Pastoral Letter September 2020

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For the gifts of Creation, thanks be to God

During September, a number of Anglican churches mark the season of Creationtide. This is a time when we renew our relationship with our Creator God and all God’s creation through celebration, and appreciation of the gifts of nature and the beauty of our world. We remember with thanks how God created the world and continues to sustain everything in it. We also think about how humankind was given the task to ‘steward’ the earth. We were told to look after it and nurture it, and we consider what sort of a job we’re doing.

It is easy to look around the beautiful North Yorkshire countryside in which we are so lucky to live, and overlook the fact that there is something seriously wrong with the climate and the weather. This year we’ve seen a number of extreme weather events. As I write, storm Francis is making its presence felt unseasonably early. This follows the extreme heat wave in early August, followed by further torrential rain. Climate scientists are telling us that we should expect this variability and these more frequent occurrences of extreme weather events to become more common. Whether you believe that climate change is man-made or simply the result of sun spots or natural changes in our weather, most experts now agree it is indisputable that the climate is changing, and these changes will have serious negative effects for most of the planet.

The coronavirus pandemic this year has demonstrated vividly the way in which the whole world is connected, and that decisions we make locally or nationally have the potential to affect the entire planet sooner or later. We can’t take a purely local view on climate change.

We have been encouraged to eat less and move more for our own health and to help us resist coronavirus. The good news is that as well as making us physically fitter, consuming less and walking or cycling where possible instead of using the car benefits the planet, along with our waistlines and our mental health.

If you’d like resources to help you pray and reflect during the season of Creationtide, there are resources available via the diocese of Leeds website here.

More prayers and resources will be added during Creationtide, so keep checking the website.

In the meantime here is a short prayer for creation to pray at home.

Holy God, earth and air and water are your creation,
and every living thing belongs to you:
have mercy on us as climate change confronts us.
Give us the will and the courage to simplify the way we live,
to reduce the energy we use,
to share the resources you provide,
and to bear the cost of change.
Forgive our past mistakes
and send us your Spirit,
with wisdom in present controversies
and vision for the future to which you call us
in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

With every blessing

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