So loving the World
A District environmental initiative to encourage and support positive efforts to make a difference at a personal, Church and local level.
God so loved the world (John 3:16)
As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. (John 15:9)
I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. (John 13:34)
This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. (John 15:12)
Truly I tell you, just as you did it for one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it for me.(Matthew 25:40)
It is surely no longer an option for us to think about how we live our lives, and the effects we have on our neighbours, our brothers and sisters in all parts of the world. We are now being told that our actions, and the effects of our collective carbon footprints, really are having an effect on global warming. It would be possible for us, as the Church, to simply jump on this bandwagon, but may we suggest that there is a far deeper, more valid and sustainable reason why we, as a District of the Methodist Church, should encourage and promote a ‘greener lifestyle’. God so loves the world; everyone and everything that is part of our world. Jesus shows us of God’s love for us and asks us to respond to that love by being loving in return. The need to change is part of our faith and our discipleship and this includes our total lifestyle.
Are we really prepared to be judged as one of the most selfish and greedy generations of all time? Our present lifestyles are not only unsustainable in the long term, but they put at risk the lives and livelihoods of many throughout the world, as well as threatening the future for our children and our children’s children.
In the beginning God created (Genesis 1:1 NIV)
God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that i make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations.” (Genesis 9:12 NRSV)
You are not the only ones with whom the Lord is making this covenant with its obligations. He is making it with all of us who stand here in his presence today and also with our descendants who are not yet born.(Deuteronomy 29: 14,15. Good News)
Many of you will be able to think of other relevant passages of Scripture which may be used to make us reconsider and rethink our lives. If theology is what we do when we study, think and talk about God, this may lead us to the point of deciding that we need to do something.
However, spirituality is something that we do with our hearts; it is when we truly engage with God, and encourage God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, to breathe into us to the point when our hearts are warmed, and we want to change.
The very first thing we, as the ‘District Green Team’, would wish to support and encourage is a theological and spiritual journey of discovery of the love of God for the whole world, and our calling to be good stewards in the widest sense of the word.
We are challenged, in the light of the life of Christ, and with our present day knowledge, to consider how we interpret Genesis 1:28 “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.”
How can we, as a Church, make a difference?
Please pray, think about and discuss the possibilities of
Becoming an eco-congregation
Carrying out an energy audit for the premises
See how many of the personal changes above might be applied to the church and the premises
Make links with local environmental groups
Take part in local initiatives
Take a lead in starting local initiatives
Start a discussion group focused on “green” issues
Becoming actively involved with this district initiative
Start house groups to explore the theology and spirituality of â€œSo loving the world
Take opportunities to promote ‘So loving the world’ as a lifestyle appropriate for Christians in the 21st century.
Ten possible ideas – just one would be a very good start; more would be great.