Theology in Action

22nd May 2017

Constructing rat-traps – Andrew Shepherd

For A Rocha, theological studies consist of much more than talking and are just as much about the “doing”. Laidlaw College students, hosted by A Rocha spend a week in Raglan participating on a week long Ecology, God and Community course. While there were times of daily facilitated discussion, with the added distraction of stunning views of Mt Karioi in the background, integral to the course is ‘living in community’ and ‘doing conservation’. A visit to a local organic dairy farm informs the discussion around food ethics, while a trip to Raglan Xtreme Zero Waste inspires discussion on how communities can respond to human wastefulness and over-consumption. Participation in practical activities associated with the Karioi project — building another 60 rat-trap tunnels and checking predator traps — also stimulated deep thought.

Laidlaw College student Ian Dalziell shares:

“Contributing to the project through the simple task of building trap tunnels gave me a sense of connection with a larger whole and without meeting most of the Whaingaroa/Raglan community, I felt, in a small way, part of them for a short time.  There was too, for me, a small challenge to build as many traps as possible and some pride in the amount we achieved. It also felt like a complete experience getting to use the traps for real — having to pull a dead rat from a trap in the bush! The whole week has helped me think more about humanity’s place in creation and what God meant by giving us ‘dominion over the rest of creation’ (Gen 1:26).”

Youngest A Rocha volunteer, Kanika van Houte White demonstrates how stoat traps work to students – Andrew Shepherd

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