Compiled in 2020 in partnership with Living Lent, a campaign being led by the ecumenical Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT). Full details of Living Lent are still available on its own website.
"Living Lent is about recognising that changing our climate is not just an activity, but a lifestyle."
Before my mind stirs
or my voice sounds,
You, Lord of Creation,
are being praised.
The song of the bird,
The lap of the wave,
The sap in the growing things,
The chase of the clouds across the sky
Are all part of the pattern of a world you made
To reflect your glory
And to praise you.
Where I ignore the song of creation,
Unstop my ears;
Where I refuse to join it,
Unloose my tongue
And let me be a partner in earth’s praise.
(More Than Words: 400 Pray Now Daily Devotions p.3,
© 2008 Saint Andrew Press)
We can buy a reusable coffee cup, but not ask who grew our coffee and how much they were paid, or we can refuse a plastic bag whilst buying fast fashion from a child sweatshop. This Lent, we want to explore as a community what it means to open ourselves up to whole-life change for the climate.
In the words of Jose Aguiar’s hymn, Sent by the Lord am I (StF 239):
The angels cannot change a world of hurt and pain
into a world of love, of justice and of peace.
The task is mine to do, to set it really free.
Oh, help me to obey; help me to do your will.
We offer hymns and prayers grouped under five themes identified by the Living Lent team. At the end, additional resources and links are suggested for you to explore.
- Hungering and thirsting for righteousness
- Exploring the Lenten wilderness
- Being transformed by and in our relationships
- Our Christian call to love our neighbours
- The earth is the Lord’s
Included in our suggestions are three texts by the New Zealand hymn writer, Shirley Erena Murray. Hope Publishing has kindly given permission for these to be on our website, so please feel free to read them in worship or for personal reflection. For permission to reproduce copies, contact Hope Publishing Company at www.hopepublishing.com.
There are few writers better to turn to than Shirley Erena Murray when considering issues of climate change. See our introduction to her work, A jolt of reality – the hymns of Shirley Erena Murray, and read notes about individual hymns on StF+.
Additional resources and links to explore
On the Living Lent pages:
A family Bible Study takes its inspiration from Jesus’ parable of the mustard seed (Matthew 13: 31-2) It asks the question: “What does it mean to try and change our whole lives for the climate? And why is it important that we do?”
The Joy in Enough Confession has been produced by Green Christian. It is described as “a call to the church in Britain to acknowledge our complicity in consumerism and climate change”.
Also note ideas included in the Ash Wednesday Service, which have application beyond Ash Wednesday.
On the Singing the Faith Plus pages:
Climate and Creation - other worship resources Links to further resources from diverse climate and creation organisations
Creation Time hymns Singing the Faith hymns suitable for Creation Time
Fragile earth – experiencing God in the desert Hymns about humanity's experience of God's created world - a reflection inspired by the Jewish festival of Sukkot
The fragility of human existence is one idea at the heart of the Jewish festival of Sukkot Read: Sukkot – a festival for all peoples?
Finally, some starting lists for further reading around issues of climate change and our environment:
The best books to help you understand the climate crisis (admittedly all published by Penguin, but not a bad place to start, and widely available)
Also note Mike Berners-Lee There Is No Planet B: A Handbook for the Make or Break Years
A quick, wiki-introduction to “Cli-Fi”