I’m writing this week about the need to become truer to ourselves. The age old way that this has been exercised in the Christian Church has been through penance or confession. We cannot begin to desire to say sorry before we understand the impact that our wrongdoing has had on others or on the created world. When we realise the consequences of our action or non-action, we are able to renounce the wrongdoing, to ask for God’s help to repair the damage, to seek a new way forwards.
I cannot write about confession without thinking of the global context of our known world. Our relationship with creation is absolutely connected with our wellbeing and happiness. This prayer by Bishop Steven goes to the heart of this issue:
Creator of our common home,Rt Revd Steven Croft
You fill the earth and sea and sky with life
Forgive us our neglect of your creation
The choking waste of our pollution
The damage done by careless habits
And our indifference to future generations.
Help us to amend our lives
To refuse more plastic if we can’t reuse it
To lift our voice for lasting change
And to live well and gently on the earth
To the glory of your Son, the living Word
Through whom you made this fragile world.
Later this month, a new documentary on the life of the naturalist David Attenborough will be released in our cinemas. A book is being released at the same time as the film called, ‘A Life On Our Planet: My Witness Statement And Vision For The Future’. In his 94 years, Attenborough has visited every continent on the globe, documenting the living world in all its variety and wonder. He has said that the book records “some of the dreadful damage mankind has already wrought upon the natural world and the real and imminent danger that things could get much, much worse if we do not act now”.
David Attenborough has been, for me, someone who I have looked up to in my growing up. He has been a ‘confessor’ figure. I expect that he would blanch at the thought of being called a confessor! Many Christians have confessors as spiritual directors, someone who is able to objectively provide a moral base, a spiritual foundation. Attenborough, has, for me, acted like a moral compass, providing evidence of wonder and beauty, harm and degradation. But even in his nineties, he is still wanting to point the way to a more hopeful path. He is a realist. He shows me (and I suspect many others) a greater truth in myself and in the world in which I live and breath. What a wonderful life lived on our planet!
News from our link parish – St Chad’s, Taung, Kimberley & Kuruman Diocese, South Africa
We are trying our best in this difficult time. We are only trusting on our God to protect and bless us. It is very tough this side. Family members, colleagues or church members have passed on. Our healing rate is good at the moment. It is only painful if a young couple passed on and young children remain alone. Fr Khubeka is busy, especially with burials. His wife was sick but she is healthy now. Yes it is very cold and windy, temperatures dropping to -3 and we are not used to that one. We received 60% rainfall during the night. We thanked God because grass will start growing for animals. We are not yet ready to open church but I think it was a good plan by the archbishop to wait. Our archbishop is fighting and talking about this big corruption in our country. Poor people are the one who are suffering. President has started with investigations and we hope that culprits can be sentenced and pay back the money. We hope that one day this corona will disappear. Greet all at home. May God bless.
Coffee after Church
You are welcome to join us for a virtual coffee and a chat this Sunday at 11.30am. Please contact Clare for the invitation details:
Rainbow care networks
I hope that everybody feels included through the pastoral care network. If you read this and feel isolated or out of the loop, PLEASE contact me (details below) and I will get in touch immediately.
PCC Meeting this Sunday
Please pray for the PCC who will be discussing finances in the context of falling revenue due to Covid-19. We will also be reflecting on how the church managed during lockdown; what we could have done better and where God might be leading us as a community in the next months and years. Please consider these questions too. We will hope to share this exercise with a wider group in the near future.
God bless you and all of creation,