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Baptist Union Environment Network

By Hayley Beckett on 9th February 2021

Baptist Union Environment Network resources

As members of BUEN we are keen to share information to the region’s churches which will be of use as they explore or implement aspects of creation care in their services and activities. We have compiled some resources and organisations which are relevant to this topic.

Organisations

Whether you are starting out on your creation care journey or are a fully ‘paid up’ gold Eco Church, the different organisations which relate to this topic can feel a bit overwhelming. Here is a rundown of (mostly) faith-based organisations supporting churches and individuals on their response to the climate emergency.

If you know of other organisations, please let BUEN know. Find out more about BUEN here: https://www.baptist.org.uk/Groups/349554/Baptist_Union_Environment.aspx. Do follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Hannah Gray is the BUEN representative for the EBA, please feel free to email her at hanban@hotmail.com.

A Rocha

https://arocha.org.uk/

A Rocha UK (ARUK) is a Christian charity working for the protection and restoration of the natural world and committed to equipping Christians and churches in the UK to care for the environment. Eco Church and Wild Christian are A Rocha projects.

Caring for God’s Acre

https://www.caringforgodsacre.org.uk/

Promoting the conservation of burial sites and supporting the volunteers who look after and maintain them. Particularly relevant to older churches with graveyards. Various courses and resources.

Climate Coalition

https://www.theclimatecoalition.org/

An organisation representing over 100 organisations across the UK coming together to call for urgent action on climate change. They run ‘The Time is Now’ and ‘Show the Love’ campaigns. Useful resource of ‘10 point plan’ for a green recovery of policy and resources.

Climate Stewards

https://www.climatestewards.org/

Climate Stewards encourages you to calculate your carbon footprint, reduce it if you can, and offset the rest. Offsetting means compensating for every tonne of CO₂ you emit. They do this by using your donation to support community forestry, water filter, solar and cookstove projects in the developing world.

Eco Church (an A Rocha project)

https://ecochurch.arocha.org.uk/

A survey enables churches to collect points towards an Eco Church Award:  Bronze, Silver and Gold. If your score doesn’t gain you an Eco Church Award straight away don’t worry – the idea is to complete further actions in order to gain the points necessary for an Award.

Global Connections

https://www.globalconnections.org.uk/

Not specifically environmental but some excellent resources on their development and environment page. Global Connections is a growing network of over 300 UK churches and agencies with a passion for mission. Links to other agencies too.

John Ray Initiative

https://www.jri.org.uk/

The John Ray Initiative is an educational charity with a vision to bring together scientific and Christian understandings of the environment in a way that can be widely communicated and lead to effective action. JRI’s mission is to promote responsible environmental stewardship in accordance with Christian principles and the wise use of science and technology.

Live Simply (a CAFOD project)

https://cafod.org.uk/Campaign/Livesimply-award

The livesimply award is an opportunity for Catholic communities – parishes, schools, religious orders and chaplaincies – to respond to Pope Francis’ invitation in Laudato Si’ to ‘work with generosity and tenderness in protecting this world which God has entrusted to us’. Useful resources on their website.

Global Catholic Climate Movement

https://catholicclimatemovement.global/

Excellent resources and links to campaigns.

Operation Noah

https://operationnoah.org/

A Christian charity working with churches to inspire action on the climate crisis. Responsible for ‘Bright Now’, a divestment campaign. Useful resources.

Tearfund

https://www.tearfund.org/

A Christian International development charity with a number of campaigns including ‘Reboot’ – a prayer and action campaign to see a breakthrough in the climate crisis

Wild Christian (an A Rocha project)

https://arocha.org.uk/wildchristian/

A Rocha UK’s Wild Christian scheme is a community of families and individuals exploring the connections between our Christian faith, the natural environment, and how we live.

Movements

The following movements are regular events which churches can take part in. Linking with a national (or global) initiative is a great way for a church to be part of the bigger picture. All these sites have excellent resources and ideas of how to get involved in climate change awareness and campaigns. BUEN would love to hear about services and campaigns you have been involved in – it is really encouraging and inspiring for other churches to share their experiences.

If you know of other relevant movements, please let BUEN know. Find out more about BUEN here: https://www.baptist.org.uk/Groups/349554/Baptist_Union_Environment.aspx. Do follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Hannah Gray is the BUEN representative for the EBA, please feel free to email her at hanban@hotmail.com.

Climate Sunday

https://www.climatesunday.org/

A Churches Together initiative to hold a climate-focused service between now and September 2021, to explore the theological and scientific basis of creation care and action on climate, to pray, and to commit to action. Resources page for inspiration and worship resources to suit all church traditions, and request to register your service.

Pray and Fast for the Climate

https://prayandfastfortheclimate.org.uk/

A call to pray and fast on the first day of the month for climate change. Excellent monthly summary of prayer points with useful information and updates in it.

Show the Love

https://www.theclimatecoalition.org/show-the-love

A Climate Coalition campaign for the month of February to raise awareness and lobby politicians.

The Time is Now

https://www.theclimatecoalition.org/thetimeisnow

A Climate Coalition campaign calling for a cleaner, greener world that works for everyone by lobbying government and signing their petition.

