Blog

Peter and Miranda moved to Portugal in 1983 to establish and run A Rocha’s first field study centre. Together with their four children they lived at the centre for twelve years until 1995 when the work was given over to national leadership. They then moved to establish A Rocha France’s first centre near Arles, and lived there until 2010, providing coordination and giving leadership to the rapidly growing global movement. They are now back in the UK from where they work to support the A Rocha family around the world while being closer to their own, and not least their grandchildren. Their story is told in Under the Bright Wings (1993) and Kingfisher’s Fire (2008).

12th July 2012 | Miranda Harris | 9 comments

Family trees

We just got back from a family reunion, quite a big one – huge in fact. One branch of the family couldn’t make it, and one much-loved sister stayed behind to care for a very sick brother, but about 80 others travelled from all over the globe, eager to reconnect with each other. We rented a conference centre in the Netherlands, and slept in dormitories or small cabins in the woods.

Categories: Stories
30th June 2012 | Dave Bookless | 5 comments

The poor or the planet: which comes first?

Forty years ago there was a huge debate amongst evangelical Christians. Is the gospel simply about ‘spiritual’ matters or does it include care for the poor and oppressed? That debate was won by the power of scripture. Today there’s renewed debate. Is the Gospel – God’s good news – only for people, or is it good news for all creation?

Categories: Questions
31st May 2012 | Dave Bookless | 18 comments

Mission: Saving souls or saving seals?

A friend emailed me this week: “The Great Commission is clearly about making disciples, and not about ecology or creation care. It’s alright that churches get involved in taking care of the planet, but evangelism and discipleship come first. So, it’s not that we don’t save seals, but we do so after we’ve saved souls.” This email touched a nerve.

Categories: Questions
30th May 2012 | Leah Kostamo | 1 comments

Sowing the A Rocha seed in Canada

The theme at church this past while has been “the Good Seed” and the good seeds of the Kingdom – seeds of love and justice and grace that are sown in seeming obscurity and randomness, but grow like invasive weeds, big and strong and vibrant. This has been the A Rocha story around the world, and it’s been our story in our particular corner of the world in Canada.

Categories: Stories
Tags: Canada
30th April 2012 | Dave Bookless | 18 comments

Rotten to the core? In what sense is creation good?

Louis Armstrong sang it; millions of us have hummed along: ‘What a wonderful world’. Sure, God made it good – Genesis tells us so repeatedly and finishes up by God declaring it all ‘very good’. However, if creation was created very good, what’s happened since? What about predation, disease, cruelty, viruses, volcanoes, disability, earthquakes?

Categories: Questions
Tags: God suffering
31st March 2012 | Dave Bookless | 13 comments

Are humans the virus species?

In The Matrix, Agent Smith says, “Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You are a plague.” The idea of humans as a virus species is becoming increasingly widespread. No part of the planet is left untouched as we swarm over it, multiplying, polluting, consuming, destroying. Yet most Christians react in horror at the idea. Surely we are ‘made in the image of God’?

Categories: Questions
21st March 2012 | Miranda Harris | 4 comments

Yours virtually

I have just returned from Provence and four days of meetings with the A Rocha International Team. So good to be face to face again – or should I say screen to screen?

Categories: Reflections
Tags: busyness place
28th February 2012 | Dave Bookless | 4 comments

Does matter really matter to God?

When I Google ‘Do material things matter to God?’ I find over 20,000,000 results. Some sites warn of the dangers material things pose to our relationship with God; others claim to give the secret of material prosperity. It seems Christians are mightily confused about whether the stuff we think we own, the world of nature, even our own bodies, are deep-down good or not.

Categories: Questions
Tags: dualism matter
20th February 2012 | Peter Harris | 4 comments

Conservation for life

I’m just back from Hong Kong. It was an encouraging trip for all our small team from the region, but I was also able to fulfil a long-held dream when I finally got to visit Mai Po. This important wetland is one of the very few remaining on the south China coast, and the numbers of shorebirds are increasing because other places where birds can feed and roost undisturbed are disappearing so fast.

Categories: Reflections