Saturday Reflections Archive

Lent Series 2023
4: Co-creation and emergence

Andii Bowsher Andii Bowsher introduces us to the thought provoking concepts of co-creation and relationship. How might God’s statement in Genesis that “it is not good for man to be alone” outwork in collaborations that result in our creating more than we started with and what might that look like in within our society?

Lent Series 2023
3: Biblical Perspectives on Wisdom

Teacher and theologian, Alice Codner explores what Scripture has to say about what being wise really means.

Lent Series 2023
2: Using this Kairos Moment

Melanie Nazareth explores the meaning of the word “Kairos” in Scripture – a moment of opportunity, or a due time, and how we might respond to this as activists.

Lent Series 2023
1: Why we Need to Recover Heaven

Building Community

Rev Hilary Bond and Rev Jonathan Herbert consider what in the Christian spiritual tradition can help us build community in a time of economic and social collapse.

We are Crucifying our Planet

Martin Jarvis talks about witnessing to the climate crisis outside “sleepy” churches.

Lent Series 2022: Climate Action in the Wilderness
5: The Cloud and the Fire: being led through the wilderness

Rev Vanessa Elston reflects on the manifest presence of God leading through times of wilderness from the Book of Exodus.

Lent Series 2022: Climate Action in the Wilderness
4: The Theology of Struggle

Eco-theologian Rachie Ross unpacks the OT narrative of God struggling with Jacob to help build our resilience during this time of global crisis.

Lent Series 2022: Climate Action in the Wilderness
3. Contemplation and Action in the Wilderness

Rev Hilary Bond and Rev Jonathan Herbert explore the potential of the wilderness as a place of contemplation and action.

Lent Series 2022: Climate Action in the Wilderness
2. The Unburning Bush

Andii Bowsher talks from Exodus 3 and explores the concept of the bush that didn’t burn, as opposed to the customary Western titling of this story as “the burning bush”.

Lent Series 2023: Climate Action in the Wilderness
1. The Wilderness: Angels and Wild Animals

Rev Mark Coleman reflects on the wilderness as a difficult place, where we face mortality and temptation, but where good things can also happen.

Low Risk Actions 4: Die-Ins

CCA member Val King shares her tips for a successful die-in.

Low Risk Action 3: Vigils

Members of CCA Loughborough talk about vigils as a form of low-risk action.

Low-risk Action 2: Pilgrimage as Protest

Drew James asks, can pilgrimage be both an expression of faith and a tool for protest?

Low-risk Action 1: Telling Your Story

Melanie Nazareth leads this session which outlines the power and importance of telling our own story when speaking to others about the Climate Emergency and climate activism.

Following Christ to Prison

Fr Martin Newell has previously spent time in prison after activism with the Plowshares movement, a Christian pacifist and nuclear disarmament group. Martin talks about peace-making and why taking action that can lead to a prison sentence is an appropriate and faithful thing for Christians to do in times of crisis.

Eco-Anxiety and Pastoral Care

Rev. Grace Thomas speaks about how people are being affected by the climate emergency, encourages us to consider our own grief around this issue, and helps us think about how we can support each other and those in our churches.

Christians Share Their Court Statements

Rev Helen Burnett and REv Mark Coleman share their court statements. Helen read hers during their court hearing; Mark contributed to their defence during the hearing, but read a statement for CCA to reflect on why he took the protest action he did. Some rebels who have been through arrest and the court process are sharing their statements and experiences to give the rest of us insight into the process.

Why Should We Support the CEE Bill

Jane King from the CEE Bill Alliance speaks to CCA’s Saturday Sessions, co-hosted with Green Christian.

The Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill is a ground-breaking blueprint for serious climate and ecological action by which the UK Government can lead by example on the international stage. Jane speaks about what the bill is and its current progress before answering our questions about its potential, how it relates to a just transition, the difference between net zero and absolute zero emissions, and more.

Rachie Ross talksabout generational demographics and characteristics, with a view to help us understand how these differences have influenced our churches and the uptake (or lack of) of climate action. At the end of the presentation, Rachie poses questions for you to consider about representation and attitudes in your church:

  • What are our individual blindspots?
  • What are our church blindspots due to the dominant generational voices?
  • What christian/theological blindspots may there be in your generation?
  • What holds your generation back from NVDA, breaking the law and taking action?
  • What can CCA as individuals and as a group do with this new understanding?

You can access a copy of Rachie’s powerpoint presentation here.

A Virtue Ethic of Courage

Melanie Nazareth talks to CCA’s Saturday Sessions about a virtue ethic of courage for living in a time of climate crisis. She explores how ethical ideas of courage need updating for the present time, as well as how courage can help us both make change and enjoy the self-esteem that comes from living in accordance with our convictions. She ends the talk with some questions for further reflection.

Lessons from Esther

Eco-theologian Rachie Ross helps us to consider the lessons we can learn as activists from the Book of Esther.

Disobey in the Dock

Fr Martin Newell examines whether there is a Biblical justification for “disobeying in the dock” as a form of protest, when those who have engaged in non-violent civil disobedience to highlight the climate emergency are found guilty by a court of criminal activity.

Read the full transcript of Martin’s address.

Roger Hallam’s Message to CCA

Roger Hallam, Co-Founder of Extinction Rebellion joined CCA for a Saturday Session and called us, the Church, to take action against the radical evil that faces us. Watch the recording of his message here.

