Session 1: ‘Loving God, Caring for Creation: An Afternoon with Ruth Valerio’
4 March, Oxford, 2:30 pm – 5:00 pm
Too late! But we had a great time with Ruth, hearing her story and learning about Eco-Church. Make sure that you don’t miss the rest of the sessions …
Session 2: Creation Care: Theology, Spirituality and Mission’
29 April, St Michael at the North Gate Parish Room, Oxford, 10:00 am -1:00 pm 6 May, St Laurence, Reading, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Why do we care about creation? How do we ground creation care in our spiritual life? And how do we help others in our churches see creation care as part of our mission? Morning speakers will introduce different theological perspectives on creation care … then (Reading only) we’ll have a ‘taster’ session and workshops about spiritual disciplines relating to creation care (eg pilgrimage, prayer, sabbath).
In the late morning (Oxford) or afternoon (Reading), we’ll look in greater depth at our churches’ mission. In many churches there are people passionate about creation care. But how do we speak to more than a small group? Drawing on theology and on communications work by Climate Outreach and others, we’ll explore ways of speaking and taking action that help to engage communities and talk in groups about our own churches’ mission needs and priorities, and where creation care might fit.
Session 3: Creation Care and Work with the Wider Community
20 May, Wesley Memorial Methodist Church, Oxford, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Our care for creation offers opportunities for us to show our love for God in how we ‘practise what we preach’ in our churches and how we engage more closely with our community. In the morning, we’ll join with local community groups to focus on work together: Who are the groups in our area? What are they doing? What would community groups like to see from the churches? What do churches have to offer?
The afternoon will be led by Jo Musker-Sherwood of Hope for the Future. Hope for the Future is doing groundbreaking work on how churches can develop constructive relationships with local councillors and MPs to have positive discussions on local and wider environmental issues.
Now being offered only in Oxford; we hope to offer a day in Reading in the Autumn.
Session 4 ‘Buildings, Grounds & the Big Picture’
8 July, Wesley Memorial Methodist Church, Oxford, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
In the morning, we’ll have a festival of opportunities, with representatives from denominational bodies in charge of buildings regulation, as well as churches and consultants that can answer questions about everything from renewable energy and energy efficiency to wildlife-friendly churchyards.
In the afternoon, we’ll have time for a bring-and-share lunch and look at the ‘Big Picture’ – how might each of our churches fit all the different questions – mission, worship, outreach, buildings & grounds – together? Where can we find help moving forward?