Panel Community & Guerrilla Gardening: Tower block estate /Asylum seeker allotments
Earth Abbey worship: Chris Sunderland neo monastic community ‘Grow Zones’
Paula Clifford: Head of theology Christian Aid climate change ‘Theology & International Development’
Earth Abbey is a neo monastic community who encourage each other to live a life more in tune with the earth. Based on a contemplative spirituality that focuses on practical projects.
Earth Abbey uses gardening as a means of building community and stories from two projects were shared - the asylum seekers allotment and community gardening stories
Growing Zones movement: (10 people who don’t have any gardening experience or current garden sign an agreement to work together to follow permaculture principles and help each other develop a garden. No experience/expertise required and a kit and how to operate and start is being prepared and will be available Nov 2010)
Growing Zones start with Two meetings:
1. Preliminary public meeting with an introduction to the idea and what is required
2. A follow up meeting
For more details and stories see www.earthabbey.com
Dr. Paula Clifford
Dr Clifford presented a booklet that has been written to more comprehensively present a theological perspective on international development.
Paula maintains that issues such as the global financial crisis, world debt, climate change, HIV aids, poverty and world disasters are requiring the Christian church to respond nationally and internationally.
What understanding about God makes us want to do something about the poor, about the rest of the world?:
- We believe we are made in God’s image and can see God in all other people.
- We all can have a relationship with God. God made it possible for that relationship with Jesus. That relationship can happen universally worldwide.
- The relationships we have with God and with each other reflects God’s image.
- Our God is a God of justice and when we act unjustly to each other we are acting against the very nature of God we are meant to portray.
- The Trinitarian nature of God means we cannot ignore the revelation and love God demonstrated for his creation.
Most of these ideas are developed more practically in Paula’ booklet. She says "any theology that insists that God uses nature such as floods, cyclones or tsunamis or sickness such as aids, to punish humankind is invalidated, in that such theology damages more relationships than it restores".
The role of the Christian and the church is to "share the pain" (Matt 27:46), to speak out (Proverbs 31:8), to “pray as if everything depends on God; work as if everything depends on you” (St Ignatius).