Be the Change …

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The afternoon of Sunday 10 April saw a special event to celebrate the ‘Lighten our Darkness’ initiative in All Saints Church, Mullingar. The project originated and is driven by young people, both from Mullingar Union as well as pupils from Wilson’s Hospital school.

‘Lighten Our Darkness’ addresses the challenge of climate change. Describing the project Canon Alastair Graham, rector of Mullingar Union of parishes, said “Young people are looking at the issue of climate change through the lens of Christian faith. We are simply stepping up to the plate as stewards of God’s creation.”

At the afternoon event some 20 young people used a powerful mixture of drama, dance, and music to look at the damage that is being done to our environment and how we can rise to the challenge of being good stewards of God’s creation. The audience was drawn across the community, including members of the Mullingar Chamber of Commerce.

Mr John Geoghan, President of the Mullingar Chamber of Commerce, in his remarks a t the close of the presentation said that “The young people are helping to highlight the issue of our time.” Bishop Pat Storey, who was also in attendance, described it as a privilege and honour to attend, saying that it was “Moving and very hopeful. It has left us with hope that are things we can do.”

Canon Alastair Graham paid tribute to those who had helped in the production of the music and drama, including members of staff from Wilson’s Hospital School. Ms Niamh McShane, Warden and Principal of Wilson’s Hospital was also in attendance.

‘Lighten Our Darkness’ is not just about highlighting the challenges of climate change, which can seem overwhelming at times. It also includes Action Plans to make a difference. Some of these actions include:

  • The launch of ‘God’s Garden of Hope’ in January 2022. This looks at how the church yards in the Union can be used creatively to look after creation.
  • On Tuesday 5 April a Zoom Lecture on Biodiversity took place, presented by Dr Dara Fitzpatrick, from Cork.

The message through the afternoon was not just challenging, but hopeful – that there are things we can do and that through our care for creation God wants in some way to restore what is best in our humanity. Our stewardship of His creation is a very practical expression of faith.

The passion and creativity of the young people came through very powerfully. Gandhi said that we should “Be the change we want to see in the world”. What came through in the work of these young people is that they are willing to step up to the plate, to be such change makers.