Dr Lorna Gold's talk - learning from Laudato Si'

Dr Lorna Gold transported us back six months to pre-covid days with a timely reminder that we were already in crisis, watching forest fires raging and water levels rising. Her talk allowed us to ‘face into’ the converging crisis of the pandemic and the climate emergency, re-imagining a new normal, given that the old normal was killing the planet. It was chilling to see slides and graphs of predicted scenarios which included phrases like “ potential unravelling of civilisation”, but we were given a strong sense of God speaking to us at this “Kairos moment”, calling us to reflection and action in a sick world as “the planet has a fever”.

Gold helped us to re-visit Laudato Si, identifying ten themes which may really shape our response as a church and a people, and it was remarkable how prophetic this document is, that it even more helpful in light of coronavirus. These ideas, that the church is not the building, that we are all interconnected, that community is key so that “we” rather than “ I “ must respond and being called to a gospel lifestyle of simplicity, could not be more relevant. But also more challenging. As within the ten themes was also the idea the hierarchy must find a way to be led by the flock, requiring a new theology of Spirit, as a force of movement within the church.

We were left with a sense of optimism, that leaning into that Spirit we really could imagine a more compassionate church, in a more compassionate world, with our call to care for our planet and each other at the very core of our faith lives. In the face of the seemingly impossible challenges of climate change, but seeing how our lives had already been changed in ways we would not have thought possible by coronavirus, we look with deepened faith to a God for whom nothing is impossible, and are empowered to participate fully in “our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork” (LS218).

You can watch the talk by clicking here