Counting on… day 379

15th November 2022

One subject of focus at COP27 today is energy. 

Do not say to yourself, “My power and the might of my own hand have gotten me this wealth.” But remember the Lord your God, for the same it is who gives you power to get wealth, so that the Lord God may confirm the covenant that sworn to your ancestors, as he is doing today. Deuteronomy 8:17-18

We pray for all the participants,

the decision-makers and the protestors,

the bureaucrats and the prayerful,

influencers and bankers,

shareholders and investors,

for producers and consumers.

May they recognise and understand 

the need to produce only clean energy,

to ensure fair and equal access for all,

and to use energy wisely and in moderation.

Loving and patient God,

may your will be done.

Amen.

If we are called to beat swords into plough shares,  

we are also called to turn military jobs into green ones.

If we seek to establish peace,

we must generously offer both love and practical gifts. 

If we shift from passive to active travel, from cars to cycles,

we shall need cycle paths and secure shelters.

If we replace petrol engines with electric motors, 

we must also turn petrol stations into recharging points.

If we swop meats for a vegan diet, 

we must also turn beef farms into arable farms,

sheep fells into woodlands,

dairies into nut fromageries.

If we switch to green electricity,

our pension funds must invest in renewable energy.

If we green our pensions, 

surely we will green our banks too.

Creator God, help us to see the changes we must make,

Give us the wisdom to support them, 

the energy to achieve them 

and the joy to celebrate them.

Amen.

Counting on… day 376

12th November 2022

At COP27 it is Adaptation and Agriculture Day.

We stand at a tipping point, O God,

teetering between life and death:

Shall we fall or rise?

“Chose life!” 

Shall we retreat into our shells, bury our heads in the sand:

Or shall we step forth into a new age of sustainability?

“Chose life!”

Shall we ignore the science, hide ourselves in the trappings of consumerism:

Or shall we openly embrace renewable lifestyles?

“Chose life!”

Shall we pointlessly mourn the loss of polar bears and elephants, bees and butterflies:

Or shall we live our lives so that all may live?

“Chose life!”

Shall we fly to the ends of the earth while ice sheets melt:

Or value the future by enjoying what is local?

“Chose life!”

Shall we disregard floods and droughts, storms and heat waves, as seasonal blips:

Or acknowledge them as already-present signs of climate change?

“Chose life!”

Shall we close our ears to cries of help from farmers and islanders as their lands disappear:

Or shall we join voices in calling for justice?

“Chose life!”

Holy God,

Prompt us and urge us, encourage and propel us,

to now change our life styles so that all may have life and live!

Amen.

Counting on … day 373

9th November 2022 

“Germany wants to help Kenya get from 90% renewables to 100%, its BMZ development ministry says. The two countries have announced a partnership at Cop27, with the details to be fleshed out in December. After Kenya’s power needs are met, it can use the electricity to make green hydrogen, BMZ said. ” Climate Home News

On the agenda today at COP27 is finance. Money is crucial if the world is to shift to a net zero economy.

We pray for all the participants,

the decision-makers and the protestors,

the bureaucrats and the prayerful.

May they have the courage 

and the humility to make right decisions.

May they look beyond the short term 

to the long term well being of life on earth. 

May they seek a climate solidarity pact 

not a collective suicide pact.*

May they recognise in each other 

their own brothers and sisters. 

May they understand the importance 

of a family that stays together.

Loving and patient God,

may your will be done.

Amen.

* UN Secretary General Antonio Guterre

Counting on … day 372

8th November 2022 

https://www.greenstories.org.uk/anthology-for-cop27/cop27-attendees/monday-7th-november/ This website has specially written stories that envisage who the future world  could be. Fictional but hopeful.

Prayer for COP27

Teach them to your children, talking about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land that the Lord swore to your ancestors to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth. Deuteronomy 11: 19-22

We pray for all the participants,

the decision-makers and the protestors,

the bureaucrats and the prayerful,

influencers and bankers,

for producers and consumers.

May the agreements and the pledges that are made this week

bring justice and confidence,

safety and security for all.

May they seek solidarity and cooperation above all else.

May all that is pledged, be honoured and enacted 

for the wellbeing of our world and our futures.

Loving and patient God,

may your will be done.

All: Amen. 

Prayers for Creation 

Friday 15th July 2022

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life. Proverbs 11:30a

You Lord, are the source of all good things: 

We praise you.

You call us to tend and care for your creation: 

May we strive to do your will.

You have made us as brothers and sisters with all that lives: 

May we live together in peace.

A reading: As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease. Genesis 8:22

An acorn is a comical thing

with a little hat that could be a cup.

Its pointed tip – that could be its bottom – 

is not going to drill its way into the earth. 

It waits for the rook or the squirrel 

to snaffle it and bury it deep in the soil, 

where after hours of dark contemplation 

it will emerge as a slip of a thing, 

with rusty red leaves that unfold into green.

An oak’s life starts in a very small way.

Lord God, in small and even comical ways, 

let our faith grow. 

From small beginnings help us sow 

seeds that will transform your world.

A reading: Isaiah 41:19-20

 I will put in the wilderness the cedar, the acacia, the myrtle, and the olive;
I will set in the desert the cypress, the plane and the pine together, so that all may see and know, all may consider and understand, that the hand of the Lord has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it.

Rooted together in community, 

colonising land that might otherwise be void, 

trees are not loners. 

Companions they support each other, 

neighbours that support others, 

forming delicate ecosystems 

where life is in the balance. 

Lord God, let our faith 

create neighbours and communities.

Rooted in togetherness, 

may your kingdom come.

