22nd April 2018

Christian Concern for One World April 22 - 28

 

CCOW logo

 

 

 

 

 

CCOW Weekly Prayer Points

22 to 28 April 2018

 

 

 

This week's topics:

 

 

* Earth Day

 

* Prayer for the Earth

 

* One Small Step: Barry's Story

* Partnerships of Hope

 

 

The theme of self-sacrificing love runs through the Revised Common Lectionary readings <http://bit.ly/2HO8CoR> for the week as the focus is on Christ as the Good Shepherd, who lays down his life for the sheep. "We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us--and we ought to lay down our lives for one another," says the author of 1 John. Can we ask God for the love and courage to follow Christ's model? What might need to change in our lives?

 

 

Earth Day 2018: End Plastic Pollution

 

 

Earth Day falls this Sunday, April 22. Earth Day is now close to 50 years old and has become a global phenomenon with many millions of people in over 190 countries getting involved. In the words of Earth Day President Kathleen Rogers:

 

It is a day of political action and civic participation. People march, sign petitions, meet with their elected officials, plant trees, clean up their towns and roads. Corporations and governments use it to make pledges and announce sustainability measures. Faith leaders, including Pope Francis, connect Earth Day with protecting God’s greatest creations, humans, biodiversity and the planet that we all live on.

 

 

The focus of this year’s Earth Day is ending plastic pollution. Currently, the amount of plastic produced globally each year is roughly the same as the entire weight of humanity <https://www.earthday.org/2018/03/07/fact-sheet-end-plastic-pollution/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=f921557b-da6a-41e4-a82c-662486f4ec93> and 91% of plastic weight isn’t recycled. In the UK alone 38.5 million plastic bottles <https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/28/a-million-a-minute-worlds-plastic-bottle-binge-as-dangerous-as-climate-change> are used every day, with only just over half make it to recycling. As the BBC’s Blue Planet 2 <http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/42030979/blue-planet-2-how-plastic-is-slowly-killing-our-sea-creatures-fish-and-birds> so graphically showed, vast quantities of plastic end up in the ocean, wreaking havoc with marine life. One of the assistant producers on the programme, Sarah Connor, has said, "There would rarely be a dive where I wouldn't find some form of plastic from a thread of plastic fishing line, sweet wrappers or plastic bottles."

 

The Earth Day website <https://www.earthday.org/> has a wealth of information and inspiration to help individuals, organizations and educators change both attitudes and behaviour about plastics. Part of a multi-year initiative, the End Plastic Pollution campaign goals include:

 

* ending single-use plastics

 

* promoting alternatives to fossil fuel-based materials

 

* promoting 100 per cent recycling of plastics,

 

* corporate and government accountability

 

* changing human behaviour concerning plastics.

 

Ideas for actions we can take can be found here <https://www.earthday.org/take-action/> . You will also find a host of ideas and discussion on the Plastic-Less Living Facebook group <https://www.facebook.com/groups/148636355799566/> . This began as a group journey during Lent 2018 exploring how we can reduce our own reliance on plastic - but has continued beyond by popular demand. It’s ‘a space to discuss, question, share ideas and tips, rant, celebrate and more’.

 

This Earth Day, please pray:

 

* In thanksgiving for the growing movement to address the plastic pollution crisis and for all the people who have been faithfully acting and working behind the scenes to raise the profile of the problem.

 

* That governments across the world will pass urgent and ambitious legislation to tackle plastic pollution,

 

 

* That individuals will take personal responsibility for their contribution to plastic pollution by choosing to reject, reduce, reuse and recycle plastics.

 

 

 

* That corporations will work to remove or reduce plastics from their supply chains <https://www.cips.org/supply-management/analysis/2018/march/business-and-plastic-waste/>

 

 

 

Prayer for the Earth

 

 

In the run-up to the Paris UN Climate Conference, Elizabeth put together a very powerful powerpoint using a prayer by Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town Desmond Tutu.

 

 

She's now updated it, with new images - including some relating to plastic pollution - accompanying words from prayers written by the Archbishop.

 

 

You can find the new powerpoint here <http://bit.ly/2HkTMW3> - worth considering for use in your church at any time when you wish to emphasise care for creation.

