Blog

Season of Creation 2022: Major Reflections (for download)- Sermon-slot material for online worship:

This is a Season in itself, created during a retreat experience, staying at Loch Ossian Hostel, on Rannoch Moor (only accessible by train). Expect to be challenged.

Week 1: Choosing Life: [13 mins 50] available for Download in up to 4k.

Heeding warnings …. NB Includes one shot of a dead bird.

Week 2: Honour the Lost [12 mins 56 ] available for download in up to 1080p [4k from mid August]… Who is lost, who is not, and do we listen to the voice of God in those we have marginalised and despised?

Week 3 : Jesus blunt and wild

Week 4 : Net Zero Life . NB: some consideration of death and bereavement, including one shot of a funeral.

Week 5: Roots in the Earth, Roots in the Church

Faith communities’ open letter to COP26 President

Scottish faith communities call on COP26 President to honour Glasgow Pact commitments

Eco-Congregation Scotland chairperson Richard Murray is among diverse faith leaders and groups calling on COP26 President Alok Sharma to honour the Glasgow Pact commitments.

The Pact includes commitments from 197 nations to build resilience to climate change, curb greenhouse gas emissions and provide finance for both, agreed at the COP26 United Nations climate conference in Glasgow last November.

Religious leaders and faith organisations across Scotland have signed a letter requesting a meeting with Mr Sharma to discuss progress.

At COP26, Mr Sharma said the pact was a “fragile win” and that “unless we honour the promises made – to turn the commitments in the Glasgow Climate Pact into action – they will wither on the vine.”

Scottish religious leaders at the COP26 Vigil on 31 October 2021 courtesy of kelvinstudio.co.uk

Representatives of Scottish faith groups are concerned that world developments have diverted attention from COP26 commitments.

United Nations Secretary General, António Guterres, has warned it is “now or never” to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.

Director of Interfaith Scotland, Dr Maureen Sier said: “The fragile win achieved at COP26 is at grave risk. It is essential that all governments commit to actioning the Glasgow Pact and work together, with others, to ensure a future for all”.

The letter was developed by the COP26 Interfaith Working Group and signed by faith leaders and organisations across Scotland. The COP26 Interfaith Working Group is made up of representatives from Scottish faith groups and organisations working on climate issues. The group is chaired by Interfaith Scotland with Interfaith Glasgow acting as Secretariat.

Chair and Secretariat of the COP26 Interfaith Working Group

The Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP, COP President Designate

Dear Mr Sharma,  

cc Prime Minister Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP and First Minister Rt Hon Nicola Sturgeon MSP

Faith and Belief Communities request meeting in preparation for COP27

We write to ask for a meeting with you to hear what your Presidency has been doing to honour the Glasgow Pact commitments and what progress has been made.

As representatives of faith groups from across Scotland, we were proud to welcome delegates, campaigners, pilgrims and others to COP26.  We joined people of faith from around the globe demanding action to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

We are delighted to share with you our report on Faith Communities and COP26 in Glasgow.

We are increasingly concerned that developments around the world since COP26 have diverted attention from the commitments that were made.  The persistence of the Covid pandemic, a terrible war in Ukraine and dramatic energy price rises that are promoting calls for new oil and gas development put these commitments at risk.

You told us at the close of the conference that it was a “fragile win” and that “unless we honour the promises made – to turn the commitments in the Glasgow Climate Pact into action – they will wither on the vine.”  And UN Secretary General, António Guterres, has warned us it is “now or never” to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.

We call on you to ensure that the COP26 commitments are put into effect and that climate justice and real energy security are available to all.  As priorities we call upon you to ensure the following:

  • End new oil and gas exploration as recommended by The International Energy Agency
  • Build sustainable economies powered by renewable energy
  • That no one lives in fuel poverty, in the UK or overseas.

As representatives of faith groups across Scotland we commit to doing our part.  Many of us are working across Scotland to promote community action on climate change. We will redouble our efforts and assure you of our continuing support to ensure the commitments made at COP26 are put into effect.

