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We are in the middle of a climate emergency, so it is timely that this issue of Transforming Ministry focuses on care for creation. Martin and Margot Hodson from the John Ray Initiative remind us that we have an obligation to care for this beautiful world our Creator has made, and Maggie Stirling Troy invites us to draw inspiration from the Pope’s document Laudato Si’. Pope Francis not only took his title from Francis of Assisi’s ‘Canticle of the Creatures’ (which many in our churches know best in its hymn form as ‘All creatures of our God and King), he also chose to share the saint’s name. Two contributors to this section – Maggie herself and Paul Bodenham – are Franciscan Tertiaries (as am I), so hold the patron saint of ecology in particular esteem.
Katherine Bloomer’s article explains how she introduced the theme to primary school children. They are the ones who will live with the fallout – a source of great anxiety to many of us, and Paul Bodenham addresses the topic of climate change anxiety in a faith context in his article. The section finishes with David Kibble (a Reader) and Qari Asim (an Imam) sharing their faith perspectives on creation care.
Another particularly hot topic at the moment is that of safeguarding, and we are grateful to Martin Sewell for highlighting key messages of the IICSA report. As a Reader himself, he is well placed to understand the Reader’s role in ensuring that all our church members – and those with whom we come into contact – are kept safe. The importance of open minds and accepting people for who they are is underlined by the articles on inclusive church (by Anne Sear) and interreligious dialogue (by Jonathan Gordon Smith), and James Behrens takes a wider look at mission.
Different perspectives on the links between physical and spiritual health are given in the remaining three articles – by Geoff Snell on humans, animals and the pandemic, Patricia Wilkinson on her two roles (as a GP and as a Reader) over the past nine months, and Philip Goggin on prayers for healing. And our popular book pages this season include an extract from Azariah France-Williams’s challenging book Ghost Ship about racism in the Church of England.
In the next issue of Transforming Ministry, we will be looking at ways of using our God-given creativity within worship or to enrich our prayer life. The issue after that will explore biblical Wisdom literature, and we will finish this year by returning to that important theme: how we live and witness as Christians seven days a week. If you would be interested in writing on one of these topics, or indeed on any other relevant subject, please email me – Editor@TransformingMinistryMagazine.co.uk
With best wishes
Richenda Milton-Daws TSSF
Editor: Transforming Ministry
Saying goodbye to Bishop Martyn - GERTRUD SOLLARS
THEME – CARE FOR CREATION
The Earth is the Lord’s - MARGOT HODSON and MARTIN HODSON
Laudato Si’ – a challenge and a resource - MAGGIE STIRLING TROY
Eco-challenge in a primary school - KATHERINE BLOOMER
Ministering in the Anthropocene: how do we address climate change anxiety? - PAUL BODENHAM
Two faiths, one planet - DAVID KIBBLE and QARI ASIM
We need to know about safeguarding - MARTIN SEWELL
Interreligious dialogue: a space for learning - JONATHAN GORDON SMITH
All are welcome - ANNE SEAR
Mission – a wider approach - JAMES BEHRENS
Covid-19: humans, animals and the pandemic - GEOFFREY SNELL
Two roles during the pandemic - PATRICIA WILKINSON
Prayers for healing - PHILIP GOGGIN
Book extract and author interview:
Ghost Ship - AZARIAH FRANCE-WILLIAMS
Renewing the vision - ROSEMARY WALTERS
Letters from Readers
Postscript: Called to be lay - IMOGEN CLOUT