Study material

Small-group and church-wide study is a fantastic way to explore the topic of creation care. There are several resources available which can be used or adapted to your setting. Scheduling the study to coincide with Lent or the Season of Creation (September) can be a good way of focussing on the topic with a view to considering signing up to Eco Church.

If you know of other study resources, please let BUEN know. Find out more about BUEN here: https://www.baptist.org.uk/Groups/349554/Baptist_Union_Environment.aspx. Do follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Hannah Gray is the BUEN representative for the EBA, please feel free to email her at hanban@hotmail.com.

Climate Emergency Tool Kit

https://www.climateemergencytoolkit.com/

A Tearfund programme to lead your church or small group on a journey to climate action, following a structure of ‘prepare’, ‘declare’, ‘impact’.

Tenants of the King

https://operationnoah.org/resources/tenants-of-the-king-study-guide/

A four-part Bible study course for churches/small groups from Operation Noah.

Living Lent

https://livinglent.org/

A Lent course run in 2019, which can be visited at any time, with resources and ideas for practical action.

Caring for Creation, York Courses

https://www.yorkcourses.co.uk/product/caring-for-creation/

Ideal for Lent, or any time of year.

#LiveLent 2020

https://www.eden.co.uk/livelent-care-for-gods-creation/

#LiveLent: Care for God’s Creation was the Church of England’s Lent Campaign for 2020. It was inspired and informed by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s 2020 Lent Book, Saying Yes to Life by Ruth Valerio. Study books for individuals and children are available. With weekly themes and prayers shaped around the first Genesis account of creation, it explores the urgent need for humans to value and protect the abundance God has created. For each day of Lent it offers a Bible reading, a short reflection and an action to help you live in greater harmony with God, neighbour and nature.

Courses

Although we are not able to gather in person at the moment, there are plenty of opportunities online to learn more about creation care and our role as Christians. There are a few ideas below; some of these courses are directed to the church, while others are great opportunities for exploring the topic of the environment more generally. They range from one-hour webinars to full-time study.

If you come across webinars or courses locally or nationally which might be useful to others, please let BUEN know. Find out more about BUEN here: https://www.baptist.org.uk/Groups/349554/Baptist_Union_Environment.aspx. Do follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Hannah Gray is the BUEN representative for the EBA, please feel free to email her at hanban@hotmail.com.

https://www.globalconnections.org.uk/events/creation-care-%E2%80%93-an-optional-extra/210204

https://www.cres.org.uk/cres-certificate/

https://www.caringforgodsacre.org.uk/get-involved/find-a-session/webinars/

Green Christian webinars

Books

There are many books about climate change and it can be difficult to know where to start. The following books have been helpfully reviewed by Nicky Bull and her reviews can be found on this page of the Operation Noah website:  https://operationnoah.org/news-events/news-blog/book-reviews/

If you know of other relevant books, please let BUEN know. Find out more about BUEN here: https://www.baptist.org.uk/Groups/349554/Baptist_Union_Environment.aspx. Do follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Hannah Gray is the BUEN representative for the EBA, please feel free to email her at hanban@hotmail.com.

Falter: Has the human game begun to play itself out? (Bill McKibben)

No One is Too Small to Make a Difference (Greta Thunberg)

Losing Earth: The Decade We Could Have Stopped Climate Change (Nathaniel Rich)

Say No to Plastic: 101 Easy Ways to Use Less Plastic (Harriet Dyer)

On Fire (Naomi Klein)

Time To Act (Christian Climate Action)

The Case for the Green New Deal (Ann Pettifor)

The Future We Choose: Surviving the climate crisis (Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac)

Climate Chaos and the Global Green New Deal (Noam Chomsky and Robert Pollin)

A Life on our planet (David Attenborough)

There are also books about the climate crisis from a specifically Christian perspective; these are a good place to start and a good example is the book mentioned above, under #LiveLent:

Saying Yes to Life (Ruth Valerio)

This was written as the Archbishop of Canterbury’s 2020 Lent book. Its theme is caring for creation and it uses the beginning of the book of Genesis as an outline, with a chapter dedicated to each of the ‘days’ of creation. Both extremely practical and also prayerful, it provides a wide-ranging overview of environmental and ethical issues in relation to light, water, land, seasons, creatures and human beings. Passages describing situations and responses from all around the globe make this a very informative book that expands horizons, and it is thought-provoking and challenging. Well worth re-reading every Lent I would think.

See also:

Renewing the Face of the Earth (David Atkinson)

Cherishing the Earth: How to care for God’s creation (Martin J Hodson and Margot R Hodson)

Creation in Crisis (ed. Robert S White)

Hope in God’s Future: Christian discipleship in the context of climate change (Joint Public Issues Team)

and the Grove booklets:

B50: The Earth is the Lord’s (Hilary Marlow)

E149: Caring for Creation (Stella Simiyu and Peter Harris)

E161: Uncovering Isaiah’s Environmental Ethics (Margot R Hodson)

E184: An Introduction to Environmental Ethics (Martin J Hodson and Margot R Hodson)

eD24: Changing the Climate (Adrian Brown)

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