Back to the Odell Home Page
CHURCH NEWS - February 2008
Easter comes early this year, so we’ve hardly recovered from all our Christmas festivities and feasting before Lent is suddenly upon us – Shrove Tuesday falling on February 5th this year. For Christians, Lent is traditionally a time of fasting and preparation, a time when we remember Jesus resisted the temptations of Satan and fasted for 40 days in the wilderness immediately before the start of his public ministry. People of other faiths, or none, also recognise the spiritual and material benefits of a temporary fast.
This year, I am inviting you to join me in a different type of fast – a carbon fast. Why? Several compelling reasons:
It is now generally accepted that climate change is probably the biggest and most challenging issue that the world faces this century – the UK government’s chief scientist, David King, has described it as worse than terrorism.
We all contribute to climate change and everyone is affected by it. The rich nations of the world contribute the highest carbon emissions, whilst sadly it is the poorest nations of the world that are worst affected. Last summer, we saw unprecedented rainfall in the UK which devastated homes and businesses, but Cyclone Sidr hit Bangladesh in November, obliterating more than half a million homes, ravaging 10% of cultivated land, and destroying 1.25 million livestock. Because of an early warning the human death toll this time was an estimated 3,600; but 143,900 died in a 1991 cyclone, 500,000 in 1970.
It’s not only humans that will suffer as the climate changes, but the impact on the world’s ecosystems mean that millions of species will be lost for ever. In 2007 the IUCN, the World Conservation Union, added 180 more species to its ‘Red List’ comprising the vulnerable, the endangered and the critically endangered. In their view the earth is currently undergoing an ‘extinction crisis’.
Climate change has moved from being a scientific issue, or even a political issue, to being one that will affect every area of our lives. We need an urgent change in heart and attitude, and a willingness to make changes in our individual and corporate lives. The average Briton uses 12 tons of carbon dioxide annually – we have to reduce that.
The Bible teaches us that God’s creation is good, and that it is the responsibility of men and women to care for it. God sent his Son, Jesus, to be part of that creation, to share in our humanity, and to demonstrate his concern for the poor and the disadvantaged. So for the first three weeks of Lent my sermons will focus on what Jesus had to say about his relationship with the earth. I also have a number of free Tearfund booklets ‘The Carbon Fast’ to give away, full of suggestions on how you can make a real difference. If you’d like one, please give me a ring on 720234.
With love and prayers,
PS. See below for some tips from Tearfund to get you going. For further info seewww.tearfund.org; .or www.christianaid.org.uk.
Cut the Carbon
Tips from the Tearfund website:
Everyday our lifestyles and the choices we make connect us with others around the world. Our own personal contribution to climate change, our carbon footprint, is already having an impact on those living in poverty, but each of us can reduce our footprint.
Here are a few tips to get you started.
Around the home:
Stay cosy at home: close your curtains when the sun goes down and keep the heat in and cold out.
Turn the lights off when you leave a room.
Turn your central heating thermostat down by a degree and put on a jumper, it'll save you money and can cut up to 10% off the bills.
Unplug your mobile/mp3 player/laptop chargers when not in use. 95% of the energy used by mobile chargers is when the phone isn't attached.
Turn electrical appliances off at the wall, rather than using "STANDBY", 8% of all energy used around the house is from gadgets we're not even using.
A quick shower uses a third of the water of a bath, but a power showers can use more water than a bath in less than 5 minutes.
Swap your energy hungry light bulbs for eco-light bulbs, they look better than ever, save 80% of the energy and last 6 times longer than regular bulbs.
In the kitchen:
Don't overfill the kettle, only boil the amount of water you need. If everyone did this the energy saved could power over 75% of the UK's streetlamps - that's mental.
Don't leave the fridge door open, for every minute it's open it takes three minutes to cool it back down.
Put lids on pans when cooking - you'll keep the heat in and cook food faster, great - who wants to wait for food!
Wash up by hand rather than using the dishwasher, clean the dirtiest plates last and don't leave the water running!
