Dear friends,

As children we were encouraged to exceed our limits — aspiring to be bigger, better and faster. We must build bigger, do better and move faster and if the human body can’t do it we must create something that will!

As I was driving home from Holiday Forum at Swanwick last week i realised that building smaller and moving slower is better for the future. I have never understood the purpose of building bigger cars that can travel at 150 mph, making people feel better because they can drive so much faster. It must be that engrained aspiration to exceed our limits!

I was driving to the permitted limit and resisting the temptation to go faster when it occurred to me that slower rather than faster is better for the planet. Going slower is, I have been told, more environmentally friendly so 60 is better than 70, or more. That requires self discipline to work within our limits, not ambition to exceed our limits.

We have a responsibility to go slower today to reach tomorrow and if we travel too fast the planet will crash. How many of us are prepared to slow down and take longer to reach destinations if it will protect the planet for future generations. I fear we are too focussed on what we want to achieve today to consider the consequences for the future.

I am often hearing people demanding the Church take action, or the Government must do something, but the change that is needed will only happen when WE take responsibility for OUR actions. If WE are in too much of a hurry we will rush past the wounded world expecting someone else to take responsibility. (Good Samaritan story again!)

Is saving twenty minutes on a train journey between London and Leeds more important than causing devastation to the environment? Do I really need to exceed the speed limits so that I can get home ten minutes faster? Do I need to travel by car to a meeting when I can zoom to a meeting much quicker?

God made time, people made the clock, so if we slow down instead of trying to exceed our human limits we will reach a better tomorrow that will be much safer for generations to come. It’s MY responsibility to discipline myself!

It’s the Nations Climate Sunday this week and although we will not celebrate it at our service in Broadway there is a service from Glasgow Cathedral that you are encouraged to join online in the afternoon. We have had recent services focusing on protecting the planet and have further opportunities with Harvest and One World Week so please follow this link to book a place for Sunday afternoon in Glasgow:

Book your free online ticket here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/nations-climate-sunday-service-churches-prepare-for-cop-26-tickets-165258230817


One thing I do agree with in that letter to me, among many other customers, is that TOGETHER we can bring an end to fossil fuels and so much more that pollutes the planet… It’s that word RESPONSIBILITY again. We have a responsibility to care for the planet, but are we prepared to pay MORE for a better future or are we wanting to pay LESS for a more comfortable life today? Is the future of my children and my grandchildren MY responsibility or should the government, or the church, be taking the lead?
I am sure every company will try and justify increasing prices to their customers and we have the challenge to discern how honest they are being with us. That’s not easy is it? Our energy provider sent an email this week with such a message and said: “The answer is for us to become Energy Independent, to power ourselves entirely with renewable energy, of which we have more than enough to harness. We can end constantly rising energy prices this way, eradicate fuel poverty and take a big step in the fight against climate change.

“We’ve come a long way since we started the green energy market 25 years ago. Britain has nearly 40% renewable electricity on the grid – from a starting place of almost nothing. But we urgently need to build the remaining 60% – the science tells us we have ten years. That’s more renewable energy in the next ten years than we’ve built in the last 25 – but it’s entirely possible. We’re working on a plan now to play our part in this and to redouble our efforts. We’ll share details of this in the Autumn.

“Meanwhile we’ve begun building again, two new solar parks, our first grid connected battery project and Britain’s first green gas mill (making green gas from grass), and next year, we’ll have the country’s first ever geothermal energy as part of our mix. I want to thank you for your part in this, just by being with us you enable our work. We are not the cheapest energy company but we are the greenest – because we build. Together we can bring an end to fossil fuels.  “

The United Reformed Church (URC) will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2022. Marking our 50th year can help us to plan for the future – not only to keep pursuing our ecumenical vision, but also to plan for how we will continue to be an active, engaged and faithful Christian presence in our communities and in new ones.

Watch this short video to find out what plans are in place to mark the occasion. 

Please pray for children returning to school, for those starting for the first time and for others moving from Secondary to Primary Schools. Pray for the teachers and staff and the new, and unknown, challenges as we all live through these changing times with Covid.

There will be a Church Meeting after the service on Sunday with one item on the agenda which is to consider the use of Church Hall for the Broadway Youth Club.

Don’t forget to come to Church on Saturday to take a circular walk round Church Hall and through the Manse Garden to try and find some treasures in the mini-fete that starts at 10 am. If you don’t want to treasure hunt you can have a cup of tea or coffee and listen to music from Gospel Bell in the Manse Garden. There will be something for everyone!

Pray for Revd. Chris Collins the new Methodist Minister as he settles into his new home in Evesham and for Kika, the Outreach Worker, who has started work with us this week. Chris will be preaching at the joint service with the Methodists at the URC next Sunday (12th) and Kika, as she likes to be called, will also attend.

Constant

(A Prayer in the Midst of Pandemic) 

The sun still shines,
The rain still falls
And the wind still blows –

The constant rhythms of life
Reminding us that your hand
Still rests upon all Creation.

Amidst the uncertainty,
And confusion,
And untold tears,

When the ups are far outnumbered
By the downs,

Remind us that you are still there –

With us,
Amongst us
Around us,

Ever constant.
Always there –

Just as the sun still shines, 
The rain still falls, 
And the wind will never cease to blow.  Amen

Karen Campbell, URC Secretary for Global & Intercultural Ministries

We continue to pray for Michael Eden who is having hospital care and assessment for Pam and Alec and family for John and Jean Moor, Susan Nuttall, Vicki, Kathy Hancock, June and John

God Bless, Richard