Pam's Paper Blog - September 2016

posted 29 Oct 2016, 23:45 by Richard Jones   [ updated 29 Oct 2016, 23:45 ]
Dear friends,

Are you like me and always find yourself buying far too much when you go food shopping? Sometimes I’m packing the food I’ve bought into the fridge thinking we can always eat it next week. Why don’t I just buy what I need and no more? Some people talk about lists being the answer but I just add to the list once I see something else I fancy. My main point of weakness is the special offer; especially if I’m getting one free! It’s all good marketing management, of course, but I despair with my weakness.
More recently this over purchasing brings on a severe attack of guilt since I watched Hugh’s War on Waste on Channel 4 earlier this year.  Apparently, as an industry we throw away a staggering third of the food that we produce in this country; quite often because it is misshaped or unsold within its sell by time. Also the average household throws away £700 worth of food annually. You can find out more at: https://www.rivercottage.net/war-on-waste 

Excessive waste wasn’t a feature of life in biblical times, avoiding starvation and drought was more the issue. I can’t see those unnamed women, who followed the disciples and prepared their food, worrying about the shape of their parsnips! Yet from the time of Moses, Yahweh has asked us to set aside time to thank Him for all He provides; the Jewish calendar contains the Feast of the Tabernacles and the Christian one Harvest & Rogation.

Respect for our earth has been an active part of the Judean/ Christian life and is now a scientific concern.  We ignore the pressure human beings put on our planet at our peril. All of us have to engage with our contribution to climate change and our use of its limited resources whether that involves us in simply recycling more or in a conscious decision to use less energy. All the NGO’s- such as Christian Aid- have campaigns about living in a fairer world where the consequences of climate change challenges our thinking about our energy use and resources. You only need to spend moments on the internet or looking in magazines/newspapers to find lots of practical ideas to use; there’s a new idea tailor made for each of us to take up.

It would seem to me that our Harvest celebrations should include something that changes our attitude for life rather than simply bringing a gift into church if we’re to take seriously God’s concern for our world. In the past I’ve made decisions to look for the tractor logo   to ensure I support British farmers or the fair trade mark to support those who live in poverty abroad. This is something that I stick to year in, year out. But what could this year’s annual Harvest gift include?

I could decide to put something from my shopping to go to Food Banks each week or compost our grass and peelings  so it doesn’t go to landfill; holiday in Britain so I don’t use planes; turn down the heating by a couple of degrees.
Please join me and find one thing that you can choose and stick to that shows respect for our earth that can be your Harvest gift for God. Then we can all use these lovely traditional words in praise of God: Thou crownest the year with thy goodness: and Thy clouds drop fatness. (From Common Prayer Ps 66:12)

Pam Daunton

(You might be interested to know that Recycling Lives is involved with sharing food with food banks for those who are in need in our locality. They also help vulnerable people back into work. http://www.fareshare.org.uk/lancashire-cumbria/)

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