Weekly Reflection – Protecting Creation

17 June 2022

Father Tim

We have a new Eco group at the cathedral!

Kiran, Sue, Mark and I have been meeting over the last couple of months to get our heads around the challenge of lowering our carbon footprint at the cathedral and how we can fulfil the mission of being active in loving creation. Next Wednesday, at our Cathedral Community Meeting, Sue will talk to the congregation a bit more about our thoughts and plans. It’s certainly not an exclusive group, we welcome the input of others in the cathedral, as it is something which concerns us all. We have already had input from Chris Fowler who has given very helpful thoughts and been a friend to the group.

I am currently writing, as part of my further study, an essay on ‘What is a Priest?’. You may think that an ordained priest should have this figured out, but as is probably the case for most curates, it is an ongoing process of trying to understand more fully the role and identity of a priest. I found Bishop Graham Tomlin’s thoughts very helpful in getting to grips with the understanding of ‘calling’. He begins with describing God calling creation into being, as described in the account of Genesis.

Why did God create? Tomlin suggests it was for no other reason than joy. Gustavo Gutierrez in his excellent commentary on Job also says that God, as illustrated in his conversations with Job, created gratuitously, without good reason, other than as the psalms tell us, for the joy of praising God. I think that all subsequent callings such as God’s call for humanity to have responsibility within creation and the Church’s call out of humanity to work with Christ for the reconciliation of all things, are in line with that original calling of Joy. Archbishop Stephen Cottrell says that it “is not the role of priests to do all the ministry to make sure that all the ministry gets done!” Hence that is why we have an Eco Team. Our Eco Team is engaged in the deep call of the Church which relates to the original joyful call of creation.

You may think that’s a bit over the top but I believe that grasping the size of the call that each of us has is really the motivating factor in getting involved in such things as Eco Groups and so on. Maybe you’re thinking “well there isn’t much joy about when we hear of all that is wrong with the world and creation now”, that it is more about destruction rather than joyful participation. I would encourage you to look up Pslam 100 and afterwards engage in this little prayer below that reminds us, that in the midst of despair, we can still rely on the calling and promises of God.

Our Confidence,
O God, our life,
Is that your joy,
Bursting everywhere through the fabric
Of the greening world
Is greater than all our walled -up fear,
Our anger,
Our tired despair.


With Blessings
Father Tim

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