The Parish Church of St Peter and St Paul Rustington
The Parish Church of St Peter and St Paul Rustington

Seasight                                                   

July & August 2020 Seasight
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Below are some articles which reproduce or expand upon items which have appeared in 'Seasight', the parish magazine.  The first of these from Mark Geldard now follows...

PARISH MAGAZINE: SEASIGHT (MARCH 2020)

GETTING WARMER!

Further reflections on some biblical principles that are important in shaping our attitudes to the environment:

RESPECT FOR THE CREATOR: THE EARTH IS THE LORD’S AND ALL THAT IS IN IT.

This is God’s creation.

In some sense (one that theologians define in different ways) all the great events and processes of creation – the big bang, the emergence and evolution of life – are God’s processes.

If we use a metaphor from the realm of art, we may say that the creation is God’s breathtaking masterpiece. To deface an artist’s paintings is to abuse the artist. So, to do damage to creation – to treat it carelessly, exploitatively – is to abuse its creator.

VICE REGENCY… STEWARDSHIP

The teaching of the Old Testament scriptures is that God made human beings in his own image so that they would be able to exercise ‘dominion over the earth’. However, we need to be careful with the linguistics at this point. Dominion here is not domination.  Dominion is not a right for human beings to do what they like with the earth. Indeed, Old Testament commentators have shown that the ‘human dominion over the earth’ spoken of in the Old Testament is, given the cultural context of the ancient Near East, actually most accurately understood as vice regency. That is, God calls humanity to manage the earth ‘for him’ - on his behalf.

In this sense, dominion very much synchronises with the traditional Christian concept of ‘responsible stewardship’. God calls the members of humankind to be good stewards of the planet – a responsibility that entails respect for all other living creatures and a careful use of all the earth’s precious resources. 

LOVE

At the heart of the Christian faith is the belief that God loves and cares for every member of the human family – whatever their race, religion, class or circumstances.

Furthermore, God calls us to share in and reflect that love in our concern for every person and community.

If a proper response is not made to the climate emergency, the cost in human terms will be incalculable – extreme weather events, famine, displacement, political tensions and aggression driven by dwindling resources. In the first place, the brunt of this suffering will be borne by the poor – indeed this is already happening.

THE IMPORTANCE OF HUMAN CREATIVITY

We have already seen that the scriptural understanding is that God made human beings in his image so that they could manage and care for the earth on his behalf. Old Testament scholars have made the point that human creativity is actually inherent in the task of managing the earth and its resources. For God’s earth by its very nature presents humankind with an almost infinite array of possibilities and opportunities - agricultural, scientific and technological, organisational, artistic… Human creativity – in the broadest and truest sense that embraces everything from land management and engineering to arts and crafts – is part of our calling. God has created the world in such a manner that when air is pushed through a pipe in a certain way what comes out is music.

As the world faces a climate crisis, Christians should be in the forefront of those who are seeking to pioneer better ways of relating to the material world.

Our relationship to the material world needs, I believe, to embrace these four principles.

MARK GELDARD

The church building is open weekdays from 10am-12pm. Sunday services have resumed at new times, and remain streamed on Youtube.

Services Sunday:

9am Holy Communion

10.30am Holy Communion

(Streamed on YouTube.) 

Wednesday 11am Holy Communion (Traditional Language.)

Booking required for all services in church. 

Also on Sunday:  Exclusively on Facebook- Family Worship at 5pm.  

SAFEGUARDING

Click on the above heading to view the various govern-ing Policies

St Peter & St Paul is a registered charity: Number 1133812

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