 

 

 

 

 

One Small Step: Barry's Story

 

"Seeing a plastic bottle lying around now instantly connects me with the image of all that plastic that ends up in the sea and so into the stomachs of fish and birds and in turn into us."

 

Our 'One Small Step' series invites Christians to share what lies behind one small step they've taken to live out the Gospel in care for creation - and to tell us a little bit about the impact that step has had on their lives and the lives of others.

 

 

The next piece in the series, written by Barry Sugg, is included below. Appropriately enough, it's about picking up discarded plastic bottles - a step which inspires the author and others to think about the impact of our waste.

 

 

One Small Step - Barry Sugg
One Small Step
7
Barry's Story
Picking up plastic bottles when out and about...
“Seeing
plastic
bottlelying
arounnow
instantly
connects
mewith
the
imageofall
thatplasticthatendsupintheseaandsointothestomachs
of
fish
anbirds
and
in
turn
into
us.”
“I
walk
a
lot
and
I
spot
a
lot
of
plastic
bottles
lying
around.
So,
without
going
berserk,
I
try
to
make
a
point
of
picking
up
the
ones
I
come
across
and
putting
them
intherecyclingathome.
“I
thinkwasmostinspiredbyawomancalledBernadettewholivesinourvillageanddoesahuge
amount
of
caring
for
our
local
environment.
She
does
it
quietly
and
modestly
without
preaching
to
anyone
but
just
setting
a
brilliant
example.
She
does
all
sorts
of
things
from
organising
rubbish
clearing
to
tending
plant
troughs
around
our
streets.”
122
How
have
others
reacted
to
the
step(s)
you
have
taken?
“I
quite
like
it
when
I
get
strange
looks
from
people
when
I
pick
up
bottles.
I
reckon
that
aleast
they're
registering
what
I'm
doing
and
maybe,
somewhere
along
the
line,
a
penny
might
drop.”
Has
it
led
you
to
make
any
other
changes?
“I
guessit'spartofalong-­‐standing
journey
of
trying
to
lessen
our
own
impact
as
a
family
on
the
environment
and
trying
to
spread
the
message
in
a
way
that
doesn't
alienate
people
-­‐so
things
like
getting
our
church
aware
of
recycling
and
switching
from
plastic
cups
for
our
Sunday
coffee,
first
to
compostable
cardboard
ones
and
now
to
china
ones.
At
first
people
said
nobody
would
do
the
washing
up
but
in
fact
we
all
do.”
What
advice
would
you
give
to
anyone
contemplating
a
similar
change?
“Know
that
you
can't
save
the
world
on
your
own
but
little
steps
add
up.
Anbe
prepared
to
look
a
bit
daft.”
How
has
the
change
affected
your
spiritual
life
or
Christian
witness?
“It'shardtosortoutwhichinfluenceswhichbutguessafewyearsagoIwouldn't
have
associated
picking
up
plastic
bottles
with
my
Christian
faith
and
now
I
definitely
do”.
326
Story
with
kind
permission
of
Barry
Sugg,
counsellor
and
psychotherapist.
CCOW's
'One
Small
Step'
series
shares
stories
of
change
-­‐-­‐the
small
steps
individuals
have
taken
to
live
more
in
keeping
with
their
faith

to
help
inspire
and
encourage
all
of
us
on
our
journeys.
We
hope
you've
been
inspired
by
this
story.
Please
do
get
in
touch
and
share
yours
with
us!

 

 

Partnerships of Hope

 

 

Many thanks to all of you who prayed for today's conference on working together for refugees. It was an inspiring day with about a hundred people sharing experiences, stories, ideas, and thoughts on ways forward. We'll be putting some of the materials on our website in the coming weeks, and will let you know when they're up.

 

Please give thanks for all the people who have enabled Joanna's networking over the past year, and for all who worked so hard alongside her to make the conference happen. Please give thanks, too, for the generous sharing and good will among the various people who attended. Pray for wisdom and discernment for all who attended as they consider next steps in their own journeys to seek the good of asylum seekers and refugees - and next steps in our shared journey .


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