26 November 2009
Take five minutes to change the world this Advent by following the ‘tread gently’ challenges and video stories behind each door on the Church of England’s online calendar launched today with a special message from Archbishop Desmond Tutu at www.whywearewaiting.com.
In the launch videocast Archbishop Tutu says: “Care for our world, it is the only one we have.” He is joined by International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander and the Archbishop of York who deliver their own Advent challenges.
On other days the Archbishop of Canterbury reflects on the Copenhagen Summit, the Eden Project calls for mud between our toes and the Chief Rabbi suggests some ‘Sabbath moments’. Daily Bible passages and prayers accompany the lifestyle challenges and stories from across the Church of England and beyond:
- Visit a Brighton beach hut and discover the true meaning of carols, slow down on the road with the people of Portsmouth, pray as you go in Oxford and enjoy ‘what a wonderful world’ in St Albans.
- Get community conscious in London, pack a bag in Worcester, ‘switch’ in Gloucester and get ‘on yer bike’ in Ipswich.
- Consider the cost of Christmas in Rochester, take a seat in Devon or watch your water in York.
- Enjoy the French paperless connection, make climate justice count with a lead from Liverpool or simply pick up an Advent book.
- Pad it out in Newcastle, recycle a gift in Birmingham or enjoy sun-dried moments in Lincoln.
The calendar closes on Christmas Eve with a seasonal reflection from theologian Dr Paula Gooder.
Along with the daily videocasts, all placed on YouTube, the CofE will be using Twitter to promote the daily challenges.
Each day features a video story from a different diocese or agency – examples include:
- Fresh Expression beach hut church, where a new hut opens everyday in Advent celebrating a Christmas carol
- Meditative projects – a prayer labyrinth at a church in Oxford Diocese and the Quiet Garden movement, now worldwide but started by an Anglican priest also in Oxford
- Lifestyle initiatives – diocese of Porstmouth has signed up to the Generous Scheme which encourages people to adopt environmentally challenges that help others, Birmingham is encouraging church members to send recycled presents.
- Community projects – Arocha’s multifaith work in Southall, St Andrew’s Fulham Fields and its community fruit and veg market.
- Energy saving projects with helpful tips: solar panels on an historic church in Lincoln, insulating vicarages in Newcastle and Durham, switching to green tariffs in Gloucester