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Reform Magazine | December 7, 2023

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Accountable to sky and soil

Accountable to sky and soil

David Coleman explores our response in time of crisis

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. It is these you ought to have practised without neglecting the others. (Matthew 23:23)

As Eco-Chaplain I actually have very little to do with hypocrites (albeit quite a bit to do with ‘scribes’), but mostly with folk in a great variety of local churches from the Borders to Shetland. Most of my work concerns the encouragement and celebration of sincere and dedicated people in churches who struggle to put together the details of their own life and faith and the now objectively undeniable ‘news’ that every day human activities we have come to rely on are causally linked with the destabilisation of Creation – and then find hope, notwithstanding. Hope which unlocks action, which deepens faith.

In Christianity we’re certainly not without resources for crisis. Like Br’er Rabbit in the briar patch, the New Testament is at home in times of threat and oppressive challenge. That’s when it begins to make sense, if you let it!…

David Coleman is ecumenical Eco-Chaplain for Eco-Congregation Scotland


This is an extract from an article published in the September 2022 edition of Reform

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