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For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
   2 Timothy 1:7

The Glasgow climate summit COP26 begins this weekend.  Prayer vigils are being held around the world for the preparations, for all the meetings that will take place, and for those formulating national policies, prayers for vision and ambition.  Last night our study group on “Why Should I care? (about climate change)” talked about focusing on hope, naming the ways positive actions are being taken to make a difference.  Christians are a people of hope, and each of us can make a difference.  Katharine Hayhoe reminds us, as Christians our first response to any challenge should be love. Our hope springs from God’s love:  Romans 8:24-25 “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

 I share with you this quote from Maranda St John Nicolle with Christian Concern for one world writes: 
 “ For us… the declaration of an emergency can be about not anger or fear or panic - but about a focused, realistic assessment of where we are, the tools we have available to us, the changes that need to happen, and how we can both implement them on a small scale and work together to see them implemented on a large scale.  As Christians, we bring some particular tools - a worldview that sees the intrinsic value of all creation, a calling to love of neighbour which incorporates the need for climate justice, and a trust in the One who created, redeems and sustains all that is - the wellspring of our hope. May we bring all of these to the table. We pray that all Christians may be inspired to take action in response to our emergency situation. We pray for wisdom, that such action may be taken in ways that genuinely protect the earth and its many communities, and that reflect the love, justice and mercy that are hallmarks of God's Kingdom.”

As we keep vigil with those praying for our planet, those participating in the climate summit, and for all the ways each of us does our small part to heal creation and tend God’s world I invite you to pray this prayer for COP26:

A short chat with God about climate change
 Heavenly Father, we’re anxious about Climate Breakdown.
It’s already causing wildfires, crop failures, killer heatwaves and floods.
We’re angry: it’s so unfair, hitting the poorest hardest,
Adding to human conflict and compounding nature’s struggles.

From youngsters to grandparents, we need some hope:
To see governments stopping the bad stuff and driving the good,
A fair transition to a low carbon economy, a nature-friendly way, 
Acting boldly on the science; no more denial or delay!

And this year,  Heavenly Father, the climate summit will be in the UK too 
It’s exciting and daunting: what should your people do?

We will praise you for your creation; commit our churches to act;
Work together across neighbourhoods and nations;
And call all leaders to be bold, just, honest with the facts; 
So, help us, Heavenly Father, to worship, act and speak up.
Yes, we will worship, act and speak up.
We pray in Jesus’ name.    Amen

Andy Atkins – CEO of Arocha, U.K.