Voices from the Front Lines of Climate Change: Tagolyn Kabekabe

What does climate change look like from the perspective of someone living and working in a small island state in the Pacific? Tagolyn Kabekabe is the Pacific Coordinator for the Anglican Alliance, an agency that works on development and relief. She spoke to Elizabeth Perry about the challenges people in her region are currently facing as a result of climate change.

Her comments bring home the disproportionate impact some people are feeling from global phenomena: “So when we talk about the impacts of rising sea levels it affects everybody,” she notes, “but it is worse for the low-lying islands, because we’ve had incidences like a few years ago when we had a spring tide that actually washed through the islands and it washes everything with it… the chickens, the pigs, it washes through the kitchen taking the pots, the pans, everything into the sea.”

Download the full interview here.

Presentation – “God saw that it was good”

Series of powerpoints  on creation’s diversity & caring for it.

The Bible opens with the story of creation, highlighting its beauty, diversity and interconnectedness. But today that same creation is under threat. In this series of powerpoints, which can be used individually or taken together as the basis for an extended presentation, Elizabeth Perry offers a reflection on the variety of created life – what scientists call biodiversity – our interdependence with all created life, the threats the diversity of life faces, what is being done to preserve it, and what we can ourselves do.

Introduction and Part 1 : What is biodiversity?

Part 2 :  Planet Earth – A place of astonishing variety, richness and interconnection

Part 3 : We are utterly dependent on biodiversity

Part 4: Biodiversity in our Faith Tradition

Part 5a: Biodiversity under threat

Part 5b: Why does this matter? 

Part 6: What needs to be done, what is being done, causes for hope

Part 7: What can we do? 

Part 8: Prayer – Pope Francis’ Prayer in Union with Creation

Charles Scribner: Riverkeeper

This edition of our “Why I care about the environment” series is by Charles Scribner, an Anglican living in Birmingham (Alabama, not England).

Charles is a member of the Cathedral Church of the Advent, which he represents on the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama’s Task Force for the Stewardship of Creation. Charles is also executive director of Black Warrior Riverkeeper, a nonprofit organisation dedicated to improving water quality, habitat, recreation, and public health throughout the Black Warrior River watershed.  This vital river basin is entirely contained within Alabama, America’s leading state for freshwater biodiversity. The nongovernmental organisation identifies pollution problems and works on cleaning them up while increasing public awareness. Black Warrior Riverkeeper is an independent member of Waterkeeper Alliance, a global network of over 300 water advocacy organisations including London Waterkeeper.

In this piece, Charles reflects on his Christian faith and how it informs his care for creation. You can also download this in pdf form: Charles Scribner Why I Care


As executive director of Black Warrior Riverkeeper, I constantly witness fossil fuels polluting Alabama’s water, air, wildlife, and communities. Switching my home to solar was a naturalreaction to that ubiquitous problem, as well as a way of saving money over time. Far more than professional or financial considerations, however, my Christian faith as was the main factor.

I have been enriched by many Bible verses related to the care of God’s Creation. Restoring Eden, a Christian environmental group, has compiled a good list at restoringeden.org/bibleverses. But above all, I am inspired by God’s grace, that undeserved gift surpassing all others.
This gospel focus finds the cross and resurrection of Jesus ever and only at the center.

What does stewardship of creation mean in light of the Good News? How do I keep Jesus Christ my redeemer as the focus of this endeavor?

Being good stewards of creation is an example of bearing the fruits of the spirit. As I live in light of the gospel, I am increasingly concerned about the two great commandments that Jesus gave us: love of God and love of neighbor. As the poet Wendell Berry says, “Do unto those downstream as you would have those upstream do unto you.”

Humanity was not called to maintain creation in entirely original, pristine form. God created us as a part of nature, so we will have an impact on it. What kind of impact should we have?

In my opinion, we are called to utilize the great gifts God has given us for our own survival and enjoyment in ways that do not diminish our current and future neighbors’ opportunities to do likewise.

 

 

 

This piece is one of a series entitled ‘Why I care about….’ in which Christian experts write about what motivates them to care about their particular area of concern, and how their Christian faith informs that passion. We hope that these deliberately short essays will be used for personal reflection, small group discussion, reproduced in church magazines and used in church services. Please feel free to share them with your friends, colleagues and congregations; we simply ask that you quote and attribute them fully. If you want to reprint this reflection and would find a Word version helpful, please email us. 

 

Photo of Black Warrior River by Jimmy Emerson, DVM, “The Locust Fork of the Black Warrior River”  Sourced from Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0

Prayer – Advent Light … for Paris

A powerpoint Elizabeth prepared as the Paris climate talks approached, offering us a way of reflecting on climate and preparing for the climate talks in the light of Advent.

Download it here: Advent Light

Prayer – Advent Light/“Light for Lima”

/From 1st – 12th December 2014 representatives of 195 countries gathered in Lima, Peru for the 20th round of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations. Lima was a crucial stepping-stone on the road to the December 2015 Paris conference, which aimed to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, from all the nations of the world.

As the delegates gathered, people around the world held events asking world leaders to find the courage and generosity that is needed to have successful negotiations. Organized by Our Voices, Light for Lima was one of these – a global call to prayer, sent to people of all beliefs.

As Christians, we yearned – and still yearn – to bring our concerns in this area before God, who created and sustains the world. To help us offer our prayers and in thanksgiving for the faith and hope we have in Christ, CCOW has prepared a powerpoint reflection, Advent Light, for Lima which draws together the themes of Advent, light, darkness, and climate change. We hope you find it helpful.

 

Download it here: Advent Light/”Light for Lima”

Dennis Milanzi: Reversing the ‘groaning of creation’

The environment is the first thing that God created in the creation story. And caring for the environment is the core responsibility given to humanity. According to Genesis (1:28, 2:15), Adam and Eve were given two responsibilities: to develop well and be productive themselves, and to manage the world so that it also would develop well and be productive.

The Reverend Dennis Milanzi is Director of the Kachere Development Programme, the official Social Development arm of the Anglican Diocese of Eastern Zambia. This piece shares the biblical grounds for his concern for the environment,  the particular natural resource challenges that his region faces, the way that the Kachere Development Programme is helping communities to respond, his reasons for hope, and what he’d like to see Christians around the world doing to “reverse ‘the groaning of creation’ caused by lack of good stewardship of God’s good creation.”

Download the pdf here: Dennis Milanzi Why I care about the environment.

Photograph: The Reverend Dennis Milanzi with children in Chipungo, Eastern Zambia, ©Elizabeth Perry

 

This piece is one of a series entitled ‘Why I care about….’ in which Christian experts write about what motivates them to care about their particular area of concern, and how their Christian faith informs that passion. We hope that these deliberately short essays will be used for personal reflection, small group discussion, reproduced in church magazines and used in church services. Please feel free to share them with your friends, colleagues and congregations; we simply ask that you quote and attribute them fully. If you want to reprint this reflection and would find a Word version helpful, please email us.