Some Resources for 2020

I would like to suggest that Calendars (well, the right calendars) are a valuable but often overlooked resource

As we draw towards the end of another year, those of us that like to plan ahead start thinking about what resources we might need to support our calling as preachers in the coming year.  Of course, the problem is not that there is a paucity of choices – quite the opposite, in fact, ranging from comprehensive resource manuals such as the Abingdon Manuals through to simple Lectionary listings.

I would like to suggest that Calendars (well, the right calendars) are a valuable but often overlooked resource.  Think about it – calendars are positioned in conspicuous places, are constantly glanced at and can take advantage of that fact to gently encourage one to think about the themes and messages that the calendar promotes.  Here are a couple of options that lay preachers may like to consider.

The Climate Justice CalendarPRL191028 CJWG 2020 Calendar FrntCover

The Methodist Church of NZ last year created a Climate Justice Working Group to work nationally to support parishes and other church bodies to respond to the current Climate Emergency.  There are a number of elements to the group’s mandate, one of which is providing education and awareness resources.  They have published a 2020 Calendar as the first step to this end.PRL191028 CJWG 2020 Calendar BackCover

The end result is an A3 portrait calendar, produced on Forestry

Council Certified matt satin light card and (where available) printed with entirely vegetable-based dyes.  The calendar features stunning images and graphics contributed by members from throughout the Methodist Church community.

Each month of the calendar focuses on one aspect of climate change and climate justice.  It provides theological perspectives and practical actions on 12 climate issues facing Aotearoa NZ today.  The themes are based on reflections written for the calendar by Dr George Zachariah, lecturer in Biblical Studies at Trinity Methodist Theological College.  These reflections are combined with Practical Actions to address the issues relating to the months’ theme, for individuals, families and congregations to consider and adopt during the year.

Of specific relevance to lay-preachers, the calendar provides the Lectionary Reference & Liturgical Colour for each Sunday and special days from the 1992 Common Lectionary Revised as published by the MCNZ and the PCANZ.  Also, a Collect or Prayer has been written for each month and the Climate Justice Working Group encourages all congregations to consider using these regularly in their worship throughout the year.

The Religious Diversity CalendarRDC FrntCover

A second calendar that lay preachers may find helpful is the Religious Diversity Centre’s 2020 Calendar.

The goal of the Religious Diversity Centre is to foster appreciation, understanding and deeper relationships among the religious, spiritual and secular communities in Aotearoa New Zealand.  This will ensure that New Zealand is an inclusive and safe society, where understanding and respect can lead us to a productive future in diversity

The calendar promotes that appreciation RDC BackCoverand understanding by including dates for Bahá’í, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Māori, Muslim, Sikh, and Zoroastrian celebrations and commemorations. They have also added New Zealand holidays and commemorations, moon phases, solstice and equinox dates, and astrological dates.  The 2020 calendar includes photos depicting the wide variety of faith and belief groups in Aotearoa New Zealand, all taken by local photographers.

How to get a copy.

The Climate Justice Calendar

The Climate Justice Calendar should be available from any Methodist congregation, or you can email either peter.lane@sdcs.co.nz or marion.hines@xtra.co.nz to order a copy.

Calendars are available in English, Samoan, Tongan and Fijian.  Please specify what languages are required when ordering, together with a postal address for delivery.

Calendars may be purchased at $20 each including P&P.  Bulk orders for 10 or more delivered to one NZ address will attract a discount.  Payment can be made by cheque or internet banking – details will be provided at the time of ordering.

A donation will be made from the proceeds of sales will be made for solar panels in a Methodist Solomon Islands project, through MCNZ’s Mission and Ecumenical division.

The Religious Diversity Calendar

The Religious Diversity Calendar can be ordered by emailing the centre administrator, bex@rdc.org.nz.

The cost is $15 each, plus $5 P&P for up to five copies, or plus $10 P&P for up to ten copies.  Payment can be made by cheque or by internet banking – details will be provided at the time of ordering.

(PS: in the interests of full disclosure, I am a member of the Climate Justice Working Group and was part of the group that put it together.)

Resources for Creation, Climate Change, Rural Ministry

Related imageLinda Cowan and Joy Kingsbury-Aitken, of the Canterbury Lay Preachers Association, have produced another newsletter packed full of resources relating to creation, climate change, and the rural environment – including a litany, an affirmation of faith, prayers, poems, and a creation rap!