Living Faithfully in the Time of Creation – Review
LIVING FAITHFULLY in the TIME OF CREATION
Kathy Galloway & Katharine M Preston
Published August 2021 by Wild Goose Publications
This is a compilation of various short pieces by members of the Iona Community. It is brought together to help resource praying and reflecting and action by Christians during the time between the start of Creationtide (start of September) through to the start of Advent. This takes in the period of time during with the COP26 meeting takes place in Glasgow.
There is an appropriateness, then, to the Iona Community compiling this collection of lectionary reflections (for each Sunday), experience-based reflections and liturgical materials. The Iona Community are based in Glasgow as well as on Iona. The lectionary reflections will be good for those of us who are preaching during the period of time the book addresses and I look forward to weaving them into my preparatory reflections. They are not long and seem to aim to give a creation-care lens to one or more of the set readings. Most of them focus on the gospel reading.
The reflective mini essays which follow are varied and from different parts of the world, including the majority world, reflecting the locations of members of the community; a preponderance, then, of Scotland-based writers -which is fair enough. They give a kind of window into the way that climate change is affecting life even now, not as a merely future prospect. None of them are long and could be read in a sitting perhaps as part of a time of reflection alone or in company of other people as a way to make sure our apprehension of climate change does not lapse into abstraction. These are ‘gentle’ but powerful for that, perhaps almost understated.
The section for liturgies is, as you’d expect, full of the lyrical, poetic sort of liturgies that Iona Community are justly appreciated for. I appreciated that this section began with a couple of pages of suggestions for leadership and use of space for praying together. There is a prose-poem using the idea of a second week of creation following the one in Genesis 1-2:4, I found it particularly moving and powerful. The liturgical resources include praise, intercession, confession, lament and thanksgiving in a variety of styles but all very resonant and out-loudable. Some are clearly usable in all-age contexts and some are more contemplative. There is a section of hymns and songs. I encourage you to get a hold of this and to find ways to use the resources personally and communally over the next few months. The copyright terms allow for non-commercial use with acknowledgement.
Andii Bowsher: GC Trustee
Andii works as a chaplain at a university in northeast England and is ordained in the Church of England.
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