God saw that it was good
A Baptist environment project that helps people encounter God through creation has won additional funding
The Baptist Union Environment Network (BUEN) and The Fuelcast have received funding from Scientists in Congregations to widen the "God Saw That It Was Good" display launched at the Baptist Assembly in May.
The funding will allow the display to be made available to churches and conferences across Baptists Together, along with the development of supporting discussion material to help shape discipleship in an age of climate and environmental change.
In addition, with The Fuelcast, the images will be developed into short videos exploring both the science they express, together with encountering God through creation.
The project is led by Dave Gregory and Andy Thomas, two Baptist ministers who share a concern over the climate and environmental crisis.
Dave, a former meteorologist and climate scientist, is a Baptist missioner in science and environment and leads the Baptist Union Environment Network (BUEN). Andy is a pioneer minister, filmmaker and leads The Fuelcast media production company.
'Popular science and natural history presentations on TV and the web use stunning visual imagery to draw people towards an appreciation of the wonder of creation and science’s understanding of it,' their project description stated.
'In such a visual age, “God saw that it was good” aims to take people on a further step of encounter. Beyond wondering about the “how” and “why” of science’s mechanistic approach towards an encounter with the God of creation through the visual senses.
'Drawing upon scientific and faith perspectives, “God saw that it was good” uses large photographic images to help people encounter the wonder of the natural world.
'Accompanying audio reflections on YouTube shaped by themes of divine creativity and wonder, the diversity of creation and divine playfulness, and the inter-connection within creation and the Spirit drawing all things back towards the love of God, will suggest a way of seeing the image both scientifically and with the eye of faith.
'Building upon the photographic display, a series of short popular science videos will be produced, allowing deeper exploration of scientific issues and richer spiritual refection and encounter.'
Dave added, 'Engaging the heart as well as the head, the project seeks to re-enchant people’s perception of the world around them.
'Recognising creation's value in connecting them with the divine shaper of creation, we hope the images and videos will bring a deeper appreciation of the wonder of science’s description of the world, leading to deeper discipleship in a time of climate change that inspires practical action as to how we can walk more softly with God among his creation in an age of climate and environmental change.'
BUEN was one of 10 projects to be aware funding in the latest round of Scientists in Congregations funding. The successful projects span a range of denominations and ecumenical networks and will explore the relationship between science and faith through engagement activities including Messy Church Goes Wild, a guided STEM trail and a science festival and science-themed ‘cafe church’ to take place in 2022-23.
Since 2014, more than 80 churches have received £750,000 through the Scientists in Congregations programme. The programme brings science and faith together and is run by Equipping Christian Leadership in an Age of Science (ECLAS).
ECLAS is a project led out of St John’s College, Durham University with the University of York and the Church of England.
Are you interested in hosting the "God saw that it was good" display at your church or Association gathering?
If so, contact BUEN here.