Rector’s Letter from September 2019 Church Magazine

Dear friends,

Unpredictable is the word that I have heard used most often to describe this summer’s weather. Some parts of the UK have had the hottest days on record, while others have experienced hailstones and torrential rain. Here in Dunblane we have not known from day to day what to expect, making the planning of any outing very difficult. Unfortunately, this is something we’re going to have to get used to as Climate Change start to affect our lives. In addition to the weather, we’re seeing changes in the landscape and even in the behaviour of our wildlife. More is to come but the impact on us is nothing compared with that suffered by millions of the world’s poorest people. For them, extreme weather patterns mean hunger, conflict and a very uncertain future.

This year, as summer turns to autumn and we prepare once more to give God thanks for the harvest, we will have the opportunity to think and pray about what we have done to our planet and together take action to make a difference. St Mary’s has been an Eco Congregation for many years. Our new steering group has been busy over the summer checking up on different areas of our life as a church, including our worship, our use of our grounds, how we recycle in the hall and our awareness of local and global issues. John and Rosemary Hamilton have clearly labelled all our bins and, over the next few months, will be keeping an eye on how much single-use plastic we throw out. Moira Langston will contribute a regular column in our church magazine, drawing our attention to various issues and initiatives. Alyson (a staff member at St Mary’s School as well as a member of the congregation) is looking forward to working with her pupils on an A-Z booklet of recycling opportunities to be widely distributed in Dunblane. Young Church and Messy Church are intending to get involved too and develop their own projects. There are plans afoot to create shelters for the wild birds, animals and insects in our church grounds and our gardens and to join with other churches in Dunblane and Bridge of Allan to use art to raise awareness during National Recycling Week. And on the last Sunday of this month, our teenagers have invited the young people of St Blane’s to join them to lead an evening of worship on the theme of Care for Creation to which we are all invited.

If you would like to get involved with any of these initiatives or have an idea to share with the Eco Congregation group, please contact us on eco @ stmarysdunblane.org. With God’s help we can all, young and old, get involved in some way.

With love,

Nerys

…a prayer by Martyn Goss of the Diocese of Exeter:

Creator God – maker and shaper of all that is, seen and unseen;
You are in the expanse and depth of Creation,
and in the processes that make life possible.
Yet we are distracted by the gods we make ourselves
and our lives become fractured and fragmented.
In our brokenness we disturb the Earth’s capacity to hold us.
Instead we find climate uncertainty and global injustice.
Call us back from the brink.
Help us to choose love not fear,
to change ourselves and not the planet;
to act justly for the sake of the vulnerable;
and to make a difference today for life tomorrow.
In your name – Father, Son and Spirit. Amen.