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Day 2

Inspiring presentation from ‘Lighten Our Darkness’

Members of General Synod were inspired by a multi–faceted dramatic and musical presentation on improving our care for Creation, performed by the Lighten Our Darkness by Numbers youth group from Mullingar Union of Parishes this afternoon.

‘Lighten Our Darkness by Numbers’ takes its name from the many references in Scripture to living in the light in following Jesus and the journey that people took in the Book of Numbers to the Promised Land – it seeks to build a movement of Christians who are encouraged to make an environmental difference in the world around them.

Part of this vision is for all 900 churchyards in the Church of Ireland – God’s gardens of hope – to become oases for biodiversity and also to challenge inaction (and sometimes bewilderment) at the scale of the current challenges which face us due to climate change.  As one of the young speakers from the front explained, this is a vision “to repair God’s world and to create awareness of what our human actions are doing which are destructive” and to be helpful in building momentum to change.

In keeping with this theme, the young people involved in the movement are seeking to become ‘sowers’ who protect the natural world, use God’s gift of energy wisely, and not to waste our daily bread: “It is to light the light that fans the flame that glows inside out hearts again.”  It’s a matter of developing daily habits and personal priorities that are not damaging for our natural world.

In biblical terms, the Flood represented God’s response to a “me–focused and I–centred” view of the world and the Covenant with Noah shows the importance and significance of relationships, including with the natural world.  Jacob’s wrestling with God showed that he didn’t understand the meaning of enough and using his gift of life in a way that was non–destructive – a parallel with consumerism today.

After outlining several examples of good responses to climate change – notably the Great Green Wall and the creativity of new urban– design in Singapore – the group presented three foundations for positive change: giving and not taking; real liberty rather than a free–for–all culture; and Christian virtues built on strong character to enable us to do the right thing.

By closing with ‘This Little Light of Mine’, in which members joined in singing, the group finished on a positive note to inspire others to find new ways to change our ways of life for the benefit of the natural world and people most affected by global warming.

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