Welcome to the Environmental Chaplain’s blog – a new page where Rev’d David Coleman shares his thoughts and reflections.
- Trouble the waters
156 Trouble the waters
(Tune: Blessed Assurance 99 99 and refrain)
Use with John 5, making sure you use versions which include the ancient, though not universally transmitted words about the angel who ‘troubled’ the waters, leading to healing. If it’s too long a sing, omit verse 2.
1) Trouble the waters when they are tame:
Send out the angels: hot-foot the lame!
Turn all the tables, wake up the Church:
Ears to the ground, and minds to research.
Soaring with stories, feet on the ground
Mystic, realistic, God’s flesh and bone:
Christ for all creatures, eager to heal;
Urgent, inclusive, with us, and real.
[2) Crisis, our homeland?, faith shines our way!
Christ is our wild one: loves come what may
Preaching of hope, though disaster may loom
Never denying danger of doom.]
3) Business as usual’s killing the earth.
Jesus transforms: gives alternative worth:
Life and compassion, creatures diverse
Joy love and hope healing apathy’s curse.
4) Trouble the waters, set the Earth free:
Damage is done to the air and the sea
Yesterday’s deadline silently passed:
Light in the dark days : this is our task!Continue reading →
- Be still….
A few ‘stilling videos’ to begin worship or parts of worship, either online of in person.
*Running time 2 mins 20s or less.
Come back to this page to see further additions throughout the summer and beyond
Please do download to use.Continue reading →
- Preaching to the (partly) Converted: A talk and a closing worship script for the Annual Gathering
- Grand index of video resources from the EcoChaplain, for devotional use.
NOTE – Vimeo files are straightforwardly downloadable , COP Clips will be posted elsewhere . You will in most cases have to copy the link into a browser to use, as I can’t embed 100+ videos on a page.
21 years of EcoCongregation Scotland https://vimeo.com/664234829
Preparing for Palm Sunday https://youtu.be/0IuSaWIIbaE 1 min 19
Pentecost Turbine https://youtu.be/P3h2CuflFD4 2 mins 19
Rotten Halloween https://youtu.be/wearcajWRes 1 min 44
Extinction bell, National Museum of Scotland 1 min 9 https://youtu.be/XMtSwZS7M34
Prayer of Hope ( coming down a mountain) 1 min 36 https://youtu.be/UFB27B9XRzw
The cost of coming down ( less than 2 mins) https://vimeo.com/702006703
A revelation https://vimeo.com/702006703
Introduction to Bible reading project with actor Jo Clifford https://youtu.be/LrDlP_hyEP0
What is EcoChaplaincy? 1 min 30 https://youtu.be/89Ld65ki9Qw
Everything that has breath 1 min 17 https://youtu.be/vxft889dQl8
Pentecost Projection art on Colonsay (also for BIAPT) https://youtu.be/20e3z-kBCAM
Jesus with the wildlife 1 min https://youtu.be/Iren9xLDDyY
Location is the language https://youtu.be/LThYUztdfpY
Just one minute – Climate Rally https://youtu.be/uyuH4iA6qMQ
Climate Strike, March 2022 https://vimeo.com/697347648
Lockdown learnings prayer https://vimeo.com/697347648
The mountain: not getting there, but getting there https://vimeo.com/670372075
You have been my refuge https://vimeo.com/667249030
Epilogue – the valley of the shadow https://vimeo.com/655927450
The mystery Bible character (for the URC General Assembly) 12 mins 37 many locations https://youtu.be/_v3hx9hYhZQ and https://vimeo.com/664217421
Royal Presence: Bees! 9 mins 50 ( a visit to a beekeeper at work) https://youtu.be/TQV9QWqwjgc
Heart Wood – walking round an area of ancient woodland, Music, no commentary 8min 27
The Great Wee Hill ( Hill of the Angels Iona) 6 mins 45 https://youtu.be/2PdpHtBegOs
The Bad judge ( sketch based on James 2) 5 mins 30 https://youtu.be/_nTjt6UsTvM
Mungo: Forest in the Temple:14 mins 46 ( Glasgow Cathedral at the tomb of Mungo, and many other locations: looking to COP and being inspired by the stories of Glasgow’s patron saint) https://youtu.be/jJ1q3WuOD-Y
