The Climate Justice Candle was delivered to Hillsborough Presbyterian Church in time for our Harvest Services on 21st October. The Church had been decorated by a team of willing flower arrangers, co-ordinated by Olive McKibbin, to display the variety and abundance of the harvest we have enjoyed this year with flowers, fruit and vegetables. The evening service was attended by our friends from the neighbouring Church of Ireland parish and the candle was centrally placed in the Sanctuary throughout.
All aspects of the morning service reflected the theme of God’s generous provision of Harvest: the Hymns, the Psalms which our Minister Rev Dr Allen Sleith had selected pointed to our thankfulness and the Choir, under the leadership of Diane McMulllan, had prepared two anthems , also on the theme of thankfulness. The Sermon focused on the dual theme of God’s generous providence and our responsibility to live our lives reverently and generously rather than to take it all for granted. Some scientific evidence provided a stark picture of the rapid rise in global warming and its effect on climate change. There was even a Baptism which reinforced that the Earth is not just for our enjoyment but for generations which follow.
The following week was our All Age Service, the theme of which was “AWE” (Appreciate-Wonder-Enjoy) and again the Climate Justice Candle remained in its central position within the Sanctuary. Later in the week it was taken to our Resource Area for a short Prayer and Reflection Time, using some of the excellent resources from the ECI pack.
It was again brought back to the Vestibule for the Communion service, along with some books from the library about Climate Change. It is hoped that this level of exposure to the congregation will have raised awareness of the urgency of addressing climate change and injustice. Joe Furphy, Presbyterian representative on the ECI commiittee also presented this congregation with an ECI Awareness certificate.
Finally, the candle was brought to our two largest youth organisations at the invitation of the GB and BB Captains where it was used as part of their weekly opening.
We wish it well as it continues its travels throughout Ireland, shining a light on the important issue of Climate Justice.