On the move:
Use your legs - 25% of car journeys are less than 2 miles, could you cycle or walk instead?
Make more use of buses and trains - more than 87% of us live within a 6 minute walk of a bus-stop.
When you're booking that holiday ask yourself, "Do I really need to fly?" There's a tonne of stuff in the UK that we just take for granted, why don't you explore it a bit?
If you must fly, we suggest that you offset the flights throughClimate Stewards. Climate Stewards was set up by Christian conservation charity A Rocha and their strategy is to invest in tree-planting and conservation projects in developing countries. They also plan to implement renewable energy projects in the developing world.
Thank you! Christine
Recycleyour old inkjet and laser toner cartridges
Your used printer cartridges could help provide education for children in the Dominican Republic, through Christian Aid’s inkjet cartridge recycling project.
And that’s not all….
Cartridge recycling helps to reduce carbon emissions, a major cause of global warming, conserves resources and reduces waste.
Recycling bags and a cartridge collection point are available in Church or from The Rectory, 3 Church Lane (Tel: 720234).
All Saints’ Amblers
The next walk and pub lunch will be on Saturday 16th February. Meet outside The Bell at 9.45am – transport will be provided to the start of the walk if needed.
Everyone welcome, including children and dogs on leads.
The Prayer Group
What is the Prayer Group?It is made up of members of All Saints Church who undertake to pray regularly, on an individual basis, for people who ask us for prayer support.
Who do we pray for? Anyone whom we are asked to remember; these might be people from our church, from our local community or others known to us.
What will you pray about? Anything which you would like brought before God; maybe anxiety due to illness, stress or loneliness. You can also tell us of a special day you wish to be remembered – perhaps for an interview or an exam. Any information will be treated in strictest confidence.
How can I let you know if I would like you to pray for me? You can either telephone Christine (720234), or drop a note through the Rectory door, or complete a card (anonymously if you wish) and place it in a box kept near the church door. Prayer requests will be collected from the box each Sunday morning after the 10.00am service.
Bishop of St Alban’s Harvest Appeal 2007
Last October Christine wrote about the Bishop’s Harvest Appeal which supported the work of Procares in El Salvador. Procares is a training and support programme, helping communities hit by terrible circumstances which have destroyed their livelihoods, to start to rebuild their lives.
Christine invited us to donate to this appeal at the Harvest Supper and at the Harvest Festival, and we now have the figure for the amount raised, which was £112.58. Thank you to all who gave so generously.
Churches Together in Harrold & Carltonwith All Saints’, Odell, Lent Groups – 2008
This year’s Lent Groups will focus on “The Lord’s Prayer” and the groups will begin meeting during week commencing 11th February, times and locations are given below. Transport can be arranged for those needing lifts – please ask Christine about this.
1 Carlton Road, Harrold
Hosts: Jean & John Saul
Leaders: Ernie Morris & John Saul
Wednesday evening -NB: First meeting for this group will be Tuesday 12th February
15 Beeby Way, Carlton
Hosts: Helen & Dean Marston
Leader: John Tusting
23 Pavenham Road, Carlton
Host: Ann Molesworth
Leaders: Marge Bingham
& Majorie Coleman
A Pathfinder Groupfor young people has just re-started at Abigail House, High Street, Odell. If you are aged between 13 and 15 years old and would be interested in meeting up with other young people to explore what the Bible has to say to us today, then please contact Ann Hudson on 720587.
The group meets on a Thursday from 4.30-5.30pm.
In the Quest of: ‘Is There a God?’
Albert Einstein once said:
‘Everyone who is seriously interested in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe – a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble.’
Robert Jastrow, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies made this observation:
‘I am fascinated by some strange developments going on in astronomy. The astronomical evidence leads to a Biblical view of the origin of the World.’
Have you ever looked up into the heavens at night, or felt a tiny baby grip your finger, and been filled with wonder? The world is filled with wonder everywhere we look – ‘Planet Earth’, wild life programmes. Who created all of this? Did it just happen? Or, is there really a God who, as the Bible says, created heaven and earth and all that is in it?