Talks for gatherings :
The mystery Bible character (for the URC General Assembly) 12 mins 37 many locations https://youtu.be/_v3hx9hYhZQ
Address for National Synod of Scotland 23 mins https://youtu.be/FAxefc7GNiM
Interview on ‘Reflections at the Quay’ https://youtu.be/hwMImoZ8ELA
If not, why on Earth not? https://youtu.be/iCs3DR4VDDA 13min 05
Climate emergency How to respond : For Aberdeen churches: https://youtu.be/vLqlXSVVJJI
The Happy Apocalyptic ( for Wildlife week, Iona) https://youtu.be/QTuPw83Me-A
Malvern Progressive Christian Network 18 mins https://youtu.be/AvhrNBkNlGA
Festival Green talk https://youtu.be/gDB3lnb_lAs
Refuel Festival talk https://youtu.be/mLt5ayY7sW8
Faith and Environment ( Stirling Climate Festival) Zoom recording 39 mins) : https://youtu.be/s03nd-RM4nU
Creative Considerations 7 mins 10 ( conversation with artists and others involved on creative reflection on climate etc) https://youtu.be/Jehj3RAzt1Y
Retreat for a church group in Shetland :
Part 1: 9 mins https://youtu.be/8Cu0VKM-UKg
Part 2: 9 mins https://youtu.be/aRRD-1lmMXs
Part 3: 3 mins https://youtu.be/eTg72PAsJio
Part 4: 8 mins https://youtu.be/IUABw6Zu5Zc
Part 5: 13 mins https://youtu.be/DCG1XhZH7g8
Part 6 6 mins https://youtu.be/UKNidZ_pZII
Shorter, general, & Bible readings
Whitelee : Power Station Music, no commentary : Looking around this site of industrial/agricultural/conservation/recreation signficance, on a dark January morning https://youtu.be/_isTDOUQsw4
Genesis 2 18 to 22: Pastoral environmental interpretation https://youtu.be/9npMqrk7zwg
Exodus 3: 1-10 reading Burning bush. ( in a snowy location) https://youtu.be/TwEil89mteM
Joshua 5: 9-12 the stone circle of Gilgal https://youtu.be/fJFm5j4PCak
Psalm 1: (Up a mountain ) https://youtu.be/CcSisbBOPQg
Psalm 8 as a pilgrimage https://youtu.be/QnmQFYJAe6c
Psalm 8 under the stars https://youtu.be/JP-FW1spu3g
Psalm 19 ( up a mountain) https://youtu.be/CcPT6_78MOA
Psalm 23 Pentlands https://youtu.be/aeuTpmi-RrI
Psalm 25 (highland location) https://youtu.be/uhJW6YCV1U8
Psalm 36 and thoughts on denial, by a mountain stream https://youtu.be/FI_uliYNULk
Psalm 54: (Up a mountain ) https://youtu.be/s_bdDhVcg10 AND https://vimeo.com/593137409
Psalm 80 (highland location) https://youtu.be/RNPJ5GSTsiw
Psalm 95 with strangers https://youtu.be/DwtB4MF2X-s
Psalm 116 ( up a mountain) https://youtu.be/ZrVMyn_fkuU
Psalm 121 as a pilgrimage: https://youtu.be/QxtfZvzVtcY
Psalm 121 Sgurr Alastair https://youtu.be/oRJ9N0BJ0Nc
Psalm 125 ( up a mountain) https://youtu.be/XfiU51_SHtY
Psalm 139 as a pilgrimage https://youtu.be/YT7mPZEK48U
Psalm 146 ( Up a mountain) https://youtu.be/R7oEjjQYcQw
Isaiah 12:2-6 (highland location) https://youtu.be/laAb0Ae8v4Y
Isaiah 43 ( Snowy location ) https://vimeo.com/684976891
2 Peter 3 on the Pentland Hills ( a day like a thousand years) https://youtu.be/adxPgHO8ABg
Mark 1: 9-12 Baptism of Christ – Greendykes Bing https://youtu.be/I9kHLHh3n7U
Mark 7 24-37 – read by actor Jo Clifford https://youtu.be/0oXcPDCCxNA
Mark 9 39-50 – read by actor Jo Clifford https://youtu.be/tBtkmry1czg
Mark 8 27-32 – read by actor Jo Clifford https://youtu.be/tBtkmry1czg
Mark 10: 13-16 – read by actor Jo Clifford https://youtu.be/2bUNEi_Bnrk
Luke 9: Transfiguration ( from Ben A’an) https://vimeo.com/662625291
Luke 13: 1-9 reading ( in a snowy location) https://youtu.be/DyeUJSiHxZ0
Luke 15 ( prodigal Son) (Tree background) https://youtu.be/555Uc3boHqo
John 12: ( snowy location) https://vimeo.com/684975864
John 14: a reading https://youtu.be/m0aUm9mWvxY 1 min 36
Great Commmission Matthew 28 https://youtu.be/7GSXh4rGqyk
Acts 17 https://youtu.be/LXcqxlKBxIE
Revelation 21 and John 5 – Real life and just fantasy https://vimeo.com/701942203
Our Father on a mountain-top – interpreted on location .https://youtu.be/6OTQdsQVY1A
1 min 24
