[The editorial for May has been written by Ann Collier. Thank you Ann, for taking time during you busy schedule to write this article]
By the time this article reaches you it will be nearly a year since Richard Buckley and Sylvia retired. We have missed them greatly but are pleased that they live not too far away so that we can occasionally visit and see them!
As a Church we are all working hard to keep the church functioning and living up to its mission of welcoming the stranger and spreading Christ's Gospel of love.
With this in mind I would like to thank, on behalf of Wentworth Church, all the many people who are doing such a wonderful job at this difficult time. Interregna are never easy times for any church and ours is no exception. There are always problems of one sort or another and again our church is not exempt from these either. But then life itself is full of problems isn't it? Sorry, I forgot, we don't have problems any more these days, do we? We have 'challenges'! To me the two seem very similar!
However challenges are to be tackled and solved. I would like to thank the large team of voluntary helpers who are daily endeavouring to resolve difficulties and who are working hard to keep our church functioning so efficiently. It is difficult to name anyone, but I would like to single out Redz Fingado who works so tirelessly to keep not only our church services going but for all the other things he does as well. The Church Wardens too, like Redz, are never still and endlessly tackle the many things to be done, along with the Standing Committee and the P.C.C. members, many of whom put in hours of work on our behalf, and also congregation members who work so diligently doing jobs quietly and inconspicuously. Bravo to all concerned and dare I say "Encore"?!! We have to keep the momentum going! There is no light at the end of the tunnel yet!
We realise, as we face challenges together, how important it is to bury any of the minor differences we may all have, in order to forge ahead for the good of the Church in the spirit of love, trust and friendship that makes for a welcoming outward looking and sympathetic House of God. It is vital that we do not lay down the baton just as our church needs us, so also does the World need people to care for it and to protect it from harm. As Christians we are called to love our neighbours as ourselves; which may involve sacrifice, understanding and a willingness to see beyond our own four walls, beyond our immediate community, beyond our country and our continent.
Bearing these thoughts in mind I was delighted to read in the Yorkshire Post (March 22nd 2014) of the debate about to take place within the Women's Institute of North Yorkshire entitled "W I Great Food Debate". With an ever increasing world population and climate change increasing the likelihood of floods, droughts, storms and other disturbances, shortages of food and fresh water are problems that world leaders, scientists, engineers and indeed all of us should be considering and planning for NOW, not when it's too late to do anything about it. Nine billion people will need a lot of food and water and they will also need some ground on which to live. With the strong probability of less land available for the fulfilment of these activities the challenge before us is very great indeed; as climate change will probably leave us with less functional land available. Very careful planning, scientific ingenuity and creativity is going to be necessary to meet these situations. With the gifts that God has given us and his inspiration to guide us, I am sure it can be solved. However we must remember the wise virgins who had oil in their lamps so that they were ready for future challenges.
Climate change has been on the global agenda for a very long time and it has had many sceptics. I was interested to notice the other day, in my late husband's bookcase an old book entitled "Climate change and World Agriculture", which quoted research from the early 1980's. The recent report of the IPCC (the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) published at the end of March 2014 should really make us all sit up and at last take their findings seriously. I quote the opening paragraph from the Financial Times on the report: "The most comprehensive study of the impact of climate change in seven years has found an ill-prepared world that is already suffering from effects evident across the oceans and on all continents, including on regions growing crucial food crops." The most notable effects have been on the natural environment , with the extinction of a small number of species, the acidification of the oceans and melting glaciers. Two of the world's most important food crops, wheat and maize, have already been adversely affected globally. We have ourselves all witnessed the flooding this winter in our own country. What is more worrying is the increasing number of storms and floods that have occurred in the country in recent years. There are opportunities of coping with climate change but we apparently need to start implementing them now, not in the future.
This topic may seem a strange one for a church magazine. However as a church we have to act responsibly and be aware of the world around us. Poor countries are the most likely ones to suffer the most from climate change. As Christians we have a duty to protect the weak and the poor. "Social Justice is one of the crucial aspects of Christianity." I quote from an article in the Church Times (23 /11 / 13) by the Revd. Rachel Mann.
It all seems to be such a big task it seems beyond us. However we can all do something. We can recycle our waste, we can write to our M.P.s about the importance of taking action in the light of IPCC's report, we can discuss the issues and most importantly we can pray about the situation. Through prayer and contemplation God can talk to us and maybe inspire us to take some action. There is a lot that can be done to stop the present situation from getting worse. We just have to open our hearts and minds to the possibilities. We also have to listen to what the scientists are telling us and use that information as we plan for the future.
Let us pray for the use of the earth's resources:
"We rejoice, O Lord, that you have made the earth so rich in natural resources; and we pray that we may learn to use them responsibly:
not wasting them on what we do not need,
not polluting the soil, the air and the sea,
not wantonly destroying the life of animals and plants;
but taking care to hand on to others an earth fit for the life of man,
to the honour of your name." Roger Tomes
Yours in Christ's love