Saving Souls vs Saving the Planet

Rev Hilary Bond talks about the disconnect in many church spaces between saving souls and then not providing a home for them in the future.

Climate and Colour Series

Delivered during Advent 2020, this series was co-hosted with our friends at Green Christian.

If you are interested in this series, you may also wish to watch Climate and Colour, an event co-hosted by Christian Climate Action and Young Christian Climate Network. The event reflected on white privilege, a history of institutionalised racism in the church and the racial lens through which we view climate change, feel grief and plan action.

Climate and Colour 1: Race, Privilege and Climate Justice

In this powerful video, Jeremy Williams takes us through the harsh realities of the racial injustice of the unfolding climate crisis, in which the poorest parts of the world are disproportionately affected by a climate emergency driven by the world’s richest countries.

(Jeremy’s slides are available here, including a prayer response).

Climate and Colour Part 2: Stories from Christians of Colour

Radhika Bynon speaks about her work with the climate activism stories of Christians of colour for the Christian Aid Black Faith Leaders and Creation Care project. She reflects on diverse journeys to environmental activism and challenges us to de-centre the dominant narratives of the climate crisis.

Climate and Colour Part 3: The Racialised Effects of Pollution in Bristol

Samantha is a Bristol based singer-songwriter, teacher and activist of mixed Jamaican heritage. She is a member of Christian Climate Action and a contributor to the book Time to Act: A Resource Book by the Christians in Extinction Rebellion (2020).

To reflect on her talk, Sam encourages you to consider the following questions:

  • What is structural racism?
  • What is a racist policy?
  • What racist policies do you think are at play that produce structural environmental racism, in Bristol and around the UK?
  • What racist policies are at play that caused structural environmental racism in Ethiopia and more generally in the global south?
  • How can acknowledging this affect the language we use to describe the climate crisis?
  • How can this shape our demands and actions?
  • How can this affect our ministry, teaching and outreach?

You can read the study that Sam mentions, which modelled the climatic impacts of pollution from the global north in the global south, here.

Also refer to the these reflections by Ibrham X Kendi on what it means to be a racist and an antiracist.

Climate and Colour Part 4: The Olive Agenda

Israel is the founding director of Centre for Missionaries from the Majority World and an Honorary Research Fellow at Queens Foundation for Theological Ecumenical Education in Birmingham. He is an ordained and accredited Baptist minister and is the pastor of Woolwich Central Baptist Church, a multi-ethnic, multicultural inner city church in south east London.

***We only recorded audio for this session, and we were given permission by Israel himself to use his photograph to accompany our recording. We had some difficulties with sound quality which may be reflected in the playback and the subtitles. Please see a short outline of the essential points of Israel’s talk here***

The Road to Emmaus: Walking with Jesus in Disappointment

Rachie Ross revisits the story of the Road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13 – 35), inviting us to hear the voice of Jesus speaking into our experience of struggle, sorrow, confusion and disappointment around the Climate Crisis.

Seeing Differently: Activism from a Transformed World View

Brother Sam explores how our view of ourselves in relation to the the world around us can radically affect how we engage in climate activism. 

A Faith Response to the CEE Bill

Revd Vanessa Elston talks about how we can respond as Christians to the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill which will brought before the House of Commons as a private members bill in March 2021.

The Climate and Ecological Emergency and What We Can Do About It

We are so blessed to have the wisdom of Melanie Nazareth as part of Christian Climate Action. Here is her most recent talk for Green Christian, a must watch talk for this vital time in the climate crisis.

The Gospel in an Age of Trespass Series

Part 1: The Gospel in an Age of Trespass

Revd Vanessa Elston explores the role of relationship in our spiritual journey to justice.

Click here for a script of Vanessa’s talk.

Part 2: Worship in an Age of Utility

Revd Vanessa Elston consider how non-violent direct action is a form of worship.

Click here for the script of this session.

Part 3: Action and Contemplation in an Age of Apathy

In the last of this series, Revd Vanessa Elston looks at the roll prayer plays in non-violent direct action.

Click here for the script of this session.

The Bible’s Mandate for NVDA Series

Christian Climate Action is a group of people who carry out non-violent direct action, urging the government to make the changes needed to tackle this climate crisis. But why are we doing this as Christians? In this series, we outline the biblical mandate for non-violent direct action and civil disobedience. 

Mandate for NVDA Part 1: Five Old Testament Women

To start the series, eco-theologian Rachie Ross looks at five women woman in the Old Testament who practised civil disobedience.

Mandate for NVDA Part 2: Jesus and NVDA

In this session, Fr Martin Newell speaks about Jesus and non-violent direct action.

Mandate for NVDA Part 3: Q&A

Fr Martin Newall and eco-theologian Rachie Ross answer questions in response to the first two parts in this series on the Bible’s Mandate for Non-Violent Direct Action. 

Mandate for NVDA Part 4: Deborah and Jael

Rachie Ross leads a discussion on Deborah and Jael in the context of non-violent direct action, drawing on Judges 4 1-23.

Mandate for NVDA Parts 5 and 6: “Daniel” and “Kairos Time”

Martin Newell leads a discussion on Daniel, non-violent direct action and civil disobedience. You can find the transcript of this talk by clicking here.

Martin Newell leads a discussion on kairos time – ‘ Kairos time is a time for decision. God is acting, and we have to decide what side we are going to be on’. You can find the transcript of this talk by clicking here.

Mandate for NVDA Part 7: The Story of Huldah

Rachie Ross talks about the story of Huldah from 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles.