SLOWING (to be more Sustainable)

My Sister is doing a blog series on Advent at the minute and she asked me to contribute. Check it out if you get a chance.

Florianna's Girl

I asked my bro if he could outline 3 behaviours that we could adopt to ensure we have a more sustainable approach to Advent. You can also find him at  People Planet Prophet

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One of my favorite Christmas traditions is putting up the Christmas tree.

I am a big advocate of getting a real tree. This has probably stemmed from the fact we always got a real tree growing up. We’ve started to make a bit more of a deal about it in the past few years, being intentional about setting aside time to do it. We get all wrapped up and set out in the afternoon, head up to the farm around the corner, spend a bit of time picking the right tree, chat to the farmer, (extract our son from the mud), stick it on the car roof and head home.

Once home, the Christmas tunes get busted…

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Noah.

We continue our series on ‘Environmental Hero’s of the Faith’ with…

Noah.

Noah was thrust back into our homes in 2014 through the relentless advertising that comes with a supposed Hollywood blockbuster. I missed it in the cinema, but kept an eye on the reviews which overall didn’t seem too hot. I have seen it since and actually quite liked it. Sure, the director Darren Aronofsky took some license with the story, with cool rock monsters and explosions and such like, but we can get over that one. One of the stand out bits of the film for me was when Noah and his family, were all stowed away in the boat and he was explaining the creation story to each of them- not to ruin the film but this then cut away to essentially show an evolutionary process within which God was present. In the context of the film, it works really well, whether you believe in an evolutionary process or not. Continue reading

Project Wild Thing

Check this film out if you get a chance, It is so inspiring.

Breathe

Mark Powley writes about a film trip with a difference.

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A few months ago, with the bitter winter wind whipping the streets of Leeds, Ailsa and I took all four kids out to see Project Wild Thing. ‘One man’s crusade to get kids to fall in love with nature again’. Points gained for watching a nature-y film – 10. Points lost for driving there in the car – 5. Points regained for watching it at an ‘art house’ cinema – 2. Points lost for spending £35 on a family film – 7. Or whatever. Anyway, it wasn’t quite the kind of Sunday afternoon hypnosis in which Pixar excel, but it was brilliant.

The idea of the film is simple, powerful and undeniable. It’s not healthy for kids to spend so little time outdoors. There’s too much fear holding us back from our countryside, and our neighbours. All of us should…

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Ecology and faith

When studying for my masters I got the chance to spend a couple of days with Alastair McIntosh. We were lucky enough to have have him lead a workshop on Sustainable Development and his experiences in campaigning in the Western Isles of Scotland. Although this is now six years ago and counting, it has stuck with me. I have since read his book ‘Soil and Soul’ (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Soil-Soul-People-versus-Corporate/dp/1854109421) and often go back to it for snippets of inspiration and general mind bending craziness. Even if you’re not into the whole redemptive side of ecological stewardship, there is a story here about transformational change against the odds.

Alistair will be speaking in Belfast at Fitzroy Presbyterian on the 28th of February. Get it booked into the diary. Click here on Steve Stockmans blog for more information (http://stocki.typepad.com/soulsurmise/2014/02/ecology-and-faith-alastair-mcintosh-in-fitzroy.html).

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Waste More, Want More

Help! I’m drowning in a sea of disposable nappies, baby wipes and soiled changing table towels covered in acid like poop. The ‘black bin’ has moved from needing emptied once a month (if even) to desperately needing emptied every other week. The heating is on flat out and we have a hall light on all through the night to prevent careless sleepy stumbles. However…this is all necessary…or is it.

Due to the crazy hecticness (this is not even a word) of new life, I think a lot of our pre-bambino ‘ideals’ of being ‘earth mum and dad’ have suffered as a result…At this stage I would probably say having a child is probably one of the most environmentally unfriendly things I’ve done…but I’m not losing heart just yet and have some good ideas, (and friends) up my sleeve.

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The Next Generation

In about two weeks our first born is due. This fills me with a nervous excitement that I have also felt before rugby matches or when I’m about to explore a new trail on my bike (not to trivialise parenthood of course). However, it has also got me thinking about my beliefs and the beliefs that my wife and I want to model as parents.

Part of the reason I got involved in the conservation sector was because of an ideal – I believed and still believe that God created the universe, said that it was good, and placed humans in it to look after it. Adams first job, after all, was to tend the garden. While there will always be the need to use parts of creation to sustain human life, there will never be justification for the reckless destruction of the things that God has made, which are also a glimpse of his glory.

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