By CLIVE BUTCHER
Thursday 02 September 2021
Next Sunday at 4.00pm there will be a service from Glasgow Cathedral to ‘celebrate, challenge and commit ahead of COP26’. The service will be available online. COP26, the UN ‘Conference of the Parties ‘is the 26th annual summit of countries and other bodies coming together to face the challenge of climate change (delayed from last year because of Covid). The UK is the President and host. With extreme weather events becoming ever more apparent the meeting is felt to be of vital importance in securing the necessary agreements to avoid climate disaster. The COP21 in Paris in 2015 made encouraging progress in agreeing to work to limiting global warming to below 2 degrees and aim for 1.5. Countries committed to bring forward national plans to reduce harmful emissions (NDCs or Nationally Determined Contributions) yet at present these will not come close to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees so further commitment is needed at COP26.
As Christians we are aware of our Creator God, the Genesis account (whether viewed as literal truth or beautiful allegory) shows God's love for his creation and emphasises our responsibility for its care. Colossians 1 15-23 reinforces this message referring to Christ ‘for in Him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible’. The image of Mars rather than our own Earth is a reminder that we have nowhere else to go. Mars is cold, with no breathable atmosphere and bombarded by harmful radiation. To establish a colony there would be extremely challenging! How much better to make sure our own planet remains habitable.
Further Devotions will be posted leading up to COP26 and the book by Ruth Valerio ‘Saying Yes to Life’ which looks at climate issues from a Christian perspective is recommended . There is also a short York Course ‘Caring for Creation’.
The Glasgow service will be livestreamed on YouTube and Facebook via Glasgow Cathedral. You can find all the information and links here: https://www.climatesunday.org/nationsclimatesundayservice
Thank-you Lord for this amazing World, may we take responsibility for its care as individuals and nations. Amen