FROM CHURCHES TOGETHER IN BRITAIN AND IRELAND
9 JUNE 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE USE
CREATION IN CRISIS: CHURCHES PLAN MONTH OF PRAYER AND ACTION
In the run-up to the next United Nations climate change summit due to take place at the end of the year, churches in Britain and Ireland will observe a Time for Creation between 1 September and 4 October.
This is the second consecutive year in which Churches Together in Britain and Ireland is providing resources to help churches mark a Time for Creation. The theme for 2009 is "Creation in Crisis - a time for prayer and action".
The forthcoming UN conference, to be held in Copenhagen in December, will seek to replace the Kyoto Protocol when it runs out in 2012; some are describing the meeting as the "last chance for the planet". The Time for Creation resources will include materials to help churches, groups and individuals focus on issues relating to crucial decisions that will need to be taken in Copenhagen.
In publicity for Time for Creation 2009, Churches Together in Britain and Ireland says, "An international treaty is needed that will bind governments to drastic and immediate cuts in carbon emissions. However, this will require courageous and far-sighted political leadership to transform our economy and many aspects of our culture." Churches Together adds, "More than ever, Christians are called to demonstrate their commitment to care for creation by living simply and sustainably themselves, and by pressing politicians to take the measures necessary at national and international level."
The 2009 resources
Central to the Time for Creation 2009 resources will be sermon notes, with a choice of two five-week frameworks. One is based on the lectionary readings, and the other linked more specifically to the Creation in Crisis theme including global poverty, wildlife, our responsibility to our children's children, and the Christian's grounds for hope beyond the current crisis.
The materials are wide-ranging and flexible. It will be possible either to follow the whole five weeks or to dip into the resources and use them as required. As well as the sermon notes, there is also a five-week discussion group resource aimed particularly at young adults, further Bible-based group study notes, a 'LOAF' service suitable for local Churches Together events, prayers and various liturgical materials, plus ideas for action. These include joining campaigns, getting involved with local conservation projects, planting trees, and organising a harvest meal; Time for Creation coincides with the harvest festival season. It is suggested that churches could invite local politicians along for locally sourced and fairly traded harvest food, and also share with them the concerns of the church and community about climate change, poverty and the environment.
Time for Creation materials are available as free downloads from the CTBI website (www.ctbi.org.uk/creationtime) and will be available in Welsh and Irish language versions, as well as in English.
The Revd Bob Fyffe, General Secretary, Churches Together in Britain and Ireland. Phone: 0207 654 7210.
Mary Gandy, Secretary for Church and Society, Churches Together in Britain and Ireland. Phone: 0207 654 7227; email: mary [dot] gandyctbi [dot] org [dot] uk.
Note for editors:
Churches Together in Britain and Ireland helps the Churches to think, work and pray together, and serves them on their shared journey towards full visible unity. It is the official ecumenical body that brings together Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, Protestant and Pentecostal traditions, and is the direct successor to the British Council of Churches. Churches Together in Britain and Ireland works closely with the "Churches Together" bodies that focus separately on England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. See www.ctbi.org.uk.