Download and print the prayer guide as a booklet.
“Very early in the morning Jesus got up and went off to a solitary place,
where he prayed.” (Mark 1.35)
“Prayer is the most powerful form of energy one can generate. It produces spiritual energy within us and enables us to rise above the irritations of the day and focus on moving from task to task with poise and power. The prayerful are sure of their directions: the prayerless are usually hurried, worried and flurried.” (Selwyn Hughes)
“Some people think of prayer as the means by which we get God to do things for us. That is not the purpose of prayer. The primary purpose is to bring the whole of life into the presence of God for cleansing and decision-making.” (Selwyn Hughes)
Tuesday 1st November
Yesterday according to the UN was the day when the world’s population reached 7 billion. In 1960 it was 3 billion and by 2085 it is projected to reach 10 billion. This puts huge pressure on the environment and its life support systems. As Sir David Attenborough said, “All environmental problems become harder – and ultimately impossible – to solve with ever more people.” Population Matters is calling for improved overseas aid for women’s education and family planning services to enable women to have more choice in career options and family formation. Where people do have choices, as in the UK, it asks them to stop at two children as part of a sustainable lifestyle. www.populationmatters.org
Wednesday 2nd November
In a House of Lords debate Baroness Tonge highlighted the link between population growth, poverty and food shortages in East Africa. “Disaster relief is an essential response to humanitarian crises. However, prevention of future disasters is also crucially important. Unless we address population growth and reproductive health, the children we save now will be bringing their families to the same feeding centre in 20 years time.”
Thursday 3rd November
“Wealth” in Old English referred not to money, but to “the conditions of well-being”. John Ruskin coined the word “Illth” to describe its opposite. Illth is the downside of growth in GDP – for example the growth of nuclear waste, the loss of biodiversity, the consequences of oil spills, eroded topsoil, dry wells, acidification of oceans etc. Hermann Daly points out that economic growth easily becomes uneconomic growth when it actually makes us poorer. All the trees we cut down, the fish we catch and the fossil fuels we burn count as income in the calculation of GDP, though in fact they represent capital depletion, which inevitably leads to income depletion. We urgently need a new measure of well-being.
Friday 4th November
Bhutan is pioneering Gross National Happiness (GNH) as an alternative to GDP. Its Prime Minister said: “In Bhutan personal spiritual fulfilment is not just a spiritual pursuit: it is government policy. My role is to help create the conditions that will help our people find happiness. Former World Bank economist Joseph Stiglitz agrees: “GDP has failed to capture what makes a difference in people’s lives and contributes to their happiness, such as security, leisure, income distribution and a clean environment.” As economist John Maynard Keynes foresaw, “The day is not far off when the economic problem will take the back seat where it belongs, and the arena of the heart and the head will be re-occupied by our real problems – the problems of life, of human relations, of creation and behaviour and religion.”
Saturday 5th November
“Hope for Creation” is the title of tomorrow’s Day of Prayer when church people, charities and individuals will get down on their knees to pray and speak up for action to protect God’s good creation and our global neighbours who are hit the hardest. For prayer resources, go to: http://hopeforcreation.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Hope-for-Creation-prayer-resource.pdf
Sunday 6th November
Help us, dear Father, so to deal with the things we possess that they may never possess us. May we so order our lifestyle that we may tread lightly on your earth. May all the good things that you have entrusted to us be used in your service and for the glory of your Kingdom.
Monday 7th November
Anthony Seldon, Master of Wellington College, believes that learning to be still – and to think before acting – is both a desirable and a key responsibility of schools. “Learning how to be still should be at the heart of every child’s education. It teaches them how to correct themselves and to know who they are and how to control their impulses. Young people are crying out for peace and more time in their lives . . . The greatest possible benefit of learning about stillness while at school is that it gives adolescents a skill that will endure for the rest of their lives. Stillness and meditation must no longer be a privilege for the few: they should be the right of each and every child at school.”
