SARX Creature Conf: part 3 of 3
Derek Pamment attended the Creature Conference – Is Christianity Good News for Animals? organised by SARX on 18 March 2017 and writes:-
The Creature Conference presented the best of the recent, unprecedented momentum of theological concern for animals. Thousands of Christians in the UK are passionate that animal issues should be on the forefront of the Church’s agenda. This conference was informative, inspiring, and empowering. Most of all it was biblically grounded and helped participants to consider how to put their convictions into action!
Together with world leading speakers, delegates had the opportunity to explore animals and animal issues theologically, as well as reflect spiritually upon animal advocacy in Christian daily life.
It was a privilege to represent Green Christian at the event and certainly there was a healthy amount of interest in our work, purpose and literature. It provided a unique opportunity to network with people from a range of traditions and backgrounds and to stimulate productive dialogue among Christians throughout the UK and beyond. Certainly we had the opportunity to speak to people from Sweden, Canada and America.
There was an impressive and diverse range of speakers in an event ably facilitated by the Revd Steve Chalke.
Dr Margaret Adam – Theologian, ethicist, author and former lecturer at Loyola University Maryland and the University of Glasgow. Currently Visiting Tutor at St Stephen’s House, University of Oxford.
The Rt Revd John Arnold – Roman Catholic Bishop of Salford, spokesman on the environment for the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales and Chair of the Trustees of CAFOD.
Professor John Berkman Lecturer in Moral Theology at Regis College, University of Toronto. Previously professor at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, USA and at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, USA.
Dr Tony Campolo – Professor emeritus of sociology at Eastern University, Pennsylvania, USA, Baptist minister, author, public speaker and former spiritual advisor to U.S. President Bill Clinton.
Professor David Clough – Professor of Theological Ethics, University of Chester, President of the Society for the Study of Christian Ethics, Founder of CreatureKind, and Methodist lay preacher.
Dr Ruth Valerio – previously Churches & Theology Director for A Rocha UK, and recently appointed Global Advocacy & Influencing Director at Tearfund, environmentalist, theologian, social activist and author on justice, environmental and lifestyle issues.
The Rt Revd Dominic Walker – President of the Anglican Society for the Welfare of Animals, former Bishop of Monmouth and Honorary Vice President of the RSPCA
I attended two workshops one looking at the theology underpinning animal welfare and the biblical mandate to care for the whole of creation. The other led by Tony Campolo which for me gave me the encouragement that Christians can make a difference. I was hit by the thought that animals can survive without humans but humans would struggle to survive without animals. So whether it was adopting a vegan lifestyle, using your LOAF, caring for your pet, putting a dog bowl outside church or campaigning against intensive farming and animal cruelty – there were certainly plenty of take away challenges and a great deal to think about. For God so loved the world – let us now genuinely care for it.
Green Christian was well placed at the conference and there was much to commend and support the vision that We are responsible for our impact on God’s creation as a whole. We were able to help delegates to understand and relate these responsibilities to their faith
The conference was very professionally managed, with excellent delegate packs, refreshments and food – all of which was completely in keeping with the theme of the conference.