What You'll Need
Introduction (5 minutes)
Ask the Question(s) (10-15 minutes)
Explain that during the workshop we will be exploring the concept of life in all its fullness, the story of Creation, and our visions for a sustainable world. Draw a circle onto a big piece of paper, and split it into three sections labelled individual, community and global.
- What do you think ‘life in all its fullness’ means at the levels of the individual, community and global in terms of the environment? Examples might be: Individual (access to basic necessities like shelter/water/food, emotional and spiritual well-being, sense of connection to the land), Community (co-operative ways of working, equal distribution of resources, green spaces for people to meet, good public transport systems), Global (healthy population levels of species, sustainable/renewable energy, ethical global food production and distribution).
- What prevents ‘life in all its fullness’ at the different levels? (write answers in a different colour). Examples might be: Individual (fear, threat to life, feeling disconnected, consumerism), Community (conflict over resources, pollution, short-sighted politics), Global (climate change, extinction of species, over-consumption of natural resources).
Explore the Issue(s) (20 minutes)
Let us make humankind in our image. Look at Genesis 1:26-31. What do you understand by the idea of being made in the image of God? How can we express this in our relation to creation and the environment?
Sabbath. Look at Genesis 2:1-3. The seventh day is also known as the Sabbath, or in the Jewish tradition the Shabbat. In the Torah, the Shabbat is as much a cessation from exploitation as about rest and reflection: “Six days shall you accomplish your activities, and on the seventh day you shall stop, so that your ox and donkey can rest, and the son of your servant and the stranger can recover their soul.” (Shemot 23:12). What does the concept of Sabbath/Shabbat mean to you? How might the concept of Sabbath/Shabbat relate to our stewardship of the earth?
Invite the Response (30 minutes)
- What are the pathways towards attaining your visions?
- What needs to happen in your own lives, in the life of our society, and in the life of the government, to bring about the changes you want to see?
Closing the Session (5 minutes)
- Invite a speaker from Friends of the Earth www.foe.org.uk, Christian Ecology Link www.christianecology. org.uk or Camp for Climate Action www.climatecamp.org.uk.
- Go for a walk or pilgrimage as a group to appreciate God’s creation, intersperse your walk with prayers, poetry and readings.
- Use Christian Ecology Link’s Eco-Cell resources to explore discipleship and the environment.
- Soil and Soul by Alistair McIntosh
- Christianity, climate change and sustainable living by Nick Spencer & Robert White
- A Handbook in Theology and Ecology by Celia Deane-Drummond
- Climate and Christ: the Prophetic Alternative by Edward P Echlin