Tuesday 8th November
Nic Marks of the New Economics Foundation (NEF) and author of The Happiness Manifesto believes that a sound education policy must value people as they are, rather than constantly measuring their performance. “Children have multiple intelligences . . . The curriculum needs to include more opportunities around sports, the arts, creativity and other engaging activities. An education that promotes flourishing would lead to higher productivity, a more entrepreneurial society and more active citizenship.”
Wednesday 9th November
Andrew Simms of NEF and Ruth Potts (www.nottinghamcraftmafia.co.uk) believe that using skills to make do and mend brings engagement, allows expression and encourages growth through learning. “A world in which we all hold a wider range of practical skills leaves us less at the mercy of disposable goods and built-in obsolescence, and more in a position to shape and fashion the world around us in more satisfying ways.”
Thursday 10th November
The Transition Town movement focuses particularly on what is called “The Great Reskilling” to recover many of the skills lost in an era when we could obtain everything “off the shelf”. These skills include how to grow, gather, preserve and cook local and seasonal food, how to repair clothes and household goods, how to make and mend rather than throw away. They not only enable us to prepare for an energy-scarce and localised future. They widen our experience and enlarge our capabilities. Courses available range from how to make your own radio to how to build your own home. www.transitionculture.org.uk and www.cat.org.uk
Friday 11th November
Hospitals, schools, hotels and other big organisations generate a lot of food waste, most of which ends up in landfill, where it decomposes and gives off the greenhouse gas methane. Dan Welburn, a former Formula One engineer, and farmer Richard Gedge have developed the Ridan composter, which can process up to 400 litres of food waste a week. In their first two years, these composters have helped divert over 1,000 tonnes from landfill. Schools and colleges are using them not only to save money but to raise awareness among students of where their food comes from, how far it travels and how it ends up. The Ridan composter requires no electricity and is carbon negative. It is available in three sizes. www.ridan.co.uk
Saturday 12th November
One of this year’s Ashden Award winners is Midlands Wood Fuel Ltd. for supplying locally-sourced woodchips to schools, council offices, leisure centres and local homes. The wood comes from forest thinnings grown within 30 miles of Shrewsbury. In one year, 5,253 tonnes of wood fuel were supplied across the Midlands, so avoiding 3,700 tonnes of CO2 emissions. Even more economical are wood pellet systems which can be programmed to switch on and off when required and yield a small amount of ash which can safely be composted.
The Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive already provides a feed-in tariff for newly-installed commercial biomass boilers and next October it will be extended to domestic systems.
Sunday 13th November
Father, we thank you for your great gifts of wisdom and ingenuity. Help us to place them wholly at your service in the quest for technologies to protect your world and all its creatures. Amen.
Monday 14th November
Today the annual Operation Noah lecture takes place at St. Mary-le-Bow, Cheapside, London EC2V 6AU beginning at 6.30 pm. Professor Tim Gorringe of Exeter University will open on the theme “Climate change: A Confessional Issue for the Churches?” Discussions will address these questions:
Can you call yourself a Christian if you ignore climate change?
How does it matter if we destroy creation?
What stand should Christians take?
How should Christians respond to the ravages of climate change?
No fee for entry, but RSVP to:
firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 0780 405 9426.
Tuesday 15th November
Biofuel power stations sound like an environmentally-friendly way of generating energy and they are being promoted all over the world. Unfortunately many of them are fuelled by palm oil, the demand for which leads to the destruction of tropical forests, the development of GM trees and land grabs as investors cash in on these new markets. The UK’s largest palm oil power station is to be built in Bristol. Despite opposition from 20 MPs, Bristol City Council and NGOs, the Government has approved this project. Where will the next one be?
Wednesday 16th November
Southam, Warwickshire, aims to become Britain’s first predominantly solar-powered town. Solar PV arrays will be deployed on most of its 21,000 homes at no cost to the residents. EOS Energy has secured £20 million of funding to provide the PV installations while deriving a regular income from the Government’s Feed-in Tariff. Not all the rooftops are suitable for PV panels, but some can be placed on the ground where there is little or no shading. According a director of EOS, Southam’s residents are set to save around £30 million a year on electricity bills. www.eosenergy.co.uk
Thursday 17th November
A new WWF report “Positive Energy” shows how renewables could meet 60-80% of UK electricity demand by 2030 without resorting to nuclear power. The report calls for better interconnection and market integration with Europe, so levelling out the variability of UK-based renewables. It also calls for an official target of at least 60% renewables by 2030, so providing the certainty required for long-term investment in this area. “There is a need for stable market arrangements which provide long-term revenue certainty to reduce risk and mobilise capital investment in renewables.”