The Litany of the Earth: https://youtu.be/hKEuhoZlJwA
(Gathering 2019) at St Andrews, with live congregation
Aaronic Blessing (prepared for Glasgow Churches Together https://youtu.be/AAnDhHl3aGc
Benedictus on location: https://youtu.be/I2ajc6CD1Tw
Magnificat ( Highland location) https://youtu.be/ZLwYHpZbWUU
Energy Prayer https://youtu.be/LIg1PnDlHnc
Friends prayer https://youtu.be/snKeZpq3aw8
COP prayer https://youtu.be/3cI2X4aQW4g
Snake/Dove https://youtu.be/NwxSJX4fDRs 1 min 5
A fixed camera record , at Castlemilk, of the neglected question about Matthew 10:16
Times & Seasons
Season of Creation year A
Week 2 https://youtu.be/1H6a9c6zNxE
Week 3 https://youtu.be/1ZgoFRYfyWw
Week 4 https://youtu.be/SxOsZKrwBkg
Season of Creation year B:
Week 1 The Earth, including Us https://youtu.be/wG65QWcLnoo
Week 2 Creation Speaks God’s language https://youtu.be/-gOTP8edXRc
Week 3 The tree and their fruit https://youtu.be/V8zFgbmDwBM
Week 4 The Obstacle Course https://youtu.be/jHR6sRC-Mi4
Week 5 the gift of the Name https://youtu.be/7AgGEcIt9DU
Mark 13, for Advent 1B : https://youtu.be/40AbS_DOiF4
Ash Wednesday from a heap of Ash https://youtu.be/3hsqdlgZdVk
Lent 1 C ‘A land possessed ( Location: Five sisters Bing (industrial waste tip) https://vimeo.com/676935225
Lent 2C as transfiguration https://vimeo.com/673271625
Lent 3 C: ‘Blazing’ ( Location: Cadzow ancient oaks) https://youtu.be/TGd5-vhxd8A AND https://vimeo.com/677594550
Lent 4C circle of justice https://vimeo.com/681938533
Lent 5C Divesting from despair Ben Lomond https://vimeo.com/697347648
Lent 1B Complete service https://youtu.be/UVFAGrOjf3w
Lent 1B from Greendykes Bing https://youtu.be/YnCPgifuXLo
Lent 2B Standing up to the devil’s Advocate https://youtu.be/F8At_TU0Ldg
Lent 3B Zeal for your house https://youtu.be/jrMVev3LWAk
Lent 5B John 12:20-33 The Tipping point https://youtu.be/kRn8JvNh9hQ
Mothering Sunday: Flowers for Mother Earth https://youtu.be/hE-fei6kZLA 13 mins 07
Having worked towards a church visit on Lent 4/Mothering Sunday, the UK went into semi-emergency mode. The reflections in preparation come together in this video. This is also presented in three parts, as sermons cover a lot of ground. Taking cue from Laudato Si
Good Friday : Dream of the Rood: for devotional use on Good Friday: 15 min 20 Aa reading and consideration of the Anglo-Saxon Poem quoted on the Ruthwell Cross.
Palm Sunday – from Edinburgh Episcopal Cathedral https://youtu.be/n1kV1aAp9wM
Palm Sunday -From a deserted Edinburgh City Centre https://youtu.be/lBQ_8T-dM0o
11 min 8
Palm Sunday: Pavestones Gravestones: the stones shout aloud! Luke 19:40
https://youtu.be/GTlUAhXNpcQ 3 mins 11
Maundy Thursday: John 13 Footwashing reflection, for Annual Gathering, with introduction
https://youtu.be/aiIVKcKabjY 6 min 16:
also without introduction https://youtu.be/UgqYCAd3yX0 4 min 08
Easter Sunday 2020 – no holds barred Easter Sermon https://youtu.be/vDgrSXgJMK4 13 mins 25
Easter Sunday 2021 The Inclusive Commission https://youtu.be/-t48xMOX_q0
Easter Sunday 2022 Risen High, Risen Low ( St Margaret’s Chapel and St Filan’s Cave) https://vimeo.com/697347648
Ascension reflection 2020 https://youtu.be/uo9sRNMi6gU
Trinity Sunday https://youtu.be/6UJNBOZSfao 11min 08 (2020 Lectionary)
Pentecost 2020 https://youtu.be/zspRpFqstPY 10 mins 26
Pentecost Projection art on Colonsay (also for BIAPT) https://youtu.be/20e3z-kBCAM
Pentecost Turbine https://youtu.be/l3w8yZjm9sk
Late Harvest : reflections on a “plentiful” – or a daunting – harvest https://youtu.be/9ZAlzvQKUhE 6 min 53
Emmaus- Luke 24: a sermon on wheels -riding the distance walked in that wonderful conversation. The walk to Emmaus, against the background of lockdown in the city of Edinburgh. One outing per day permitted for mental and physical health…. but what about spiritual wellbeing? – And could this be a pligrimage?
