All God’s Creatures

One of the most confusing aspects for me as a Christian is to reconcile our attitude towards animals with God’s word and purpose, which I believe is for the whole of creation. There are many reasons why Christians may be ‘spiritually blind’ concerning this subject, one of which is uncertainty in interpretation of animal behaviour.

For instance, some scientists declare we cannot know for sure whether animals, such as pigs, feel ‘happy’ or ‘sad’, unless we can prove it and explain it in terms of human emotions. Therefore it is acceptable to keep pigs in ‘unhappy’ conditions, which are inhumane.  The arrogance of this stance is responsible for animal suffering on an unimaginable scale. If we accept we are imperfect, surely we should accept our science is imperfect.

Jumping Cow
A ‘happy’ cow jumping for joy after being released from winter barn

 

 

One of many examples of our imperfect science is revealed by the commonly used idiom: ‘He has a memory like a fish’. The belief that fish only remember for 3-4 seconds has exonerated us from keeping them in confined places where they may experience frustration and stress. It seems fish have good memories, according to one Cambridge researcher who describes them as ‘‘amazing and intelligent”. http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/memory-like-a-fish

Both modern scientific understanding and our own experience demonstrate that animals are similar to us in many ways. Some create valued, life-long, exclusive relationships with other animals, they protect what is important to them, they sacrifice themselves for their young, they think and feel, they experience pleasure and pain and mourn their dead.

 

OK, maybe we cannot be absolutely sure the caged animal suffers as we would; its ‘apparent’ dejected frustrated manner could mean something else.  Surely the response to this uncertainty would be to give these creatures the benefit of the doubt and to ask oneself: ‘would I want to be treated like this? Would I let my dog be treated like this?’ Surely the answer would be ‘no’.

In fact, ‘’if one person is unkind to an animal it is considered to be cruelty, but where a lot of people are unkind to animals, especially in the name of commerce, the cruelty is condoned and, once large sums of money are at stake, will be defended to the last by otherwise intelligent people.” (Ruth Harrison, Animal Machines)

 

Of course, in the end, we are consumers responsible for our actions. If we choose to buy intensively farmed food, knowing how it is produced, are we not insulting God?

Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato Si has brought the problem of animal welfare into the public domain, and the Times reported in 2013:

 

‘There may be no other single human activity that has a bigger impact on the planet than the raising of livestock’.

 

Many believe the real solution to minimising human pressure on the environment lies in agriculture and reducing consumption of animal products, which will also result in better health as well as improving the lives of the poor in underdeveloped countries.

Maybe these concerns for humanity will challenge our ‘spiritual blindness’. But I wish we were motivated for the right reasons:  that we acknowledge the cruelty and suffering we inflict on animals through our ignorance and apathy.  Maybe all we have to ask is ‘what would Jesus do?’ and our duty of care would be revealed.

 

 

Caroline Hodges
Creation Care Team

TRINITY Connect Weekend

Saturday 14th October

Love in Action Day

Sunday 15th October

9am – BCP service (no sermon)
10am – Service with Bishop Richard + youth & children’s groups
11:15am – Tea and coffee
12noon – Seminar Streams, including youth and children’s events
1pm 2pm – Lunch – Sign up please

SEMINAR OPTIONS

A. What does mission mean? Rt Rev Richard Jackson, Bishop of Lewes focuses on what Christian mission really looks like in the 21st century.

B. Tough questions – is there something that you have always wanted to know but been afraid to ask? Did you miss your chance at the last Connect weekend? A second opportunity to grill our panel of experts on any Chris an issue, big or small.

C. Global village – have you ever wanted to know more about what happens at the missions we support? Then head down to Southover Primary School to see our mission partners all in one place and to talk to them about what they do, to pray for them or offer to get involved in some way.

D. This is not the me to be silent: a hands-on seminar in which visiting speaker June McClellan looks at how to really engage with God in prayer and meditation.

TRINITY Connect – Love in Action

This Saturday we’re holding our first Love in Action day as part of the TRINITY Connect Weekend. Full details of what we’re up to can be found below. If you’re able to be involved we’ve love to have you there but we need you to sign up. Please contact Jules to join the team!

 

Meeting Point:

Landport Community Room, 2a Horsfield Rd, Lewes, BN7 2TA

What can you do:

In advance:

Make cakes to bring on the day

Be praying for the event and for the area

On the day:

Help with making tea & coffee

Help with children’s games and crafts

Go prayer walking

Litter picking

Gardening

Mowing lawns (bring your own mower)

Take rubbish to the tip (bring your car!)

Kids:

Should be accompanied by an adult please and are welcome to take part in:

Prayer walk

Litter pick

Crafts/Games – especially if they bring a non-church friend!

