Praying in Times of Extreme Weather is a gathering of prayer points and links to online prayer material for use before, during or after an extreme weather event. It includes materials that can be used by those directly affected and/or by those praying for them. Download it here.
Christians around the world are struggling to come to terms with the conflict and violence that we see all around us, whether directly or on the news. How can we respond?
In Theological Reflection on Conflict and Peacebuilding, Bethan Willis asks us to respond in a way that is not simply a reaction to acts of violence, but that recalls to the world the larger plan of right relationship that God desires for us.
“Christian concern about conflict and peacebuilding is much more than a concern to stop killing, end ongoing violence, or uphold rights,” she asserts, adding “When we seek to find an appropriate response to violent conflict, might the answer be not to look first to the many specific things we can do, but to look forward to God’s masterplan—to ask: What is the alternative? Where should we be headed, and how can we get there?”
A thought-provoking challenge that is pertinent to us all.
The Reverend Dennis Milanzi is Director of the Kachere Development Programme, the official Social Development arm of the Anglican Diocese of Eastern Zambia. In this piece, Father Dennis begins by establishing the biblical grounds for his concern for the environment:
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.
Thus, from the very beginning humanity was related to the environment– an environment that God had formed in an act of creativity and innovation and wanted to become productive for the good of its inhabitants, an environment which could support a sustainable livelihood for Adam and Eve. And in order for creation to be productive and provide for human needs, there was need to maintain its goodness, as God said that ‘It was good’.”
He then goes on to explore 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
“Today, we are in the midst of major biodiversity loss and extinction. There is an accelerating pace of deforestation worldwide. Exposed hillsides are vulnerable to subsidence and in tropical areas, the soils are quickly degraded. In many places, denuded scrub and landslips have replaced fertile forests. In addition, the impact of climate change is catapulting every creature on Earth into an unknown and unpredictable future. Is there any hope?”
This is the question posed by theologian Margot Hodson in her reflection “Why I care about the environment” (download here). In response to the question, Margot introduces the concept of “robust hope,” a hope that grows from suffering and perseverance, that can endure, and that “brings the ultimate hope of restored harmony of creation into the present.” Read the reflection to find out more …
This piece is the first in a pilot project. CCOW is commissioning short essays 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. If you want to reprint this reflection and would find a Word version helpful, please email us.
An Invitation to Care for God’s Earth, Care for Each Other is designed for churches that are just beginning to think about how we can live out the Gospel in our relationships with the environment and our global neighbours.
The full-colour leaflet provides an introduction to the idea that caring for creation and practically expressing love for our global neighbours are an essential part of any church’s mission. It contains five steps to help churches incorporate prayer and action in these areas into church life. It also has a selection of prayers “for the journey.”
The leaflet is free to download (Download it here) or may be purchased in hard copy, with a discount for bulk orders.