Rich Christians in an age of climate change

The Irish churches must address economic and ecological issues, and not just spiritual and sexual ones, as part of their Kingdom mission.

From February to June of last year, I, along with many others, protested peacefully against the decision to drill an exploratory oil well less than 400m from a drinking water reservoir in the hills above Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland, my then home. It was my first time getting involved in such a process, as it was for most of the others. And contrary to the claims of various politicians, the protestors were overwhelmingly local and overwhelmingly ordinary, with few classing themselves as ‘greens’ or ‘environmentalists’. Also striking was the sense of community that developed amongst this diverse group over the course of the five months: there were codes of conduct written; there were barbecues and ceilidhs held. I even brought my kids. Continue reading

Hope

The fourth and final part of a series on reasons to care for creation.

There is hope. As Christians we have been commissioned to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, to proclaim the gospel to all of creation, and to be salt and light in this world. Continue reading

The apple trees of tomorrow

A cry for church action on climate justice and fossil-fuel divestment.

It was 1963. Washington D. C. The young African-American pastor rose to his feet. Faced with the weight of history set against him; faced with the vested interests of the status quo; faced with powerful opposition, including from parts of the Church; faced with the apathy and cynicism of some, and the denial and delusion of others, he uttered these famous words.

He said ‘I have a dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” Continue reading

Fossil Free Faith

The case for the Irish churches to tackle climate change by divesting their pensions and other investments from fossil-fuels.

The Maldives are a place close to my heart. Though I’ve never been, its stunning seas, wonderful wildlife and beautiful people have long captured my imagination. I’ve also spent many a moment and meeting praying that its restrictive regime might become more open, allowing true freedom of religion: I believe the people of the Maldives deserve the chance to hear and see the good news of Jesus Christ.

But there’s more at stake here than religious freedom alone. That’s because the Maldives faces another existential threat, one that has the potential to wipe this entire island archipelago off the face of the earth: climate change. Continue reading

God is green

I want us to humbly ask before God the question, should Christians go green? In other words, should we, both individually and collectively, express our love for God in a lifestyle that shares and sustains His creation instead of destroying it? The answer, I believe, is yes we should. And the reason I believe that we should is simple: that God, fundamentally, is ‘green’! Continue reading

Kingdom coffee: Fairtrade catering at your church?

Making the case for seeking the Kingdom of God through our church catering supplies.  Why not adapt this short summary for your own church?

Your kingdom coffee come…
Coffee – that glorious liquid. Whether it’s the fragrant aroma wafting up your nostrils; the heavenly taste tantalising your tastebuds; or the caffeine buzzing round your brain. Or maybe it’s the combination of all three. And ditto for tea, if that’s your tipple of choice. Between the two drinks, we get through a lot in a year as a church. But what of the people who produce our tea and coffee, mostly in parts of the world a lot less well-off than we are? Are they savouring the fruits of their labours or does it leave a bitter taste in their mouth? Continue reading

Inspiring Change

Welcome to our vision for an inter-denominational creation care charity that inspires change.  A brief summary of our ideas is set out below, based on a proposal written in August 2014.  The full document can be accessed here.  It’s a work in progress – already it’s clear that we’d like to be an all-Ireland charity as soon as is practical, and that we might also want to focus our work on counter-consumerism and/or animal welfare, in addition to ecology and agro-ecology.  But it’s a start; a basis for dreaming, praying, planning and hoping.  Please join us.  Read all about it here.
Continue reading

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