This year we are encouraging churches to create a moment of confession around consumerism, inequality and climate change. There are many ways to do this, both in church or in public. Here are some ideas to get started – and add your own suggestions in the comments below.
Sunday service – for the confession to be a moment that involves the whole body of Christ, a Sunday service will be the most appropriate time to use it. It could be used in the confession part of the service, or to respond to a sermon that considers consumerism.
Ash Wednesday – as an event centred around confession, Ash Wednesday provides a perfect opportunity to use the JiE Confession. The declaration could be read aloud, and people could then make a personal response.
Public readings – take the confession out of the church building and into the streets or the shopping centre. What better place could there be to renounce consumerism than in the mall? Take a group to a relevant place, hand out flyers, and read the confession aloud. In the right context, the confession could become an act of prophetic protest.
Radio – Local BBC radio stations often have faith programming on Sunday mornings. They are always on the lookout for new topics to discuss or local initiatives to talk about on air. Drop the presenter an email to tell them about it, and what you and your church and doing. They may well invite you onto the programme to read it, and host a conversation about consumerism with callers.
Personal reflection – rather than giving something up this year, use the confession to help you think through your lifestyle over the Lent period. Take a week per topic and think about climate change, wildlife and conservation, consumerism, inequality, your own response, and your community response.
Display – print the confession as a poster for your church noticeboard. If you are using it during Lent in a personal capacity, pin it somewhere in your house too – on the fridge perhaps, where you will see it regularly.
What else might you do with it? Let us know in the comments below.
2 Replies to “Ideas for using the JiE Confession”
I love the Joy in Enough Confession, but have a problem with four words. Near the end, it reads “joy in the beauty and diversity of creation, your gift to us”. It is that last phrase, “… your gift to us”, that makes me hesitate. It could be interpreted as meaning that God has created everything for the benefit of the human race. As I understand it, the creation is the expression of God’s love for all His creatures as well as ourselves. We are part of that expression of love, and our appropriate response is to give God the glory. The creation exists to glorify God, not for the benefit of humankind, although, because God is good, it does give us sustenance and delight.
I suppose it could be taken that way, though receiving life, beauty and diversity as a gift doesn’t necessarily imply ownership or control. I had thought of it more as a posture of gratitude. You are of course welcome to omit those four words if using the confession!