Posted by: Postordinandy | February 23, 2010

Sustaining sustainability

Further to our conversation with Dave Bookless from A Rocha, we have been challenged to think about issues of environmental sustainability, particularly how the church affects and is affected by the same.

Despite the ongoing debates between those activists prophesying imminent environmental Armageddon, and those who deny any such possibility; the evidence that the lifestyle choices of humankind – especially those of us living in the ‘West’ – is unsustainable seems compelling.

As part of our engagement with Mike Frost’s Exilio course last year, some of us undertook an online ecological footprint test. It was quite a sobering experience. Even those of us who considered our lifestyle choices to be consciously eco-friendly were given a sharp shock when the number of earth’s we were ‘using’ was revealed to us.

It is thought that the average Westerner lives a life that would need 3 or more planet Earth’s to sustain them – if everyone else on the planet lived the same way. It does not take a great deal of theological reflection to conclude that this cannot be as God intended, nor can it last.

In the Western church, most of our public and private debates seem to centre on ethical and moral issues – sex and drugs and rock and roll. Yet, looking at the Gospel narratives, it can easily be argued that Jesus spoke more about the dangers of materialism than any other specific area of sin.

Dave, when he was with us, challenged us to look at our lifestyles and ask ourselves if our lives were in any significant way different to those around us. Little steps can make significant impact fairly quickly – eating less meat; thinking more about our clothing & travel choices; moderating our energy use & implementing conservation measures in our homes… all of these are manageable, even in London!

If we at St Luke’s cannot engage with this stuff, then we cannot expect others to. After all, we should find this issue stimulating and immediately applicable to our context.

The principles of the Farmers’ Market include issues of sustainability, ecological prudence and environmental impact.

Our values include the desire to be generous, transforming and responsive.

We exist to ‘hold out hope’, and therefore need to model lifestyle options that are both positive and plausible.

Please consider how you can help us in this area. Perhaps you could do the earth challenge here & share the results on this blog? Come and chat to us at the Farmers’ Market – see what else we are trying to do in this area and how you can join in.


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