Reading: He said, “Out of the eater came something to eat; Out of the strong came something sweet.” Three days later they had still not figured out what the riddle meant. Judges 14:14

Ancient oak, 

wrinkled and gnarled, 

gnawed at by time, 

even in death you provide safe lodging 

and sustenance for others. 

With grace you return to the earth 

the nourishment you harvested: 

a life time of receiving and giving.

Lord God, let our faith 

nourish generations to come 

just as we gain from those who have gone before. 

May the power of the resurrection 

sustain us with eternal life.

Amen.

The Grace

Prayers for Creation 

Friday 8th July 2022

As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God. Psalm 42:1

You Lord, are the source of all good things: 

We praise you.

You call us to tend and care for your creation: 

May we strive to do your will.

You have made us as brothers and sisters with all that lives: 

May we live together in peace.

A reading: Exodus 3:1-7 

Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed. Then Moses said, ‘I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.’ When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, ‘Moses, Moses!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ Then he said, ‘Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.’ He said further, ‘I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. Then the Lord said, ‘I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings…’

 

Great and awesome God, 

keeper of promises

and steadfast in love, 

We lay before you the sorrows of the world:

Soldiers and civilians killed in war, 

the random shooting of holiday makers, 

mountaineers killed as glaciers collapse, 

lives lost in floods and heatwaves.

Lord have mercy: 

and hear our prayer.

Great and awesome God, 

keeper of promises

and steadfast in love, 

We lay before you the sorrows of the world:

Rivers drained by drought, 

glaciers and ice caps carved away by heat, 

burning tundra and wild fires,  

coral reefs bleached by heat stress.

Lord have mercy: 

and hear our prayer.

Great and awesome God, 

keeper of promises

and steadfast in love, 

We lay before you the sorrows of the world:

Livelihoods gone because of rising fuel prices, 

harvests lost as rainfall diminishes, 

futures destroyed by armed conflict,  

lives lost through lack of vaccines.

Lord have mercy: 

and hear our prayer.

Great and awesome God, 

keeper of promises

and steadfast in love, 

We lay before you the sorrows of the world:

Wildlife made homeless by forest clearance, 

migrating birds dying from heat exhaustion, 

bees and butterflies poisoned by pesticides, 

marine ecosystems decimated by over fishing.  

Lord have mercy: 

and hear our prayer.

Holy and loving God, 

comfort us when we are overwhelmed, 

reassure us when we feel helpless, 

inspire us when we lack hope 

and empower us when we can make a difference.

Amen

The Grace

Midday Prayers for the Climate: 

Friday 25th March

Happy are those  who do not follow the advice of the wicked… They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season,  their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper. Psalm 1:1a,3

You Lord, are the source of all good things: 

We praise you.

You call us to tend and care for your creation: 

May we strive to do your will.

You have made us as brothers and sisters with all that lives: 

May we live together in peace.

A Reading: Isaiah 35:1-7 

The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendour of Carmel and Sharon;
they will see the glory of the Lord, the splendour of our God. Strengthen the feeble hands,
steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come, will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.”

Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs.
In the haunts where jackals once lay, grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.

Each Friday during Lent we will focus on a different continent; this week Africa. 

Africa is sometimes nicknamed the “Mother Continent” due to its being the oldest inhabited continent on Earth. Humans and human ancestors have lived in Africa for more than 5 million years. Africa has eight major physical regions: the Sahara, the Sahel, the Ethiopian Highlands, the savanna, the Swahili Coast, the rain forest, the African Great Lakes, and Southern Africa. Some of these regions cover large bands of the continent, such as the Sahara and Sahel, while others are isolated areas, such as the Ethiopian Highlands and the Great Lakes. Each of these regions has unique animal and plant communities. Equally diverse are the many ethnic groups and tribes – running into thousands – that each have their own culture, language, religion and heritage.

Glory to God 

Creator of rivers and deserts:

We praise you for the Nile, and the fertility it brings,

We praise you for the Sahara and the ingenuity of plants and animals 

that bring their own richness of life. 

Glory to God, 

Creator of mountains and valleys:

We praise you for the Ethiopian Highlands and the depths of the Rift Valley, for the snowy peak of Kilimanjaro and for the grandeur of the Victoria Falls – Mosi-oa-Tunya “ The Smoke That Thunders”

Glory to God

Creator of grasslands and savannahs:

We praise you for the animals of the plains – antelope and elephant, wildebeest and lion;

We praise you for the baobab tree, the acacia and the humble thorn tree.

Glory to God, 

Creator of flora and fauna:

We praise you for the 20,000 plants species of the Southern Cape; 

We praise you for the diversity of  Africa’s wildlife 

and marvel at the tenacity of the 150 species of migrating  birds.

Merciful God,

Creator of human kind, 

Forgive us for the destruction of Africa’s rainforest,  4% lost annually. 

Forgive our greed that destroys its rich diversity in favour of logging and mining, 

and monoculture farming in the pursuit of cut-price coffee and cocoa.

Merciful God,

Creator of our brothers and sisters:

Forgive the casualness with which we ignore their plight when faced with war and conflict, 

their poverty  when corporate greed takes away their livelihoods 

and their hunger when climate change decimates their crops.

Merciful God, 

Creator of climates and seasons,

Forgive our foolishness that creates both drought and flood.

Forgive our greed that pumps out evermore carbon dioxide 

and continues to destroy our carbon sinks.

Guiding God,

Source  of all wisdom, 

Transform our hearts and minds, turn the direction of our hands and feet 

so that with alacrity and commitment we will reform our lives 

and live only in harmony with your creation. 

Amen.

The Grace