Why is our new resource called Plenty?

Just a couple of weeks to go before the release of the much anticipated Plenty! course. (And if you haven’t booked a place at the launch event on the 24th of June, you can correct that here.)

As we look forward to the launch, it’s worth pausing to reflect on the name of the resource. Why Plenty!?

The reality is that ours is a society that is defined by excess. The adverts encourage us to acquire more, to have it now, and to measure our sense of worth by what we own. At the level of government, we measure progress through Gross Domestic Product, looking always for ‘economic growth’.

There are multiple problems with this blind pursuit of more. It glosses over inequality, and the fact that many people have far too much while others have nowhere near enough. Economic growth is welcomed without stopping to ask who is actually getting it all. Is there anything to celebrate about the rich getting richer while the poor stay poor?

‘More’ is also unsustainable. If the economy is going to constantly grow, and everyone is to endlessly increase their wealth and possessions, then we need an endless supply of resources. Not to mention a bottomless rubbish dump for everything we’ve already used up and broken. And of course the world is finite. The atmosphere is finite. The climate emergency and the collapse of biodiversity are just two of many overlapping environmental crises in a world that doesn’t recognise any limits.

Finally, it’s worth asking what all this ‘more’ is achieving for us. Does it make us happier? Are we more fulfilled? Are there other things that we could be pursuing that would actually make us better off – such as community, or rewarding work? What a waste it would be if we drove the natural world off the metaphorical cliff while chasing something that doesn’t even satisfy.

That’s why Plenty! is so important. It acknowledges that there is a point of enough, of sufficiency. A time to say ‘stop’, and ‘no more’. But it also recognises that as a joyful place. Nobody feels short-changed if they have had plenty. Plenty suggests abundance and generosity.

The Plenty! course looks at all of these issues, grounded in real life experiences and the wisdom of scripture. You can expect lively discussion questions, Biblical reflections, and loads of different options for looking into things for yourself. We can’t wait for you to part, and discover your role in the new world we believe is possible.

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