we have sinned:
We have used creation not cherished it;
We have lived selfishly; not watched the balance of life;
We have been greedy – not sharing earth’s gifts;
And our footprints are heavy not gentle.
Forgive us the damage that disturbs our planet.
Grant to us to live for the world’s healing and our own.
In you lies our hope for transformation Lent Challenge 2008, Lichfield Diocese
Blessed are those who use low energy light bulbs
for theirs is the light of God’s wisdom.
Blessed are those who travel by train (and other public transport)
for their lives are on God’s track.
Blessed are those who chose a car with low fuel consumption
for they are in God’s fast lane.
Blessed are those who insulate their homes
for theirs is the warmth of God’s love.
Blessed are those who put themselves out
to use energy from renewable sources,
for they have kindled the flame of the future.
Adapted from John Polhill, © Eggs and Ashes, WGRG, Iona Community, Glasgow.
Bread and wine
Jesus, teacher, healer, leader, story teller and friend,
We meet together to remember you.
Your life and example,
Your words of guidance,
Your sacrifice as a gift of love.
We remember with bread
Jesus wedding guest, table sharer, foot washer and affirmer,
We drink wine together to remember you.
Your actions and relationships,
Your wisdom and compassion,
Your death and resurrection.
We remember with wine
All that remains for us to do now is to go and sit in the sun together and enjoy our beverages (Fairtrade naturally)