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Live Lent 2020 – Saying Yes to Life

by Michael Ford last modified 22 Jan, 2020 04:14 PM

It's all change this Lent as, in preparation for a year dominated by the Climate Crisis, our Diocese will be joining with the wider Church of England and offering 40 days of readings and reflections focussed on God’s Creation.

The LiveLent Booklets, with editions for adults and for children, are pocket-sized and will be very familiar in look to our Diocese as they follow the format of the Salisbury Diocese Praying Together booklets that we have used for the past 3 years.

But instead of reflections based on a single Gospel as Praying Together featured, these daily Bible readings, reflections and actions (with special changes in the children’s version) mirror the weekly themes found in the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent Book 2020 – 'Saying Yes to Life' by Dr Ruth Valerio.

More here

The book addresses both environmental and social justice issues, and each chapter is accompanied by web pages providing more resources with the aim of being both practical and inspiring.

It is hoped as many of our parishes as possible will use the book and booklets this Lent to focus on the environment and creation at this key moment, ahead of the Lambeth Conference and the COP26 meeting in Glasgow next year.

Ruth Valerio, who is Global Advocacy and Influencing Director at Tearfund spoke to our Diocesan Synod members at their November meeting, where Synod recognised that there is a Climate Emergency and passed a motion recommending the book for use over Lent in the parishes of the Diocese of Salisbury.

Speaking at the Synod, Bishop Nicholas said that, while Salisbury was the first Diocese to achieve an Eco Diocese award, there was still a great deal to do.

He challenged members to see how their churches could get involved with Eco Church and expressed his desire that all parishes use 'Saying Yes to Life' during Lent 2020 in place of the Diocesan 'Praying Together' booklet which is not being produced this year.

Bishop Nicholas has also arranged for Sarum College Bookshop to send Diocesan clergy a free copy of the Book and the supporting materials that go with it for use by adults and young people and he said he hoped they would use them in their parishes much in the same way they had used Praying Together:

“Climate change has been very much in our minds this year through the efforts of Greta Thunberg and groups such as Extinction Rebellion and through the reporting of events such as the current Australian bush fires. It will remain so in 2020 with the environment being a key issue on the agenda at Lambeth Conference 2020 in July and with the UN Climate Change summit - COP26 - taking place in Glasgow in November.

“I want to encourage us as a Diocese to use Ruth’s book as the basis for our Lent group discussions in 2020 as part of our common life.

“Ruth is a familiar figure in our Diocese. She is an active environmentalist as well as being a theologian who enjoys living sustainably – practising what she preaches and inspiring others as she does so.”

In 'Saying Yes to Life', Dr Valerio imaginatively draws on the Days of Creation (Genesis 1) as she relates themes of light, water, land, the seasons, other creatures, humankind, Sabbath rest and resurrection hope to matters of environmental, ethical and social concern.

The book and accompanying booklets of daily devotions aim to lift our focus from natural, everyday concerns to issues that are having an impact on millions of lives around the world.

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As people made in the image of God, we are entrusted to look after what he has created: to share in God’s joy and ingenuity in making a difference for good. Voices from around the world are heard throughout, and each chapter ends with discussion questions and a prayer to aid action and contemplation.

The book is available from Sarum College Bookshop and Church House Publishing.

The following extra discounts are available when ordering five or more packs of 50 copies - an extra 10% off when ordering 250+ copies (total 35% discount on cover price of £1.99 (adults) and £1.50 (children) and an extra 20% off when ordering 500+ copies (total 40% discount on cover price of £1.99 (adults) and £1.50 (children).

To get these extra deals, please or ring 01603 785925 before Friday 24th January.

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