Yours, in hope,

The COP 26 Interfaith Working Group and Scottish religious leaders

The Right Rev Dr Iain Greenshields, Moderator of the General Assembly, The Church of Scotland
Sheikh Hassan Rabbani, Chair of Scottish Muslim Forum
Acharya Ji Mishra, Priest of Hindu Mandir Glasgow
Rev Bonnie Evans-Hills, Priest, Scottish Episcopal Church
Revd Paul Whittle, Synod Moderator, National Synod of Scotland, The United Reformed Church
Choje Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche, Abbot, Kagyu Samye Ling
Sr Isabel Smyth OBE, Catholic Bishops’ Interreligious Dialogue Committee
Baha’i Community of Scotland
Muslim Council of Scotland
Richard Murray, Chairperson, Eco-Congregation Scotland
Sally Foster-Fulton, Head of Christian Aid Scotland
Alistair Dutton, Director, SCIAF
Ravinder Kaur Nijjar, Chair, Religions for Peace UK Women of Faith Network, Sikh Representative, Scottish Religious Leaders Forum, Advisor, Sikhs in Scotland
Dr Rose Drew, CEO, Interfaith Glasgow
Dr Maureen Sier, Director, Interfaith Scotland
Professor Joe Goldblatt, Chair, Edinburgh Interfaith Association
Olivia Fuchs, Coordinator, Eco Dharma
Robert Harrap, General Director, Soka Gakkai International – UK
Jill Kent, Chair, Justice and Peace Scotland
Elizabeth Allen, Clerk of General Meeting, Quakers in Scotland
Rev Dr Carolyn Kelly, Chaplain, The University of Glasgow
Harjot Singh Kambo, Lead Coordinator Scotland, EcoSikhUK
Jonathan Baxter, Curator, A+E – Pilgrimage for COP26
Sister Mary McClure, Provincial Leader, Sisters of Notre Dame (British Province)
Christine Anderson, Faithful Companions of Jesus
William G Crook, The Order of Interbeing Plum Village Tradition
Aekus Kamboj, Environment Officer, CEMVO Scotland
David Somervell, Member, South Edinburgh Quaker Local Meeting
Mahrukh Adnan Shaukat, Amina Muslim Women’s Resource Centre
The Iona Community
Glasgow Baha’i Community
Brahma Kumaris
Earth Holders Edinburgh
The Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC)

Supporting organisations
Shanon Shah, Director, Faith for the Climate
Fletcher Harper, Executive Director, GreenFaith
Rev Henrik Grape, Co-Chair, Interfaith Liaison Committee (ILC) to the UNFCCC

If rulers are from God

Young climate protesters at the Scottish Parliament 2022

God and Politics

For use with 1 Timothy 2:1-7 or other passages

Meter 8886  e.g. Saffron Walden, Childhood

it is, of course, absurd, to say, or tolerate the saying, that ‘religion and politics don’t mix’, since both are concerned with the good of people and planet.  The Timothy passage can. however, be read in a way which encouraged quietist disengagement.  

This hymn poem disagrees

1) If rulers are from God, it’s plain

they’ll always seek the common good.

So Christians pray, and give support,

where justice is assured.

2)When rulers lie and cheat and steal;

with malice, trample on the weak

then still we pray, protest and vote;

speak out, when called to speak.

3)God, even-handed sends the rain

bright Sun, through leaves; Creation’s fuel.

Our choices have their part to play:

the web of life’s renewal….

4) When rulers act to tend the Earth:

-every transition must be just-

with all good will, our prayers and more

give power and hope and trust.

God writes our names into the sky

A hymn-poem on the ‘reward’ Jesus said was worth rejoicing over, that the names of those who were prepared to go and heal on his command had their ‘names written in Heaven/the Sky. [Luke 10:20 ]

Tune – LM, ideally ‘Church Triumphant’.

The ‘skyness’ of Heaven is part of the experiential dimension of faith, which of course happens within the unified Creation of ‘Heaven and Earth’

Text only:

1)When we are sent,  we travel light

not bearing hatred, malice, spite

we warn, alert, and love is why 

God writes our names into the Sky!

2)When we are partners with the Earth-

Our praise is chorus; deep our mirth,

with those who swim and squirm and fly:

God writes our names into the Sky

3)God loves this world’s diverse delight:

paints puffin’s beak so rainbow bright.

