Earth Be Glad
Earth be Glad is the umbrella title given to work at St John’s in developing environmentally responsible living. The environmental crisis is the biggest challenge facing humanity today and poses a huge challenge to our faith, theology and lifestyles. At St John’s, we are engaging with this challenge is a number of ways, co-ordinated by our Green Ginger Group.
Since St John’s became an award-winning Eco-Congregation, the Green Ginger group has co-ordinated a wide range of environmental activities at St John’s. The focus of the group is on ‘gingering’ (hence the name) individual members of our congregation as well as those responsible for making decision making in the church. That is to say the group does not exist to do the work for people, but to encourage them to find ways of living responsibly and more sustainably for themselves.
What we’ve been up to
Notes from 2016 Meetings
8 January 2016
Plans are already taking shape for Creationtide 2016. Our theme will be “The Re-wilding of Edinburgh”. Expect there to be some walk-abouts where we look and appeciate the wild spaces already in the West End, and what can be done to crease them. This will be in September.
Past Green Ginger Activities…
Send a postcard to help remind, nudge, persuade, support and encourage all our decision-makers and opinion-formers as they face up to the environmental crisis. We have started a sustained campaign, with several designs of card, an address list, and some suggested messages. Do send lots of cards. If any other congregation would like to join in, please contact the St John’s Church Office. This sort of enterprise needs a high volume of traffic sustained over a long period. but then it can make a difference. Consider Amnesty International, for example. So far replies have been received from David Cameron’s office and from Alex Salmond’s office.
All through Lent the focus of the readings and sermons at the 10.30 Eucharist service has been the Book of Jonah. His despair, his warnings to the city of Niniveh, the King’s penitential response, and God’s decision to save the city struck us as a compelling text on which to meditate, in the light of the environmental crisis. Check out the sermons for some thought-provoking and challenging inspiration.
On Mothers’ Day flowers were given out, in a colourful and affectionate tradition, during the Peace at Eucharist. We also gave out wildflower seed, from Scotia Seeds, packaged (with instructions) by our new Biodiversity Action Group. We hope that, this summer, Edinburgh will have a few more wild-flower beds and window boxes, to the benefit of insects and the delectation of passers by. Watch out for photos in due course.
The Green Ginger Group decided to start acting with a higher level of intensity. It was decided to apply the Lenten messages of sin, repentance, metanoia and redemption specifically to environmental issues. At the same time a programme of talks was put together. You can read more about all this on the EarthBeGlad blog:
Murals addressing contemporary issues relating to justice and peace have appeared at St John’s for many years. They are intended to provoke discussion and a response from passers-by on Princes Street. The murals are painted by Artists for Justice and Peace and planned by a small group including the Rector and Associate Rector of St John’s.
You can see more murals, videos and make comments at our dedicated Facebook page.