Harvest of the Sea
Sunday 11th August was celebrated as ‘Harvest of the Sea’, and we were joined this year by our friends from the nearby URC Church. Traditionally, this has been a service of thanksgiving - to God, for the wonder of creation and provision for us, and to workers on the sea. This year we added an extra dimension, as we considered what the unintended harvests of the sea are like.
In preparation, groups of people went onto various beaches and shorelines locally and picked up whatever they could find. As well as shells and interestingly worn stones, we found debris of all sorts - ropes from fishing, tin cans, old paint brushes, labels and, above all, plastic.
In our service we considered what humankind being given ‘dominion over all living creatures’ meant, and how, instead of caring for and nurturing the planet, human beings have abused, misused and neglected it. The statistics were learnt about were horrifying:
8,000,000 pieces of plastic are added to our oceans every day.
That’s the equivalent of a dustbin lorry full every minute.
The cumulative total is 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic….and rising.
Between 60% and 90% of all marine debris is plastic.
The plastic doesn’t all stay on the surface, and has been found 11 km down.
A Christian response is to believe that ‘having dominion’ is an opportunity and a responsibility. We need to set an example, and to be a prophetic voice.
Pictured are one of the hardy groups who ventured out into the rain to go beachcombing, and the results of their efforts in the church along with the traditional displays.