We’re made that way, so can’t deny

God writes our names into the Sky!

4)The Earth is frail;  we’re sent to heal;

the danger to all life is real

with every prayer and act we try

God writes our names into the Sky!

Season of Creation 2022 Thematic Items

And God saw that it was good – Liturgical artist Yvonne Bell

See Below: scroll down to find and click to play and/or download

  1. Net Zero Prayer: downloadable video and PDF: approaching the Net Zero ambitions of the churches as a response of faith.
  2. Thematic Reflection from Rev Fiona Bennett, General Assembly moderator of the United Reformed Church
  3. Glasgow Multi-faith Declaration – leading up to COP, people of faith discovered both common ground and common responsibility : check the signatories as well as the text.
  4. Two poems by , by poet Lorn Macintyre: Lusan: a moving poetic memory of Scottish rural wisdom. And ‘The new Calvary’ – a reflection on the purpose of prayer, inspired by the experience of extreme weather, made more frequent by climate change. Downloadable video and PDF
  5. Reflection on Season of Creation by ‘Green Christian’ Chaplain Rev Andrew Norman. Downloadable video.
  6. Looking down on Earth…. & Heaven: John L Bell, Iona Community
  7. ‘Psalm of Questioning’ by Rev Dr Nicola Robinson, ordained this year, candidating via Silver award EcoCongregation Augustine United
  8. Fly-on-the wall video from the faith bloc in the Great Climate March during COP in Glasgow
  9. Grace Cube: Instructions and PDF for a food celebration, from Robert Ritson, in training for ministry in the Scottish Episcopal church
  10. Cruachan- Praise be, my Lord, through Sister Water: reflections on the impact and benefits of a major and pioneering sustainable energy project.. Marian Pallister, chair of Pax Christi
  11. A tale of two Jameses: former Climate Change Officer and veteran of global environmental gatherings Adrian Shaw reflects on what is learned from different ways of looking, rather than merely speculating, about the Creation we encounter.
  12. Season of Creation Global: Link to the wider international and ecumenical SOC movement
  13. Link to Churches Together in Britain & Ireland season of Creation page
  14. Link to Joint Public Issues Team page for Season, with focus on food
  15. Pope Francis’ own launch for Season of Creation 2022, drawing on his important and radical document of 2015: ‘Laudato Si;

Net Zero Prayer (text & video)

=================================

Thematic reflections from Rev Fiona Bennett: General Assembly Moderator of the United Reformed Church. Downloadable PDF

==========================================

Glasgow Multi-Faith Declaration for COP

A demanding commitment from people of many faiths, to which Christinas can in good conscience, add their wholehearted support.

https://faithfortheclimate.org.uk/news/the-glasgow-multi-faith-declaration-for-cop26/

==================================

Two poems by Lorn Macintyre: Video and downloadable PDF

======================================

A video reflection from Green Christian Chaplain Rev Andrew Norman

==========================================

Looking down on Earth …and Heaven: John L Bell, Iona Community

Psalm of Questioning : Rev Dr Nicola Robinson

Fly-on-the -wall video from the Great Climate March during COP in Glasgow.

===================================================================

A Cube of grace: recipes and blessings, by Roberta Ritson, Scottish Episcopal Institute

=======================================================================

Praise be, my Lord, through Sister Water: Marian Pallister

Meme-able graphic from a real conversation: “Granny, don’t say “it”!

“Who not it:” The adult rebuked, by Rosalind Hines St Andrews Churches Eco Group

A tale of two Jameses: EcoCongregation volunteer and former staff member Adrian Shaw

Links to wider ecumenical and international Season of Creation movement

Link to Churches Together in Britain and Ireland Season of Creation Page

https://ctbi.org.uk/season-of-creation-2022/

Link to Joint Public Issues team Season of Creation: Focus on Food

https://www.jointpublicissues.org.uk/creation/

Pope Francis: Launch statement for Season of Creation 2022

https://laudatosimovement.org/news/message-of-his-holiness-pope-francis-for-the-celebration-of-the-world-day-of-prayer-for-the-care-of-creation/