There are currently two cruise liners moored on the Clyde providing accommodation for delegates attending the UN climate conference, COP26. It’s a novel approach to address the shortage of hotel beds for the 25,000 visitors to Glasgow. The enormous ships are a far cry from the gospel image of Simon, Andrew, James and John in their small boats fishing in the Sea of Galilee.
‘Follow me and I will make you fish for people, ‘says Jesus. The invitation to share our faith echoes down the ages. The way in which we share faith may have changed yet what remains the same is the call to trail the wet footprints of our baptism wherever we find ourselves. And this is exactly the point. We can share our faith in Jesus Christ wherever we are: at work, in school, attending the WI or the Wine Circle, talking with family or neighbours or friends.
As COP26 began last weekend, representatives from faith groups from across the world gathered in Glasgow’s George Square to present their demands for climate justice. As people of faith, our commitment to the environment is rooted in our care not only for the world that God created but for the future of humankind. Our desire to live sustainably on the planet, gives us an opportunity to talk about our faith in the context of our eco concern.
The suffragen Bishop of Horsham, Bishop Ruth Bushyager writes in this week’s Church Times about being part of the UK delegation to COP7 some 20 years ago. Bishop Ruth knows at first hand about the speeches, negotiations, communiqués and pledges. ‘But for me, she writes, ‘this COP, I have settled on the seemingly most weak and pathetic option: to pray. I hold on to faith that, with God, nothing is impossible, and that in his gracious mercy this COP will result in real action. Ultimately I believe that a move of God’s Spirit is the only way in which we will see the breakthrough that we need politically.’
With Bishop Ruth, let us share our faith. Let us pray.
Rev Canon Nikki Arthy, Rector