Chaplain’s  Musings – 19th April 2021

#SundaysForFuture2 (aka Eco Church)

Last week I invited you to participate, not only in a carbon footprint exercise, but also in a journey towards more harmonious and enriching lifestyle considerations.

I wonder if we could look at time differently and perhaps let that serve us in this conversation.

The immunologist Jonas Salk coined a phrase  – ‘Are we being good ancestors ?’

At St Catherine’s some of us have a cultural heritage where talk of ancestors comes more naturally, others may even have a negative reaction to the use of such a word. The Eco debates often focus on leaving a better world for ‘our children and grandchildren’. The question I quoted invites us to consider a different time scale altogether – one of hundreds and thousands of years, if not millions.

After all, the first use of fire by hominins was around 1.8 million years ago and the start of agriculture around 8000 years ago. What will be found by the geologists and palaeobiologists (if there still are any) in 8000 years time ? – plastics and also lead-207 (which is the end of the uranium-235 decay chain) would be my guess ?  As a species we have proved to be good historians but poor futurologists.

What I hope such a ‘deep time’ perspective might offer us here in the context of Eco Church aspirations and motivations is being able to move beyond and see beyond the distraction of short term political agendas and also agendas driven by panic. To invite instead a reappraisal of how we view our planet, the planet we call home and our place on it, fleeting though our own personal individual presence is in the context of ‘deep time’. To review how we live and live well in the light of such a reappraisal. And only then to begin to look at the question of ‘what steps can I take / what changes can I make…… ‘.

If the challenge of a fair and justice-based distribution of vaccines has stretched our understanding of geographical ‘good neighbourliness’ then the Eco Church challenge will stretch our ‘good neighbourliness’ across centuries and millennia.

There will follow an invitation for further discussion – possibly in the autumn, when we have the liturgical Creation Season which runs from Creation Day (first Friday in September each year – this year that falls on 03.09.21) to Harvest Celebration (whenever that is celebrated locally and for us is likely to fall on Sunday 10.10.21). The shape and form is likely to be around an hour, quite likely over Zoom and we can have as many of these as there are people interested.

What the Chaplaincy Council is working on in parallel – is how to make our Church and Anglican Centre more energy efficient and review again our own use of single use plastics in offering hospitality. (we had a big push on this a couple of years ago.)

Watch this space and register interest with Chaplain in the meanwhile.

Whether you were able to join us on Palm Sunday for the Passion Reading or not plans are developing for the next such event: Rogation – Sunday 9th May
We are looking for as many people as possible to contribute to this service (in advance) with ideas relating to sense of Place

Calling – Fellbach + Möhringen + Rohr + Bad Canstatt + Gerlingen + Sonnenberg + University + Kircheim am Teck + Ludwigsburg + City + Zuffenhausen + Stuttgart West + Giebel + Vaihingen + Bodelshausen + Süßen + Filderstadt + Wolfschlungen + Plienigen + Ostfildern + Wildberg + Nufringen + Sulzback + Reutlingen + Aidlingen + Remseck + Schwäbisch Gmünd + Ditzingen + Althütte….. or indeed anywhere !


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