Friday 18th November
A new report from the Carbon Trust finds that heating costs account for more than 75% of fuel bills in the service sector. Turning the heating down by 10 C. could save business and the public sector more than £35 million a year in energy bills. Simple steps such as re-setting timers and replacing old controls
- could save 15% on annual heating costs. Its advice in brief:
- Don’t overheat. Costs rise by 8% for every 10 C. of overheating.
- Maintain regularly. Energy consumption can increase by up to 30% if regular maintenance is not undertaken.
- Look at the big picture. When heating and air conditioning work against each other, energy is wasted.
- Train staff. Dispel the misconception that turning up the thermostat heats a room more quickly. http://www.carbontrust.co.uk/
Saturday 19th November
Today the CEL Annual Members’ Meeting takes place at st. Mary’s Church, Eversholt Street, London NW1 1BN beginning at 2 pm.
After a service of worship comes the annual meeting followed by a workshop which will address the question: What’s the gospel for the Greens?
CEL has two aims:
- To offer to Christians insights into ecology and the environment,
- To offer Christian insights to the Green movement.
Do we have something the burnt-out eco-warrior and the captive consumer need to hear?
What can we learn from them about the gospel that this planet needs?
Sunday 20th November
Give us, loving Father, a deeper understanding of your purposes, that we may be steadfast amid the turmoil of our times. May our faith never fail, nor our love grow cold, nor our hope become faint. May we look up and lift up our heads as we look for the redemption of your world, through Jesus Christ your Son and our Redeemer.
Monday 21st September
Alex Salmond, Scotland’s First Minister, has announced an £18 million wave and tidal commercialisation fund to help develop its first commercial wave and tidal energy systems. He said:
“We know Scotland’s waters are host to awesome forces and that there is enough wave and tidal energy to meet our demands for power several times over. Scotland can lead the world in marine energy. We have a tenth of Europe’s wave power and a quarter of its tidal power as well as the legacy and expertise of our traditional energy industries. Marine energy will be crucial in contributing to our ambitious target for all Scotland’s electricity needs to be met from renewables by 2020.”
WWF Scotland’s director welcomed the statement but commented: “With the international climate talks in Durban fast approaching, we need to hear less about pumping every last drop of climate-trashing oil from the North Sea and more about action to cut climate emissions, especially from our homes and transport.”
Tuesday 22nd November
Europe’s first heavy duty road bridge made entirely of recycled plastic has been built and assembled in Wales in just four days. The 90-foot thermoplastic bridge, which is suitable for heavy duty vehicles, is made of 50 tonnes of waste plastic and spans the River Tweed at East Dawyck in Peebleshire, Scotland. It requires no painting or regular maintenance. Vertech, the project leaders, partnered Cass Hayward LLP, Cardiff University’s School of Engineering and Axion International with support from the Welsh Assembly. The bridge was built by Glendinning Groundworks and 10 Field Squadron Royal Engineers. Vertech is looking to the European construction sector to demonstrate its recycled materials as a replacement for less environmentally-sound engineered timber and laminated products.
Wednesday 23rd November
InterfaceFLOR, a global carpet tile manufacturer, has agreed with waste management firm SITA for the collection of carpet tiles from customers across Europe either for re-use by Interface partners or for recycling into new tiles, using a pioneering closed loop system. SITA will recover energy from any tiles that can’t be recycled. Since 1995 Interface FLOR has reduced its manufacturing waste going to landfill by 82% and saved more than $438 million in avoided waste costs. The new scheme will be based in the Netherlands before being rolled out to the rest of western Europe.