https://youtu.be/Ou_Cy3lg7-g 8 mins 02
Lockdown Gospel – if the disciples had used Zoom whilst waiting for the resurrection.
(-Gospel of John version of gift of Spirit) https://youtu.be/fP8MktgP7go
8 min 44
Ezekiel 37 : Indecent Hope 11min 57
Words and pictures and more, for the final week of Lent, and the scariest story of the Old Testament https://youtu.be/vOh2QD_PmIw
Sermons by Gospel content
Matthew 11: 16-19, 25-30 and Zechariah 9:9-12 Weeping and Dancing https://youtu.be/47fPz00rk4M 12 mins 41
Matthew 25: Recycling the sheep and the goats https://youtu.be/z5TYVB-mY34
Mark 1: 14-20 – Discipleship https://youtu.be/mXmplBGD7Ow
Mark 1:21-28 1` Cor 8:1-13 Knowing enough to get on with it https://youtu.be/FOjrbk7lWyM
Mark 4:26-34 Holy Habitats ( Cedar and Mustard Bush, Ezekiel Ezekiel 17:22-24 Mark 4:26-34 https://youtu.be/nz57186bZI8
Mark 5: 21: Mess and miracle https://youtu.be/iETzlSamRQE
Mark 10: Proper 24 yr B: Job 38, No fire without smoke https://youtu.be/08hXqcpKdO8
Mark 13, for Advent 1B : https://youtu.be/40AbS_DOiF4
Luke 13: 6-9 with Isaiah 55:6-13 “Manure for fruitful trees”. https://youtu.be/RlH_0AZj-UY
John 10:10 – led, not force-fed :8 min 57
Reflection for EcoChaplaincy on John 10:10: a highly provocative ‘cuddly story’.
Acts 17: Capital Games Thoughts on Acts 17, for an online retreat with a local church.
https://youtu.be/b4ME5jQvlGs 9 min 59
Acts 10 1 Kings 4 More wisdom than you can shake a stick at ( Solomon and Jesus)
Genesis 22 Cross that bridge where we come to it: a bike ride across the Forth Road Bridge whilst reflecting on Abraham and Isaac https://youtu.be/XAjzFaRE7U4 9 mins 53
Matthew 9:35-10:23 and Romans 5:1-8 No holds Ba’ad – fear and Christian Character https://youtu.be/y5sAjUA63Vw 10 mins 53
Romans 8 : Groaning Creation: getting out of our Depth
https://youtu.be/nFEE_qw-gNA 9 min
Matthew 20: workers in the vineyard : Beyond Harvest Sermon for Costorphine, delivered on location. https://youtu.be/gjdR3Zd5sp4 15 min 17
O the life of the world https://youtu.be/YBq4nNIK22o
What will change your life’s direction https://youtu.be/XbyWVDdIyn4
From the waters’ fond embrace https://youtu.be/j3NqhCZ2g1M
Now Christ lives here https://youtu.be/xG5XE7qxFz8
( to ‘Courage, brother) https://youtu.be/p7SLOxOR2J0
Our legacy is dire https://youtu.be/JzEwGMvjVS0
One day I said sorry out loud to the Earth https://youtu.be/cKA8PvX86YA
Deep our longing ( Westminster Abbey) https://youtu.be/ljdOzsMQ50AContinue reading →
- A very simple Sanctus for Easter Sunday
For those traditions where there is scope for text variation in the Communion prayers:
-Taking note of the great Commission of Mark 16, and the multiple rebukes given by the Risen Christ, which authenticate, in character, that the Risen one shares the identity of Jesus of Nazareth who was killed and buried. Known in the breaking of bread – and in the love with which Christ speaks out!
Text only Use ‘Now the green blade rises’ ( Noel Nouvelet).
Holy, holy, holy,
All Creation praises
action, life and word:
Hosanna highly, Hosanna below!
