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Letter from our Vicar-June 2017

Dear Friends

Here we are in flaming June!  It feels really odd to write that as in ‘real time’ I’m looking out the window at pouring May!  Of course I don’t know what the weather will be like for you reading this; it might be pouring June as well, for all I know!

Having written about the weather last month, here I am again after what turned out to be just about the driest April on record.  But everything seems to be growing well so maybe we’ll have a ‘normal’ summer this year.  But now, every unusual piece of weather makes us think about global warming.  Is it possible that our unusual weather has been the result of our actions or was it just a fluke?

Well, the atmosphere is amazingly unpredictable, and strange weather does happen, but it really isn’t your imagination; we are seeing more of this type of weather.  And that’s not all.  Spring has been getting earlier and average temperatures have been increasing steadily over several years now.  Global warming really is happening and this is almost certainly the result of more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere; more carbon dioxide from our activities!

Now that’s the science but what’s the Christian perspective on all this?  There are people who blame Christianity for the problem.  It’s all the fault of Genesis, they say, which tells us to go out and subjugate the world.  Even though Genesis was around long before Christianity appeared, we ought to be clear just what it does say.

The key passage is in chapter one and it does tell us to ‘have dominion’ over other living creatures.  But this follows immediately after the passage describing humans as made in the image of God.  Our dominion over creation is to reflect God’s rule; we’re not free agents here, we’re God’s agents.

The key idea is that of stewardship.  In the same way as the owner of a large house might appoint a steward to look after things, God appoints us as stewards of the earth.  A steward can make use of the items in his care but they must be replaced.  A steward who ate all the food and drank all the wine but didn’t stock up again wouldn’t last long in his job!

But as stewards of our world, we’ve not done very well.  By demanding so much energy, therefore burning so much fossil fuel, we’ve turned up the thermostat.  Parts of the house are going to become so hot and dry they will be uninhabitable.  The ice in the freezers will melt and flood other parts of the house.  Perhaps it really is time we remembered our duties as stewards.

So start looking at your use of energy and see how you can reduce it.  This really is part of your duty as a Christian.  Think how God wants his world to be looked after.  You can find more about all this at

www.gloucester.anglican.org/parish-resources/environment-rural-life 

It’s worth a look.

God Bless

Rev Mike


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