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Care for Creation - final version

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The editor of the Church of Ireland Gazette (paywall) asked me to write an article for the June edition on Care for Creation. I started an introductory article but I woke early one morning thinking it was just too bland. The Gazette needs to be a magazine of stimulating debate. So I started again. Here is the final version. If you'd like to read the first draft it's on the blog too it is Care for Creation draft 1,

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I’m sitting at my computer at 4 am. I had already drafted the article the Editor of the Gazette asked me to write to introduce Care for Creation. But I’ve just woken up in the middle of the night thinking ‘this has to change’, the Gazette needs to be a place of provocative debate and opinion.

Here is the one part of the original article I’m keeping:
Care for creation Why should we care for creation? As the Rev Dr Chris Wright puts it in his book, The Mission of God’s People,

"The Bible does not begin at Genesis 3 (or end at Revelation 20). You might thin…

Care for Creation - draft 1

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In an article in this week's Church of Ireland Gazette I refer to a first draft that I did not use. We'll, this is it.

Care for Creation Asuncion is a hot and steamy city, and January 2007 was no exception. Giant black thunder clouds towered above us, the warm large raindrops spotted the ground and moments later the torrential downpour began. The tropical storm was so intense the road between us and the school, where we worked as missionary teachers, was soon a fast-flowing torrent of dirty water.

The pools of water lay in hollows in the streets, in piles of sodden rubbish, and in the hollows of old tyres. In these humid pools mosquitoes bred. We had grown used to mosquitos, they had that high pitched buzz and irritating bite, but that April brought the ades aegypti mosquito and the epidemic of Dengue Fever, the first ever in Paraguay.

We tied up mosquito nets around our beds and made sure that each morning we sprayed ourselves and our children with repellant. Dengue Fever…

Speech on the Five Marks of Mission

Here is a short speech I gave at Church of Ireland General Synod 2019. I'll write up a longer blog post on my impressions of Synod and what happened at the Climate of Hope fringe event soon.

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I believe that the church needs to raise its voice in response to the climate crisis. 
You have seen the protests in the news – in March this year 1.5 million children took to the streets in the School Strike movement crying out for change.

Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old leader of the climate movement, said last month in the House of Parliament, "We children are doing this to wake the adults up. We children are doing this for you to put your differences aside and start acting as you would in a crisis. We children are doing this because we want our hopes and dreams back."

As a church, we need to Act Now and respond to this crisis.

We need to have a clear message and mission for the age of climate breakdown.

I am pleased to see the emphasis the Council of Mission has on the Five …

A fossil free Church of Ireland

Speech to General Synod on 17 May 2019,

I’d like to draw Synod’s attention to the investment performance in 2018 on pages 30 and 31. It was a difficult year but the RCB investment committee and staff must be thanked for their superb work on behalf of the church. The returns from invested funds help to support the mission and ministry of the church.

This reminds me that last year synod passed a motion to fully divest from all fossil fuels by 2022.

Actually, following that successful motion, a member of our Diocesan Council asked me how he could ethically invest his retirement lump sum. I told him that his investment manager could exclude unethical investments like fossil fuels. Six months later, he told me his investment manager had looked into it the options and was himself surprised to find out that green investment packages had performed better than traditional ones. He was going to recommend to other clients that they too should exclude fossil fuels.

New evidence produced by the …

Greta Thunberg should win the Nobel Peace Prize for 2019

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Today, hundreds of thousands of children are marching for a better future. They want immediate action on climate change and they understand how radical a change that needs to be.  The movement was started by a lone voice - Greta Thunberg - a sixteen-year-old from Sweden. She started the #Fridays4Future movement by leaving school each Friday to stand outside the parliament in Stockholm with a sign calling for climate action.

I proposed that she should be nominated for the Nobel Peace Price in February and just this week it was announced she was one of the nominees. If public pressure rises then she will win this prize - let's make it happen.


Dear Nobel Committee,

I’d like to nominate Greta Thurnberg for the Nobel Peace Prize 2019.

Her #schoolstrike4climate action will save millions of lives and reduce the suffering of millions more.@GretaThunberg@NobelPrize#Fridays4Future#climatestrikes#NobelPeacePrizepic.twitter.com/BiqtAf7cZS — Stephen Trew (@stephentrew) February 15, 2019