Flesh and blood, our Jesus
in whom, God we know.
Holy, holy, holy,
Praise from every Creature
All shall rise, none cower:
Hosanna highly, Hosanna below!
Christ in love rebukes us;
Christ, the friend we know.Continue reading →
- Holy Week message: Doing a Luther
Downloadable PDF Version
Online text version
An environmental chaplain treads a tightrope. On the face of it I seem to work with enviable freedom: I can take or leave the various invitations which trickle in.
For some, my presence would be merely ornamental. Or just filling a gap. (They don’t get priority. – or if I do go along, they’re liable to get a green wolf in sheep’s clothing ).
Some genuinely wish to listen, and some like to think they do. I take this at face value. Both of those score higher on allocating diary slots. There are things I wish to say and those I might aspire to wish to. And plenty I need to hear, too. Over and above the terrifying news I hear each day about the state of health of the Earth. Stories of local congregations’ green initiatives bring a healing balance.
But as to what I can bring: my hands are tied by global circumstance. By the searing experience of COP at close quarters, and by the repeatedly alarming announcements from the UN. I can’t make these things unsaid, unhappened. And the knowledge that the Ukraine war, blotting out climate concerns, is both a symptom of ‘our addiction to fossil fuels’ [Admiral McGann, US Navy] and a cause of even greater damage and danger to the environment. The climate crisis gets worse, not better, when we look away. And though I may be somewhat less in danger of being hung drawn and quartered for saying what I have to say, nonetheless. “Here I stand. I cannot do otherwise. God help me. Amen.” [said Martin Luther, reputedly, on trial for heresy, 501 years ago ].
I hope I’m lacking Luther’s obsession with his own guilt and unworthiness, but I know enough to know that I’m a long way from being a great example of a life lived green. But as with others, doing what I can is a start. And that means, as far as possible, ‘zero waste’ of the resource that the chaplaincy has become for the churches of Scotland. My time is not my own, in that sense.
Few invited visitors to a church will ever have been bearers of such terrifying news, which has, over the time I’ve been in post, become progressively more terrifying, with the authority of 99% of peer-reviewed climate science and the notoriously cautious and diplomatic United Nations to back up that sense of urgency so counter-cultural to the churches I’ve grown up with. Where ‘slow us down, Lord’ takes precedence over ‘Hosanna’ (God, HELP!) or ‘Lord, come quickly!’.
Colleagues have told me they couldn’t dare put it that clearly, or bluntly, and with twenty plus years of the extreme pressures to which local Christian leaders are subjected by those who also support and encourage their ministry, I have understanding. I have very great sympathy.
Could or would I have said as a local pastor, with Mr or Ms X in the congregation, what I feel compelled to say as a visitor? For I’m at least notionally in conflict with something very different from opposition to Christianity as such: rather with the culture of unrecycled wisdom and faithfulness to which love, loyalty and respect is quite reasonably due.
And there is conscientious expertise, hard-won by those into whose specialisms I might at most have dipped a toe. How to run the money. What hymns are The Hymns of The Faith. What a host may impose own their guests (as in Fair trade and recycling, for instance). What is too holy to be green? (-nothing, actually-) What constitutes well-run church grounds: is it a tidy monoculture, or a bee-welcoming mini-meadow? What Scriptures go with which situation: which are to be dutifully read and ignored ( because, perhaps, they’re too wild and scary) and which, shorn of their grounding in the Earth, are being marshalled to prop up a status quo with might well seem all we have left after two centuries or so of decline.
And yet even the quietly and comfortingly accepted narrative of the church’s eventual fading away is threatened. We’re neither dead nor useless: we are custodians of treasure, even if we keep it in glass cases, or overlaid by well-meaning habits of translation and performance.
Resurrection is the ultimate recycling and repurposing; sweeping us along too, with a Saviour who is recognised not just in the breaking of bread, but in the ‘Get on with it’ rebukes of the Risen Christ, acting in character with all the warnings. The Good News that we are warned. The Good News that we can change. The Good News -for all Creation- that, with Christ, despair is not a story to live by.Continue reading →
- Holy Week with the EcoChaplain
4 downloadable items. A blessed Holy Week and Easter to all.
Easter SundayContinue reading →
- Lockdown Learnings
- Additional Lent 3 Sermon: for Old St Paul’s Edinburgh: 1 Corinthians 10:1-13, Luke 13:1-9 AND Beatitude: “Blessed are the Merciful”
- Some Readings On Location During Lent
to support the five Video Reflections; the readings which accompany them
LENT 2 , taken as Transfiguration
Lent 5Continue reading →