A few years ago whilst playing guitar at an event in London called Kernow in the city our lead singer was sharing the story behind one of our bands songs. He shared about the challenges he has been through over the last year and how for some reason that year he had also notice an increase in butterfly’s which always lead him to an overwhelming experience of peace.
After sharing his story a member of the audience shouted out, “do you know the Cornish for butterfly is Tykki-Dyw, which means God’s gentle messenger.”
Throughout time most of humanity have noticed that when we interact with nature something special happens, a feeling can overcome us of reassurance, peace, awe, or even love. For the writer of a book in the Bible called the Psalms they describe it in this way “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.”
Today we can easily walk amongst nature and be distracted by our phones, or even the stress of a post lockdown life. The advice from our medical professionals for dealing with that stress, found in the NHS’s 5 steps to wellbeing, is first of all to “take notice”, to stop and see what we already have.
Ever since we have been able to communicate we have been trying to put words to the beauty of nature and we have understood that it also offers us ways of healing through medicine, and of ways of coping with life’s difficulties.
The month of September in the Church calendar is called Creation Tide, and is a time when we reflect on the beauty of the world that God has given us, but also reflect on how we have, or have not, looked after it.
As we rebuild our new world after lockdown, let us consider what it means to put the things that really matter in life first. Let us challenge our current world view that says “the more we have the happier we are,” and realise that the more we take notice of what we already have around us the happier we will be.
This month's blog was written by Joff Phipps (Social Justice Missioner for ASH)
All this talk of recycling, protecting the environment, and green energy reminds me of one of my favourite dad jokes. It goes like this: I gave all my dead batteries away today… free of charge!
Since Sunday 1st September the Church of England has been keeping Creationtide, a period in the church calendar that concludes on the feast of St Francis 4th October. At All Saints Truro we’ve been thinking about what a Christian care for God’s creation might look like. We’ve been thinking about the impact of pollution and climate change, and about sustainable living and environmental justice. We’ve been blessed to hear some great speakers and preachers including Dr Tim Taylor (Senior lecturer at Exeter University for Environmental Economics), Luci Isaacson (Diocesan Environmental Officer), Janette Mullett (Director of Epiphany House) and Revd Dr Lucy Larkin (Tutor for SWMTC).
Hearing these people has reminded me of how important it is for Christ’s church to take seriously the instruction to ‘be fruitful, and to care for’ this incredible gift of life. As I’ve reflected on our discussions it has been increasingly clear to me how important this is, and how it’s not so much about the church being ‘green’, although that is important, but more about our walk with Jesus.
I’ve learnt that our relationship with creation is the great leveller, since all of humanity is dependent on God’s gift of life - through His Word and His Spirit in a spiritual sense, and through creation in a physical sense. We all require food, we all require fresh water, warmth and shelter to live. It doesn’t matter if we’re a wealthy oil tycoon, or a struggling unemployed dad of three, we still need the basic elements of life to flourish. Jesus’ ministry was always close to this truth. As he mixed with the rich and the famous and the poor and forgotten, his teaching was never far away from the essentials of human need. It was a grounded ministry, held close to the dirt and earthiness of life.
The more I’ve studied the bible over the course of Creationtide the more I’ve come to realise that Christian discipleship is lived out in our love for Jesus and in our delight for what was created through Him. In essence, how our love for Jesus can be reflected in our love for what was brought about through him. Sadly, much of the developed world has over-consumed and underappreciated God’s creation; and as a result, the poor and forgotten have paid the price.
Christ’s church can take a lead here by making small and simple lifestyle changes, such as recycling our batteries – despite my dad joke. As well as taking the Truro Diocese 10 pledges.
Here’s another dad joke (as they’re called in our household) – Did you hear about the new restaurant on the moon? The food is great, but there’s just no atmosphere!!
I’m really sorry.
Creationtide is about protecting our atmosphere but also about creating a new atmosphere of action in the church to protect God’s creation. And to see this environmental theology as an expression of our walk with Jesus. We don’t need eco-warriors we just need more followers of Jesus who want to keep breaking bread with the world, and want to meet more people at the well.
Revd Jeremy Putnam | All Saints Truro
A collection of thoughts and reflections from the people of All Saints.