STEWARDSHIP OF THE EARTH AND ENVIRONMENT
The care of creation is a top priority for every Christian disciple in our day. It’s clear in Scripture that God wants us to steward this beautiful Earth we’ve been given. Tracing from our origin in the garden of Eden, humanity was entrusted by the Creator to be in charge and take care of the precious gift from God.
“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”,So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them .Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26-28)
We need to take care of the earth at a time when global warming and climate change are creating enormous pressures. We all know there is no planet B. This is an issue for every occupant on planet earth and, of course, believers of every faith. Pope Francis, representing the Catholic Church, and his counterpart, Patriarch Bartholomew of the Orthodox Church, have called on all faiths to pray for Mother Earth during Creationtide, which runs from September 1st until October 4th, 2016, for the care of God’s creation and in particular on 1 September 2016, the World Day of Prayer for Creation Care.
WORLD DAY OF PRAYER FOR CREATION CARE
As Pope Francis put it, “The annual World Day of prayer for the Care of Creation offers to individual believers and to the community a precious opportunity to renew our personal participation in this vocation as custodians of creation, raising to God our thanks for the marvellous works that He has entrusted to our care, invoking his help for the protection of creation and his mercy for the sins committed against the world in which we live.” WorldDayOfPrayer-Global Catholic
This is a spiritual issue, not just a technical, economic or scientific issue, but something we need to pray about, to ask God to help us. Remember the day the disciples were going across the Sea of Galilee? When they encountered raging waves which threatened their lives, they called upon Jesus. Jesus spoke to the sea and it obeyed his word. Our God is able and there is nothing he cannot do.
This day has been set aside historically since 1989 by the Orthodox Church.
During the season of creation care and beyond, organize something as a local church, organization, district, or individual which might be a worship service, lay training , or tree planting exercise, as we become the prophetic voice in society that is suffering the consequences of global warming and climate change due to pollution of the environment by man’s activities and unguided exploitation. Good stewards call upon our Creator God.
Let us rise up as faithfuls in calling upon our creator to give us the grace to be active participants in this critical pillar of God’s mission to care for the environment. Let us join hands with other actors in this field of climate change and hold our governments accountable to the commitments they made at the COP21 through their INDC’s and follow up towards the COP22 , the Cop of Action to be held in Marrakech, Morocco 7th-18th November 2016.
Follow these links to see the activity of these churches on climate change;
The United Methodist Church-Caretakers of God’s Creation
The Anglican Church of Southern Africa-Anglican Communion Environmental Network
The Roman Catholic Church-Global Catholic Climate Movement
I’m also calling on every believer to call upon our God and be agents of Environmental and Climate Justice.
I am a Global Mission Fellow , Young Adult Missionary of the United Methodist Church, volunteering with Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance , an advocacy continental alliance of Civil Society Organisations on the African Continent with a common goal of promoting and advocating for climate-related and equity based paradigms that consider climate change as the key driver of sustainable development. It also ensures that pro-poor and people-centred response measures are put into consideration as governments seek to mainstream climate change into national development strategies .Currently PACJA membership is drawn from NGO’s ,Foundations, Trusts , Community Based Organisations , National Coalitions , regional networks and Faith Based Organisations networks. I am a program support officer working to coordinate activities of Alliance with Faith Groups , mobilizing faith based organisations into PACJA membership , networking and building capacity of Faith Based Organisations in interpreting climate change dialogues and building their resilience and adaptation .
Visit PACJA website for more insight – PACJA website
Pan African Climate Justice Alliance
GMF International, Class of 2015-2017