What Love for the Future: Being At Home on the Earth is about
We face nothing less than an environmental crisis. Climate change, pollution and diminishing resources mean that the future will be difficult for life on earth.
Clearly we need technological solutions to some of the problems, and appropriate political and social programmes. But to meet the challenge we also need to change ourselves.
We need the courage to face up to what is happening, the determination to work at the problems and the freedom to let go of the old ways of living which are causing such damage to the earth.
And that is hard. The scale of the problem can seem overwhelming. We may be drained by fear or worn down by lack of progress. We may be swept along by the cynics who tell us there is not really a problem so we should just enjoy, relax and go with the consumerist crowd.
Love for the Future explores the spiritual resources that are available to us as we face up to the environmental crisis. And it suggests how these can help us open ourselves to the energy of the Creator and work for the healing of the world.
We need a sense of wonder, a rooted humility and simplicity. We need compassion, a willingness to change and also to act for the good of those who suffer. We need faith, hope and wisdom, and holding it all together we need love.
The spiritual practices which the course explores are drawn mostly from the Christian tradition. They do not require special equipment, apps, or visits to special places. They can all be practised during a normal week of life. They require only a willingness to give time to allowing ourselves to be changed.
But we cannot go it alone. There are other people out there who are also concerned about what is happening to the earth.
Different approaches to the course
You can study the course with other people, meeting from time to time to discuss what you are exploring. Or you can follow the course with a work group, doing things together. Or you can follow the course on your own, in which case you will sometimes find yourself noticing, thinking about or doing things with other people as time goes on.
Go to www.livingspirit.org.uk/lftf/course-approaches to find out more of what is involved and work out the best way for you to use it to help you develop more love for the future.
Love for the Future: A Journey was written by David Osborne and published by Wild Goose in 2013. It is available as a paperback – www.ionabooks.com/love-for-the-future.html – or a download – www.ionabooks.com/love-for-the-future-downloadable-book.html.
‘I would recommend this book heartily as one of the best and most accessible pieces of spiritual writing I have encountered for a long while. Buy it, spend time with it, return to it and then share it with others.’ Revd Dr John Reader, William Temple Foundation in Crucible
‘Using the thread of a long walk from Shropshire to Iona, David Osborne weaves together autobiography, spiritual reflection, and passionate concern for the future of the earth threatened by irreversible climate change. A rare resource for all those struggling to keep faith and hope going in the face of what seem like insuperable odds.’ Prof Timothy Gorringe, Exeter University
‘In David Osborne’s quest theological reflection is central… Each movement of Osborne’s journey is accompanied by a rich resource section, providing scriptural references, the writings of theologians, questions for personal reflection or group discussion, and suggested actions and further reading…. A deeply spiritual approach.’ Revd Dr James Currall in Church Times
‘This is not a book explicitly about ecology or climate change – there are many of these – it is a meditation, based on a lived-out pilgrimage, on the values that underpin the Christian way and that can and should energise us to work for a better and safer world.’ Dr Stuart Hannabuss, University of Aberdeen
David Osborne grew up in Sussex and Surrey and when he was seventeen moved to Edinburgh where he began working in the construction industry. After completing a degree in civil engineering at Birmingham University he studied theology in Nottingham and then education in Bristol. He then taught secondary school religious education, environmental studies and physics in Somerset and Nigeria.
Returning from Nigeria he trained as an Anglican minister and worked in parishes in Staffordshire, Shropshire and Somerset, where he lives now. He holds a masters degree in the theology of education and served on the Church of England’s General Synod as well as various diocesan bodies. He became a Member of the Iona Community in 1996.
Love for the Future: a Journey is his third book. His first book was The Owl and the Stereo: an introduction to radical Christianity which was published by Wild Goose in 1996. The Country Vicar, which provided a new model for rural ministry in Britain, was published by DLT in 2004. He has also published numerous articles and poetry.
Love for the Future developed out of work he was doing to encourage and help the Diocese of Bath and Wells develop an environment policy. He produced a short course with a DVD for the diocese and also ran courses on the subject at Iona Abbey and other venues. Love for the Future: a Journey drew on this work and combined it with reflections on a walking pilgrimage to Iona some years before.
Pilgrimage has been one of David’s interests for many years, as has music and birdwatching. He is a member of Green Christian and is the local organiser for Christian Aid.
If you have any questions about the course, please contact Petra Griffiths, the Living Spirituality Connections Coordinator, via our contact form. We are also keen to get feedback about the course from participants.
If you would like to be part of an online network of people using the course, please fill in the form below.
Find out more about the different approaches you can take to the course here – www.livingspirit.org.uk/lftf/course-approaches.