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I’m heading off to Greenbelt again this year to hook up with friends old and new and to do a little contributing in the Abide venue on Friday night (9.00pm). Below is the blurb I sent Greenbelt . . .

ALLOTMENT ATONEMENT

Reflective voices weave together the transforming nature of the atonement with the socially inclusive, politically challenging and environmentally and economically transforming process that is working the land. Many tend to think of turning a piece of land over to growing as an escape from the world: a tranquil oasis and a retreat from the chaos and challenges of life. In reality, there is a long history of seeing land given over to growing, as something much more radical. The hope is to enliven people’s imaginations to the possibility that having an allotment, turning your garden over to food production, or even redeeming a local wasteland, is more than just good for the soul – it can be an act of holistic transformation in line with Jesus’ pragmatic vision of the Kingdom of God and a fuller understanding of the atonement.

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Over the last few months I’ve become involved in one of the most inspiring, deeply spiritual, theologically grounded, community-orientated projects that I’ve ever come across – EarthAbbey.

To quote the homepage:

EarthAbbey is a movement of people helping one another to live more in tune with the earth. We work to pomote: Read the rest of this entry »

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My wonderful wife, Kay, will be running the Bristol 10k on May 10th 2009 as part of the Love Running Team.

We’ve chosen three fantastic charities to support, and all the money raised will be split equally between – St Peter’s Hospice, World Vision Zimbabwe and One25.

So if you feel you can, please sponsor Kay. Even a small amount will make a big difference.

To sponsor Kay, simply go to her justgiving page here: http://www.justgiving.com/kaysurry

Thanks.

jpegJust a quick heads-up to let you know that the latest edition of Sublime Magazine is out. If you’ve not got around to reading a copy yet, then why not make this one your first. As ever, there are loads of interesting pieces in it, including the story of David de Rothschild’s desire to build and sail across the Pacific Ocean in a boat made from discarded plastic bottles.

For my part, I stayed at home and made an assessment of the progress being made half way to the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals.

REACHING FOR THE STARS

In September 2000, the heads of state of some 180 countries gathered at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Like the rest of us, they saw the millennium as a watershed – an opportunity to leave behind the regrets and unfulfilled promises of the Enlightenment and forge new aspirations. They wanted to tap into the hope that such moments in human history inevitably raise, and to map pathways towards the future that beckoned. What was acknowledged at the meeting was the stark reality that millions of people did not, indeed could not, share the optimism of the millennium. If the 21st century was to write itself a better history, then the world’s poor needed the hope of a future opening up for them. In response, those leaders voted to adopt the United Nations Read the rest of this entry »

I just love this idea from TEARFUND:

This year, World Water Day (22 March) falls on the same day as Mothering Sunday.

It’s an opportunity to be reminded that many mothers will spend Mothering Sunday walking for hours to collect water for their families, or caring for children suffering from illnesses associated with poor sanitation and unclean water.

To mark Mothering Sunday, we’re launching a new action. We want to get 500 mothers to speak out and sign our letter to Gordon Brown.

Read the rest of this entry »

Unlike the BBC, bloggers don’t have to make editorial decisions based on impartiality. Personally, I think the BBC’s decision demonstrates partiality, after all, many of the other appeals broadcast by the BBC on behalf the Disasters Emergency Committee cut across political, religious and cultural divide, so why make an exception here? It also find it patronizing, suggesting that the audience cannot distinguish between impartial reporting and the need to address human suffering which transcends the issues that concern the editors of the BBC. When the DEC make an appeal you know that there is genuine and pressing need, so please support the DEC and pray that the BBC come to their senses.

DONATE HERE

End Water Poverty2.5 Billion people don’t have access to safe sanitation.

‘So what?’ you might ask.

How about:

5000 children die everyday as a result

Half the world’s poorest people suffering serious health problems as a result.

Education is rendered virtually impossible

Economic development of the poorest countries is undermined

Basically, all the key areas of development are compromised meaning you can kiss goodbye to the Millennium Development Goals.

But don’t take my word for it: http://www.wateraid.org/uk/about_us/newsroom/6939.asp

With the revelation that Starbucks are wasting around 23 million litres of water a day, I thought it might be an opportune moment to flag up a short piece I wrote for a new initiative, Earth Abbey, about the global stress our water resources are under.

EarthAbbey will almost certainly be new to you, so to quote from the website;

EarthAbbey is a movement of people helping one another to live more in tune with the earth. We work to promote . . .

Read the rest of this entry »

The latest edition of Sublime Magazine will soon be available. As ever, an informative and inspiring read, so do check it out.

For my part, I’ve been researching the global food crisis, which was both shocking and enlightening. There’s a few lines below to give you a feel, but do track down a copy of the magazine to read the rest – you won’t be disappointed!

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We have almost certainly reached a tipping point in human history. If it hasn’t happened already, at some stage in the near future, probably in a developing country, a family will leave their rural life behind and travel to a nearby town or city seeking a brighter future. At that moment, more than half the world’s population (3.3 billion) will be living in urban environments. But this ‘moment’ is simply part of a continuum that has been taking place for millennia. Though many long-established urbanites may still have a sense of wanderlust, (and accepting that millions still live on the land as subsistence farmers), the fact is the history of humankind is one of ongoing settlement and Read the rest of this entry »

Sublime InnovateThe latest edition of Sublime Magazine is currently on the shelves, so do check it out.

As ever, it’s an eclectic mix of interviews, features and reportage all flowing from a concern for sustainable and ethical lifestyles, and this month shaped around the theme, ‘Innovate’.

As for my contribution, I’ve pitched in an awareness raiser on the subject of Microcredit. There’s a taster below, but given that Sublime is a business, you’ll have to buy the magazine to read it all.

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What micro-credit has tapped into, and proven time and time again, is that those who live close to the poverty line are just as entrepreneurial as anyone else. What they lack isn’t skill but opportunity. Charity remains a vital need, especially in times of crisis, such as flood and famine. But charity is not an answer to poverty. Indeed, many have argued that it simply allows poverty to continue and Read the rest of this entry »