Clergy letter for October
I’m writing this on a warm, sunny, afternoon, but it’s clear that summer has now turned to autumn. To be honest, autumn has never been my favourite season but last year, during lockdown, I began to appreciate the vibrant autumn colours of the leaves and, later, the shape of the bare branches silhouetted against the sky.
This month, in most of our churches, we are preparing to celebrate our Harvest Festivals; a time to give thanks for God’s provision. However, we know that many in our world are less fortunate than us.
During September we have been focussing on creation – celebrating the wonderful world that God has created for us to enjoy. In Genesis 1: 26, we read of God creating human beings, “Then God said, let us make humankind in our own image , in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock , over all the earth.”
In the past the idea of “ruling over” may have been taken too literally, leading to the exploitation of the earth and its resources. Instead, we are called to be stewards; to care for our world and for the creatures and people who live in it in a way that reflects God’s nature; his love and compassion.
We are increasingly aware of the problem of climate change and of the fact that this crisis has the greatest impact on those who already live in poverty. This year, our Harvest giving will go to Tearfund for their work in Burkina Faso where more than 80% of the population depend on agriculture to make a living – and where one in ten people face hunger.
Tearfund is teaching new farming techniques, investing in livestock and providing clean water. In addition, they are running Bible studies that help people to understand God’s plan for creation, to encourage them and renew their hope.
May we be willing to do all we can to answer God’s call to care for our neighbours and for all creation.