Sunday, 4 October 2009

Settle Climate Change Day of Prayer

Well, we held the event and it went well. Now I can relax ..

We had a meaningful, varied and worthwhile day, with contributions from people of different denominations - people from 9 different churches were present (Not bad for a small town). I counted 40 people during the day.
  • Our town of Settle has 4798 people (made up of Settle 3044 and Giggleswick 1407 separated by the River Ribble, and Langcliffe up the road with 307) - or twice that when including surrounding villages. So that means we had a turnout of 1 in 100 or 1in 200.

Do you want to hear the variety of different things we did?

1. David Briggs, the minister at St John's Methodist Church opened with the Day of Prayer Introductory Prayer and prayers of his own. Then I played the first seven of the CD prayers with 1-2 minutes intervals between each.

2. Lunch:
- an opportunity for talking to and meeting people.
- an opportunity to fill in the two petitions
- 1. in support of the Prince's Rainforest project,
- 2. to Ed Miliband and Gordon Brown about Copenhagen.
- an opportunity to look at the children's prayers sent in by Giggleswick Primary School and Giggleswick Junior School. The people really appreciated these prayers.
Two pans of vegetable soup (Thanks Elizabeth Towers) and 36 rolls (Thanks Althea) sustained us. Plus a few baked potatoes. served by three valiant members of our church.

3. The DVD "Stations of the Forest" went down well. It is very moving. The video is only 15 minutes but it would be good to have a 1 1/2 hour session to discuss it - useful discussion notes. Maggie McSherry gave an informative introduction.
I now have a copy of the DVD if people would like to borrow it.

4. Huge paper footprints for America and tiny ones for Kerala in India were placed on the green carpet at the front of the church.

"Footprints in the Cosmos" - a short service led by Alistair Helm of Giggleswick Parish Church and Neil Kendra. England's footprints were very big too - It would take three worlds to provide resources if everyone in the world consumed as much as we do in Britain. (Just out of interest, we had a gentleman from Kerala at our church this morning, with his grandchild - visiting his daughter (who works at the nursing home in Settle) and son in law.)

4. Interval -
"Shake yourselves!" I said, "Shake hands with someone you don't know!"..
"And let's have a photoshot of everyone. Please." I ushered as many as would oblige to pose in front of the climate signs on the front door. ... "Thank you group!!!"

Actually that's three separate points - 4. It's good to get the blood circulating - 5. It's good to get to know people. and 6. maybe the photo will come in useful in publicising the issue of climate change..

7. Once inside again Maggie told us about the transport being arranged to the demonstration "The Wave" on the 5th December - both from Leeds+ Bradford and from Lancaster. Then she realised she would have to explain what "The Wave" is, and how Rowan Williams would be speaking at the church service beforehand.

8. Rodney Hooper reminded me to remind everyone about the Showing of "Age of Stupid" on Tuesday night. 6 Oct. Alison said there would be refreshments afterwards.

9. At some point - may be now - I showed people the book "Hope in God's Future" and explained how a friend is walking from Huddersfield to London in time for the wave, staying with Methodist's en route to publicise to Methodists about this report.

10. Alison Tyas gave us readings from the "A Quaker response to climate change", with some personal comments on some of them and time for reflection between others. She described how she had seen melting glaciers in Austria 40 years ago.. Scientist were beginning to record global warming then. Why had it taken us so long to act?

11. Now it was time for our "Settle Prayer Walk". Blessed with sunny weather, the participants set off in groups of 4 to 6 in different directions to visit one or two sites on the Settle Prayer Walk.
I was so glad it was fine. Being outside and experiencing the wonder of nature is half of what it's all about to me!.

12. Music and songs session.
I had been up late the previous evening printing out some copies of "Environment Praise 1" and "Environment Praise 2" - collections of songs and hymns about care of the environment that I have made -- but the printer kept jamming when I tried it back to back - and I wondered if the sound of my printer chugging away at midnight would go through the wall to my neighbour...

"You'll just have to get them to share copies" a friend said - "It's more intimate".

Some came back from the walk early keen to do the songs. I accompanied them one finger on the piano or to my piano accordion- and was really grateful that one lady could sing (sight reading) well and keep everyone else going. We sang five songs and read a couple of others.

13. Tea; chat; look at children's hymns. Look at the box of books for loan from the Eco-nite group and three people borrowed books. Most people left then.

14. The remnant, a dozen of us met for a short period of open prayer and silence.

As we started tidying away I played the next prayer on the cd.- The prayer of St Teresa of Avila (mp3)

We had a good day. thanks to everyone for coming. Perhaps we should have spent more time in prayer and in silence .. but why not listen now: Audio of prayers and readings


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