 

Prayer Walk

Leaders: Mary & Ian Hempshall

Meeting at the Community Room at 12 noon and leaving at 12.15 (route max 4 miles but with stopping points)

What: a walk around the area, taking in the TRINITY locations as stop off points for those who don’t wish to do the whole walk. The route will be no more than 4 miles in total. There will be points to pray and key prayer prompts with Mary & Ian to guide you.

Who:  All are welcome, children too and the majority of the route will be pushchair/wheelchair friendly (only the last bit on the downs won’t be)

Bring: suitable shoes and clothes (wet weather gear if appropriate on the day)

 

Children Games and Activities

Leader: Neil Chisnall

at the community room from 1-3pm (set up before from 12.30)

What: A free fun afternoon with crafts and board games for kids. We need people to help oversee the games and crafts.

Who: Aimed at local children rather than our own particularly. So we are encouraging those who might want to bring their kids, to bring a friend too who doesn’t normally attend TRINITY or who lives in the Landport area.

Bring: friends!

 

Refreshments

Leader: Zoe Tomsett

Refreshments from 1-4 for visitors and volunteers (set up from 12.30)

What: Tea, coffee and home made cakes. We need people to help make tea and coffee and also to make cakes and bring them along on the day.

Who: Locals or bring a friend. Or for the volunteers who are working in the area.

Bring: a friend, a cake

 

Litter Picking

Leader: Martin Pett

What: Litter picking around the Landport estate 1-4pm
Who: Anyone who is reasonably agile. Kids welcome to take part.

Bring: if you have any of the following please bring them along – High vis jackets, litter pickers, thick or garden gloves, garden tools for gardening.

We will provide garden and rubbish sacks, litter pickers and have some gloves and jackets but there may not be enough for everyone so do bring some if you have them.

 

Gardening

Leader: Martin Pett

What: Clearing peoples gardens and lawn mowing, 1-4pm
Who: Adults and young people

Bring: Thick or garden gloves, garden tools for gardening. If you are happy to bring a mower and do lawn mowing please let Jules know.

We will provide garden sacks. We will provide some garden gloves, but there may not be enough for everyone so do bring some if you have them.

 

Tip runs

Leader: Martin Pett

What: Removing cleared garden foliage and rubbish from litter picking to the tip
Who: Anyone willing to bring a car and who is reasonably agile (please let Jules know in advance)

Bring: Thick or garden gloves.

 

For any more info or questions please contact Jules:

07748 644570 (also use this number on the day)

jules@trinitylewes.org

Worship

The adoration of the crucified risen and ascended Lord Jesus

Imagine a dark church at 3 o’clock in the morning, you have been woken from sleep by the church clock. You struggle into wakefulness and strike a match which shines out into the church and you light a candle that is placed before a simple wooden cross.

As the stark image of the cross seems to flow and grow, filling your field of vision, the words of Isaiah 6  ” I saw the Lord high and lifted up” come into your mind as the image of the cross sparks the imagination.

However, the image of the cross does not support a vision of God clothed in fiery royal finery, seated on a majestic throne, but of a king stripped naked and bloody with skin stripped off by flogging and hands pierced by cruel nails.

Isaiah’s vision produces holy fear and underlines our need for repentance in the face of a thrice Holy God.

However, the vision of Jesus lifted high on the cross fills our hearts with love for a God who left his throne in the heavenly places to suffer and die the most horrible and degrading death for everyone who puts their trust in Him. The glory of the cross is a very strange sort of glory. Jesus knew that he had to be lifted up, like the serpent in the wilderness, then He would draw all people to Himself.

Philippians2:6-11  is a wonderful picture of Jesus as the obedient son of God leaving the majesty of heaven and the perpetual love of the trinity of persons of which he was fully part. He laid aside all the joys and majesty of that union to become fully human, suffering everything that we suffer, including death, even death on a cross.

However, the death or Jesus was followed by His glorious resurrection and ascension. On the cross, our broken nature and our lives which end in death were totally transformed, by the power of what Jesus did on the cross. We have been transferred from the kingdom of this world of sin and death to the Kingdom of Christ and to life in a new world were Jesus reigns as God and King. The dividing wall that separated us from God has been broken down and we have free access into the throne room of grace.

Once we give our lives to Christ we are given everything that Jesus achieved, by His death on the cross.

Our lives which were once full of pride and totally obsessed with self, have become the place where love flows out to all around, helping to bring in the kingdom of Christ, until our physical death calls us to life with Him.

We can then continue in adoration, love and worship of our wonderful crucified raised and glorified Jesus Christ in His new restored creation; a unified heaven and earth.

 

 

Ian Hempshall
thykingdomcome.blogspot.co.uk