Thursday 24th November
“Fracking” is the name given to the process of drilling down for gas and creating tiny explosions to shatter and crack hard shale rocks to release the gas inside for use as a fuel. Operations are widespread across the US and have begun at a site near Blackpool, where it has created controversy because of the chemicals used and the risk of contaminating drinking water and the environment. A local resident living 500 yards from the security fence surrounding the tower on which the operation is centred says that the tower hums incessantly, stopping her sleeping and giving her headaches. A campaign group called Ribble Estuary Against Fracking has been formed to seek reliable information on possible air and water pollution affecting the local horticulture industry.
Friday 25th November
The 2nd Greenpeace report called “Dirty Laundry” reveals the existence of nonylphenol ethoxylates in clothing of 14 global brands including Adidas, H & M and Abercrombie & Fitch. This chemical breaks down to form nonylphenol which has toxic, persistent and hormone-disrupting properties. The clothes were manufactured in locations all over the world, but in China particularly these chemicals are used in the manufacturing process and discharged into the Pearl and Yangtze River deltas. Greenpeace East Asia comments: “Every time clothes containing these chemicals are washed, hazardous substances are released into waterways across the world. Brands must remove these chemicals from their products, and the best way is to eliminate them from their production processes and come clean about what chemicals their factories are using and discharging.”
Saturday 26th November
Today is Buy Nothing Day when we challenge ourselves, family and friends to switch from shopping and tune into life. The rules are simple: For 24 hours we will detox from shopping.
Buy Nothing Day highlights the environmental and ethical costs of consumerism. As consumers, we need to question the products we buy and challenge the companies who produce them. What are the true costs to the environment and to the people involved in the production? Recycling is OK, but consuming less is better and Buy Nothing Day is a great way to start. www.buynothingday.co.uk
Sunday 27th November
“We must do what we conceive to be the right thing and not bother our heads or burden our souls with whether we’re going to be successful, because if we don’t do the right thing, we’ll be doing the wrong thing and we’ll just be part of the disease and not part of the cure.” (E.F. Schumacher)
Lord God, strengthen our weak wills and our feeble frames that we may work tirelessly for the fulfilment of your promise for the redemption of all creation from the bondage of corruption. This we pray in the Name of Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Redeemer.
Monday 28th November
The public outcry against the proposed privatisation of Britain’s forests led the Government to set up an Independent Forestry Panel chaired by the Bishop of Liverpool. CIWEM’s submission to the panel assessed the cost to the public of the Forestry Commission at 30p. per person per year.. The National Ecosystem Assessment, by contrast, put the financial value of the carbon sequestration carried out by our forests at £680 million per year.
CIWEM highlighted the crucial role played by forests in relation to the arts, conservation, education, social inclusion, physical and mental well-being, recreation, community cohesion, biodiversity, water catchment value etc. Its director commented: “Yet again the Big Society agenda has been a veil for public cuts. The Government now has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to co-ordinate all forestry and woodland interests and to harness the strong emotional feeling people have for trees and woodlands. The momentum and strength of public feeling shown in this debate should provide the political will to make significant changes and any decision made should be based on consequences, not ideology.”
Tuesday 29th November
Climate change, dependence on energy imports and the threat of supply disruptions are all challenges to Europe’s energy system. The WINDSPEED Roadmap details actions necessary to generate 135 GW. of wind energy from the Central and Southern North Sea by 2030. The project addressed aspects such as competition for space at sea, growth constraints, the connection of large-scale wind energy to the grid and its transportation to consumption centres in Europe. To meet the target, the six North Sea countries must allow wind developments closer to the shore and establish an offshore grid. This needs a transnational regulatory framework on the sharing of the costs and benefits of cross-border grid infrastructure, together with rules for trading of power into a common market. The Roadmap calls for extensive research and funding to ensure the reliability of offshore wind components.
Wednesday 30th November
The alien Grey Squirrel is estimated to cost the British economy £14 million a year in damage to trees and predation of birds. In a recent survey 70% supported the culling of this pest. Now the Wild Meat Company is offering 50p. for frozen culled grey squirrels in the fur, collected in 30 kg. batches.
For more information contact:
CIWEM Business Briefing