Are all the wonders around you just an accident? The billions of stars in the sky just happened to make themselves and generate their own power to keep on course? The land with topsoil - without which nothing could grow? The air we breathe – only fifty miles deep and exactly the right composition to support life – is just another accident of the laws of physics?
Isn’t it more reasonable to believe that a supreme mind is behind all of this? Everything that exists, such as deposits of coal, zinc, gold and uranium – did they get there by accident? And what prevents lakes from freezing solid all the way down to the bottom, making it impossible for fish to survive?
Why does the Earth spin at a given speed without slowing up, so that we can have day and night? Who tilts it so that we get the seasons? Noone knows the why and how of the magnetic pulls. Or think of the sun stoking a fire just warm enough to sustain us on earth, not hot enough to fry us or cold enough to freeze us. Who keeps the fire constant?
I could go on to think of the human body with its intricate combination of bones, muscles, nerves and blood vessels. The human brain has a far greater capacity than any computer we can ever imagine. The kidneys contain approximately two hundred and eighty miles of tiny tubes, and in the course of a day filter one hundred and eighty five quarts of water from the blood. The heart is an unbelievably rugged organ, a four chamber, four valve pump that handles five thousand gallons of blood a day – almost enough to fill a railroad tank car. It supplies the circulatory system with twelve thousand miles of vessels, and in the course of a lifetime beats two and a half billion times. All the blood in your body is pumped through your heart every minute, while your heart beats one hundred thousand eight hundred (100,800) times a day.
Before you say ‘there is no God’, think of these marvels. All of creation gives evidence of a creator. So, don’t miss out on God’s great free gift – that the creator of all this chose to die for you personally.
Wed 6th 10.30am at Catherine’s, Manor Cottage, High Street, Harrold
Wed 20th 10.30am at Sarah’s, 9 Horsefair Lane, Odell.
Wed 5th 10.30am at Christine’s, The Rectory, Odell.
Our Giving in February is to the Leprosy Mission.
Contrary to popular belief leprosy is not a disease of the past but is a serious health threat right now in many developing countries. However, leprosy can be cured through multi-drug therapy. We can do our bit to help by giving generously in the special plate at the back of the church.
Happy Birthday to:
Jack Holden Postles whose birthday is on the 10th February,
Victoria Beardow who will be 12 on the 22nd and to
Charlotte Lloyd who was 6 on the 24th January.
We hope you all have wonderful birthdays….and of course happy birthday wishes to everyone with a birthday in February!
If you know of anyone who would like their birthday to be remembered in the magazine please either ‘phone or send details by e-mail to the address in the front of the magazine.
4th 7.30pm Alpha course with supper; meet at Rectory
6th 10.30am Meeting Point at Catherine’s, Manor Cottage, Harrold
12th, 19th, 26th 10.30am Lent Group, 1 Carlton Rd., Harrold
12th 7.30pm W.I. Village Hall
12th, 19th, 26th 8.00pm Lent Group 40 High St., Harrold
12th,20th, 27th 8.00pm Lent Group 15 Beeby Way Carlton
14th,21st, 28th 10.30am Lent Group 23 Pavenham Rd Carlton
14th,21st, 28th 1.30pm Lent Group 46 Harewell Way, Harrold
16th 9.45am All Saints’ Amblers meet outside The Bell
18th 7.30pm Alpha course with supper; meet at Rectory
20th 10.30am Meeting Point at Sarah’s, 9 Horsefair Lane
25th 10am HOCP Conservation Tasks
25th 7.30pm Alpha course with supper; meet at Rectory
Please send all entries for the March 2008 magazine to Tricia Hudson (mag1 at odellbeds.net) or Catherine Corkery by February 12th 2008 at the latest. May we remind you that the editorial team exercises the right to edit, shorten or alter any items that are submitted. Also, the opinions expressed in the articles are those of the contributors and are not the responsibility of the editorial team.
Back to the Odell Home Page